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jerryking : amazon_prime   26

Chasing Amazon, Retailers Are in a Never-Ending Arms Race
Nov. 25, 2019 | New York Times | By Sapna Maheshwari and Michael Corkery

Especially hard hit are the big sellers of apparel and accessories like Nordstrom, which are grappling with the dual costs of running fast and efficient e-commerce operations, while also keeping their stores inviting and relevant........While retailers are coming through with a “very, very competitive digital shopping experience,” said Kimberly Greenberger, a retail analyst at Morgan Stanley, they are pouring money into their e-commerce operations at the same time their stores are bringing in fewer sales. Just when they seem caught up, Amazon raises the bar again.
“It just continues this vicious cycle that retailers find themselves in,” .........And then, there are the dozens of buzzy e-commerce start-ups, built through savvy marketing on Instagram and Facebook, that have also been putting pressure on department stores. Often, these companies are built around one product, ship directly to consumers and have only a few stores, if any. They include Away for suitcases, Allbirds for shoes, Lively for bras, Everlane for clothing and Brooklinen for bedsheets.
Many of these companies, backed by venture capital, are focused on growth and not concerned with making money in the short term.
Amazon  Amazon_Prime  apparel  arms_race  contra-Amazon   department_stores  e-commerce  Kohl’s  Macy’s  Nordstrom  product_returns  retailers     same-day  start_ups  supply_chain_squeeze 
12 weeks ago by jerryking
The Prime Effect: How Amazon’s Two-Day Shipping Is Disrupting Retail
Sept. 20, 2018 | WSJ | By Christopher Mims.

Amazon.com Inc. has made its Prime program the gold standard for all other online retailers... The $119-a-year Prime program—which now includes more than 100 million members world-wide—has triggered an arms race among the largest retailers, and turned many smaller sellers into remoras who cling for life to the bigger fish.

In the past year, Target Corp. , Walmart Inc. and many vendors on Google Express have all started offering “free” two-day delivery. (Different vendors have different requirements for no-fee shipping, whether it’s order size or loyalty-club membership.)

Amazon and its competitors are often blamed for the death of bricks-and-mortar retail, but the irony is that these online retailers generally achieve fast shipping by investing in real estate—in the form of warehouses rather than stores. To compete on cost, the vendors must typically ship goods via ground transportation, not faster-but-pricier air. The latest to offer free two-day delivery is Overstock.com , which claims it can reach over 99% of the U.S. in that time frame from a single distribution center in Kansas City, Kan.

But the biggest online retailers aren’t the only ones building massive fulfillment centers and similar operations. Fulfillment startups and large companies from other sectors are hoping to scale up by luring smaller sellers who want alternatives to Amazon’s warehousing and delivery operations.
Amazon  Amazon_Prime  arms_race  delivery_times  disruption  e-commerce  free  fulfillment  retailers  same-day  shipping  third-party  warehouses 
september 2018 by jerryking
Amazon set for Prime Day ad revenue bonanza | Financial Times
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Amazon  Amazon_Prime  brands  advertising  e-commerce 
july 2018 by jerryking
Amazon encourages entrepreneurs to build logistics network | Financial Times
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Amazon  Amazon_Prime  last_mile  Fedex  UPS  USPS  entrepreneur  logistics  shippers  speed  small_business  e-commerce  delivery  delivery_networks  delivery_times  delivery_services 
june 2018 by jerryking
A Year After Amazon Devoured Whole Foods, Rivals Are Pursuing Countermoves - WSJ
By Heather Haddon
June 10, 2018

Amazon.com Inc.’s AMZN +0.30% year-old acquisition of Whole Foods is prompting the food industry to retool how it sells fresh food to consumers....The deal has been “shaking up the food industry from top to bottom,” said Angela Spivey, a food-and-beverage attorney at McGuireWoods LLP, who is advising clients on how to quickly change their packaging and marketing to sell at Amazon and Whole Foods. “Don’t be surprised if the milk and cereal just shows up at your door based on your usual eating habits.”

