Amazon, Quo Vadis? (March Newsletter)

As all members of SDSI know, Amazon is a frequent topic in our business forum. You can imagine the comments…from unprintable to laudatory. The question remains unanswered: “is Amazon a Devil or Angel?”


SDSI was among the first to poise the question 2 years ago in our very first Amazon workshop, presented then, as today, by Quiverr. Our local expert Ryan Mulvany pointed out to the crowd that “No Amazon strategy in indeed a strategy… for a train wreck. “ Three years later most all of us, retailer to brand managers, do in fact have a strategy. The choices are becoming more clear… sell direct, sell through 3rd parties or try the new Hybrid model by trying to do both. Many very successful brand managers have also taken the “no thank you” route and have actively, make that pro-actively, taken steps to make sure their brand does not appear in any Amazon portal.

All pretty good. As an industry, I think we have overcome the denial aspect and are slowly understanding that the consumer now is the ultimate brand manager. The advent and complete penetration of hand held devices has impacted the way we behave. Once upon a time Amazon was a gateway to lower prices. Now days it is often a gateway to convenience. Think about it… 20 minutes on the 5 to go 10 miles and 20 minutes back… or one click!

Yeah, I have to say Amazon is the little devil. I have made my choice. Its disruptive, annoying, unavoidable. But the big Devil is… technology. There is lots of good news about technology and one alarming thing: it does not care what you think about it, technology marches on with or without your endorsement.

The Industrial revolution is over.. completely. The digital revolution is about 1 minute old and it has completely changed our lives already. Want a glimpse of what could happen? Take this test:

What is the biggest economy in the world?
What is the 6th biggest economy in the world?
What is the 21st largest economy in the world?

Answer: USA, California, Alibaba! Make that, Nation, State and Platform!

We haven’t seen anything yet!