Food retailers, manufacturers and other suppliers have begun to make fundamental changes to their selling strategies, driven partly by stronger sales and delivery from Whole Foods stores since the acquisition.....Grocery chains have accelerated planned investments in online delivery and pickup services, in some cases bumping plans ahead to two- to three-year timelines instead of five to seven years, .......Dozens of supermarkets have struck deals with Instacart Inc., an online grocery-delivery service that has expanded to more than 200 retailers from 30 before Amazon’s deal. .......After Amazon extended discounts at Whole Foods to Prime members—which will help it gather data about shoppers’ preferences—analysts said competitors might need to update their own shopper-loyalty programs. Amazon now offers free, two-hour delivery and additional 10% discounts on several hundred items for Prime members in select areas.

Many food makers are redesigning their packaging and formulas to better sell through Amazon and Whole Foods, placing an emphasis on online repeat purchases instead of impulse buys, industry consultants said......Whole Foods has focused on getting competitive on staples, said Guillaume Bacuvier, chief executive of Dunnhumby, an international retail consulting and technology firm that Whole Foods hired to help improve consumer analytics.
Amazon  Amazon_Prime  BOPIS  contra-Amazon  Dunnhumby  food  grocery  Instacart  perishables  supermarkets  Whole_Foods 
june 2018 by jerryking
Apple sceptics are looking at the wrong metrics
Tien Tzuo APRIL 30, 2018.

.....When Apple reports its earnings on Tuesday, analysts will be watching closely to see what it says about smartphone sales. The big tech group’s shares are down more than 7 per cent in the past 10 days amid concerns about soft demand for the latest iPhones.

But investors are focusing on the wrong numbers. Apple may be the world’s most valuable company, but its future depends on more than product sales. It must adapt to a profound shift that is changing consumer behaviour. We are witnessing the end of ownership as we know it.
.......With every day that passes Apple cares less about how many iPhones it sells, and more about how many Apple IDs its customers create and how it can make money from those IDs.
.....The end of ownership is disrupting nearly every industry: from retail and entertainment to heavy equipment and healthcare. It is a fundamental shift not just in the way we work and live and accumulate things, but in the way we value ourselves and each other.......Knowing the customers, their preferences, buying habits and how much they are willing to spend are the price of entry in this new economy. Once those relationships are forged and cemented, the data collected, the insights drawn, the real work starts — to anticipate the products and services customers will want next.
.....Volvo understands this. Its latest advertising encourages customers not to buy cars but to subscribe to them instead. The Chinese-owned company is rethinking everything from payment structure and auto design to sales centers and partnerships. Other big automakers including Ford and Porsche are also preparing for the shift away from ownership.....Amazon continues to school all of its rivals in the power of subscriber relationships. A case in point: it recently raised the price of its US Prime membership service by nearly 20 per cent, and its customers didn’t even blink.

That said, many investors are still evaluating companies based on the outdated idea that the number of products they produce will make or break them. But change is coming. The end of ownership is happening whether Wall Street wakes up or not.
Apple  Caterpillar  customer_insights  disruption  end_of_ownership  metrics  shifting_tastes  services  Shazam  subscriptions  Texture  Amazon  Amazon_Prime  Apple_IDs 
may 2018 by jerryking
Amazon Prime Has More Than 100 Million Members - WSJ
By Austen Hufford and Georgia Wells
Updated April 18, 2018
Amazon_Prime  Jeff_Bezos  Amazon 
april 2018 by jerryking
Toys ‘R’ Us versus Amazon: No contest
September 17, 2017 | The Globe and Mail | BARRIE MCKENNA.

It's a new era all right...The industry is grappling with the relentless onslaught of Amazon and Alibaba, excess retail space, the retreat of department-store mall anchors and intense price competition. Meanwhile, consumers are shifting their spending from things to experiences, including entertainment and dining-out
The harsh reality for Toys "R" Us and other big-box stores is that they aren't indispensable any more as North Americans discover new and different ways to shop. You don't have to schlep to a suburban shopping strip to find the newest Lego set, video game or electronic gadget. Order it online, and you can have it delivered to your door, often for free the next day, at the best price available anywhere.

....retail experts have warned that a tipping point was coming for the industry as more and more shopping moved online. This looks like the year.....Analysts predict that a record 9,000 retail stores will close across the U.S. in 2017. That would eclipse 2016, when roughly 6,200 stores closed....
Retailers have been filing for protection from creditors at a faster pace this year than at any time since the 2008-09 recession. Toys "R" Us joins a long list of famous retail casualties of 2017 in Canada and the U.S., including Sears Canada, The Limited, Wet Seal, BCBG, Payless Shoes, Sports Authority, Gymboree, Aéropostale and American Apparel. And there are still three-plus months to go.....The rise of Amazon is proof that consumers are embracing new ways of buying. The company's North American sales grew five-fold to $80-billion (U.S.) between 2010 and 2016. Half of U.S. households now subscribe to Amazon Prime, a fee-based service that offers free two-day shipping, music and video streaming plus other perks......What's alarming isn't so much the share of shopping that has moved online, but the speed at which it's moved.

Warren Buffett sold off nearly $1-billion worth of Walmart stock earlier this year, explaining that traditional retailing is "too tough" a business in the age of Amazon. "The world has evolved, and it's going to keep evolving, but the speed is increasing," Mr. Buffett said.

Amazon and China's Alibaba won't be the only winners in this new era. A vast array of other businesses feed off the online industry, including shippers and logistics companies, plus a vast network of technology companies, including store platforms (Shopify), analytics companies and app makers.
Amazon  Alibaba  e-commerce  store_closings  Barrie_McKenna  retailers  bricks-and-mortar  toys  Toys_"R"_Us  bankruptcies  brands  Amazon_Prime  home-delivery  accelerated_lifecycles  Warren_Buffett  Wal-Mart  big-box 
september 2017 by jerryking
Beyond Netflix: Fall’s Must-See Streaming TV - WSJ
By Joshua Fruhlinger
Sept. 14, 2017

+ Acorn TV

If you want more adventurous (and brag-worthy) fall viewing, look beyond the usual suspects to the myriad specialized, niche streaming services offering everything from Korean soap operas to B-horror.

To tune in, you’ll need a smart TV or a streaming device like Apple TV or Google Chromecast. (A game console, like an Xbox or PlayStation, will work, too.) Of course, you can also watch on a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
niches  streaming  television  Netflix  HBO_Go  Amazon_Prime 
september 2017 by jerryking
Amazon Plans to Launch Prime Now Service in Canada This Year - WSJ
By David George-Cosh
Updated Aug. 31, 2017
Amazon.com Inc. AMZN 1.34% is working on plans to roll out its one- and two-hour membership delivery service into Canada later this year, a move that marks a broader push into the country by the Seattle-based retailer, according to people familiar with the matter.

Amazon could begin offering its Prime Now service in Vancouver and Toronto in November and January, respectively, under a pilot program that will deliver groceries and other items within a two-hour window, ......Grocery spending in Canada is approximately worth C$103 billion, but just 1.9% of that is spent online, according to Nielsen Co. Online grocery shopping is expected to grow to 5.3% of total spending by 2020, accounting for C$6 billion in sales, Nielsen said.

Any further entry by Amazon into the Canadian grocery-delivery space is expected to weigh on companies such as Loblaw Cos. Ltd. and Empire Co. Ltd. as well as the domestic arms of stores such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Costco Wholesale Corp. , which all have explored shipping online grocery orders to Canadian doorsteps.......Amazon’s Fresh grocery delivery service, which costs U.S. customers $14.99 on top of annual Prime membership, is not yet available in Canada......it’s unlikely that Amazon will be able to create a comparable temperature-reliant supply chain in Canada for some time. “Amazon is not able to match the Canadian grocers in terms of procurement scale,”
Amazon  Canada  AmazonFresh  Amazon_Prime  pilot_programs  memberships  subscriptions  retailers  cold_storage  same-day 
september 2017 by jerryking
Big Prize in Amazon-Whole Foods Deal: Data - WSJ
By Laura Stevens and Heather Haddon
June 20, 2017

The deal for Whole Foods Market Inc., which people familiar with the matter said came together quickly, presents Amazon with several potential gains. It could use the stores as distribution hubs to build out its online grocery-delivery business. Amazon also could stock gadgets such as its Kindle e-readers and Echo speakers, as well as goods from its burgeoning private label.

The bigger opportunity, though, is data.

Amazon for years has been looking for more ways to gather information about how consumers shop. It has long been rumored to be on the prowl for a breakthrough deal, even as it set up its own much smaller Amazon Go and AmazonFresh Pickup stores as experiments.

If the deal goes through, the combination likely will be powerful. Amazon and Whole Foods can join their online and in-store knowledge to better predict what goods to carry in each store, said James Thomson, a former senior manager in business development at Amazon and now partner at the brand consultancy Buy Box Experts.....One enticing aspect of a deal between Amazon and Whole Foods is the significant overlap, analysts say, between the companies’ traditionally loyal customer bases.

A Morgan Stanley survey shows about 62% of Whole Foods shoppers are members of Amazon’s Prime service, opening the door for cross-sell promotions to entice customers who shop at both to spend more.

Amazon, though, doesn’t know how those customers shop in stores—a gaping hole in data about its more than 300 million shoppers.....Amazon has had a more difficult experiment with Amazon Go, its convenience-style store in which customers scan their phones as they walk in, pick up items to purchase and exit without a traditional checkout. The public opening has been delayed, in part because of technological hurdles and Amazon’s limited experience in managing the flow of customers and products in a physical space....

.......The data Amazon collects will likely help it decide which of its growing roster of private-label brands to expand and which new ones to launch, especially when it comes to consumables and food. Whole Foods already has a large private-label business...Bringing together online and offline data can help Amazon learn how to entice customers to make more impulse purchases online, according to analysts and retail consultants.
data  omnichannel  Amazon  Whole_Foods  physical_space  private_labels  impulse_purchasing  Amazon_Go  AmazonFresh  experimentation  cashierless  Amazon_Prime  cross-selling  in-store 
june 2017 by jerryking
The Economy Needs Amazons, but It Mostly Has GEs
the country as a whole badly needs some rules-defying risk-taking. For business, that means a bit more Amazon in the boardroom and a bit less GE....The purchase of Whole Foods by Amazon introduced a level of volatility and turmoil (at least singularly to the retail sector) which had been absent from the market for a long time....The rest of the market remained placid. And months of historically low volatility has begun to look like dangerous complacency....... another, potentially more troubling explanation: stagnation. Muted markets may be an inevitable product of steady, sluggish growth, low and predictable interest rates, declining business startups and failures, and decreased competition. In other words, the problem is, there aren’t enough Amazons disrupting the stock market and the economy.....Jeffrey Bezos founded Amazon in 1994, he has prioritized expansion and innovation ahead of profit. In its early years, free cash flow—cash from operations minus CAPEX—hovered around zero. Mr. Bezos approaches new products like a VC. Many will flop (like the Fire smartphone), but some will be home runs (e.g. AWS). Amazon launched Prime, which offers free delivery in exchange for an annual fee, in 2005. John Blackledge, notes Amazon has repeatedly innovated in ways that make Prime even more valuable to subscribers.......Amazon is now profitable, yet cash retention remains secondary to building great products and delighting and retaining customers.

....If Amazon is one extreme in how companies invest, General ElectricCo. is the other. It has long been fastidious about capital and cash deployment......CEO Jack Welch perfected this approach in the 1990s.. it continued under Jeffrey Immelt. Last week, Mr. Immelt said he would retire, after 16 years struggling to restore growth. In part, that reflected how financial engineering had inflated profits under Mr. Welch. Yet Mr. Immelt ’s investment decisions too often chased the conventional wisdom on Wall Street and in Washington. ...........growth is hard for any company that dominates its markets as much as GE does. GE’s size also attracts debilitating political scrutiny. ....In response to new regulations and pressure from Wall Street, Mr. Immelt largely dismantled the business...........Investors still want GE to return cash to shareholders, and it has obliged,.....while good for shareholders in the short run, this is no recipe for growth in the long run. GE’s cash flow is shrinking despite the company’s focus on preserving it, while Amazon’s is growing despite that company’s readiness to spend it.......North American boardrooms desparately needs some rules-defying risk-taking. For business, that means a bit more Amazon in the boardroom and a bit less GE

[ See John Authers article which references Vix]

The "Minsky Moment" occurs when investors realize that they have paid far too much for the credits that have bought, no buyers can be found, and the system collapses. Aka Wile E. Coyote running-off-a-cliff....The greatest dangers to us are not from things we perceive to be high-risk, because we generally treat them carefully. Trouble arises from that which we perceive to be low-risk.
digital_economy  Amazon  GE  Amazon_Prime  risk-taking  volatility  Greg_Ip  stagnation  cash_flows  long-term  growth  start_ups  complacency  instability  conventional_wisdom  Jeffrey_Immelt  Jack_Welch  conglomerates  delighting_customers  capital_allocation  Jeff_Bezos  financial_engineering  rule_breaking 
june 2017 by jerryking
Amazon’s Next Big Move: Take Over the Mall
November 14, 2016 | Technology Review | by Nicholas Carr .

What’s Amazon doing with Amazon Books?...Wall Street analysts and tech writers have filled the void with conjecture. The stores are all about selling gadgets, goes one popular idea, with the books there just to lure customers. The stores are data-gathering machines, goes another, enabling Amazon to extend its tracking of customers into the physical world. Or maybe the company’s secret plan is to use the stores to promote its cloud computing operation, Amazon Web Services, to other retailers....The theories are intriguing, and they may contain bits of truth. But the real impetus behind the stores is probably much simpler: Amazon wants to sell more books....Not long ago, the common wisdom held that Amazon would remake the book business in its own image. Its Web store would kill off bookstores, and its Kindle would render physical books obsolete. ...
“Pure-play Web retailing is not sustainable.”Bezos underestimated the allure of bricks and paper. With his bookstore chain, he now seems to be admitting that if Amazon is to expand its share of the book market, it will need to invest in bricks as well as bits....Having come up short in its plan to supplant books and bookstores with digital alternatives, the company is taking its revenge by attacking traditional bookshops on their own turf. Unlike the mom-and-pop independents, or even the struggling Barnes & Noble chain, Amazon has the scale and the cash required to wage a war of attrition. It can sustain losses on its stores for a long time.....Amazon Books may be just the vanguard of a much broader push into brick-and-mortar retailing by the company. In October, the Wall Street Journal revealed that Amazon is planning to open a chain of convenience stores, mainly for groceries, along with drive-in depots where consumers will be able to pick up merchandise ordered online. It has also begun rolling out small “pop-up” stores to hawk its electronic devices. It already has more than two dozen such kiosks in malls around the country, and dozens more are said to be in the works.

Even after 20 years of rapid growth, e-commerce still accounts for less than 10 percent of total retail sales. And now the rise of mobile computing places new constraints on Web stores.At the same time, the smartphone, with its apps, its messaging platforms, and its constant connectivity, gives retailers more ways to communicate with and influence customers, even when they’re shopping in stores. This is why the big trend in retailing today is toward “omnichannel” strategies, which blend physical stores, Web stores, and mobile apps in a way that makes the most of the convenience of smartphones and overcomes their limitations.....Beyond its expertise in Web sales, Amazon brings distinctive strengths to an omnichannel operation. Its vast, efficient network of warehouses and distribution centers can supply outlets and process returns. It has, thanks to the largesse and patience of its investors, a reservoir of cheap capital that it can draw on to fund a building spree. And it has a much-admired brand. What Amazon lacks is experience in the touchy-feely world of traditional retailing (e.g. merchandising??). The company’s proficiency in software and data crunching is unquestioned. Its people skills are another matter..... another of the store’s goals: to promote the Prime program, which is central to Amazon’s strategy of locking in customers....I feel let down. I had convinced myself that I was going to witness something fresh and unexpected at Amazon Books. What I found was an annex to a website—a store that, despite the bricks and paper, retains the coldness of the virtual.
e-commerce  shopping_malls  Amazon  Amazon_Prime  books  sterile  soulless  Nicholas_Carr  Amazon_Books  bricks-and-mortar  Jeff_Bezos  pure-plays  bookstores  omnichannel  strengths  smartphones  mobile_applications  loyalty_management  impersonal  people_skills  Achilles’_heel  weaknesses  convenience_stores  pop-ups  kiosks  voids  merchandising  AWS  physical_world  mom-and-pop  coldness  touchy-feely  cyberphysical  emotional_connections  empathy_vacuum  Amazon_Go  cashierless  locked_in  distribution_centres 
february 2017 by jerryking
Amazon's prime strategy
30 July /31 July 2016 | | Financial Times | Leslie Hook.

"The competition is less about Amazon versus Walmart. it is Amazon versus Netflix versus Google versus Apple versus Facebook" Tien Tzuo, CEO of Zuora.
Amazon  subscriptions  user_generated  customer_loyalty  online_identity  FAANG  customer_data  customer_identity  Amazon_Prime  loyalty_management 
august 2016 by jerryking

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