Amazon is one of the few businesses that got a major boost from the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, its Q4 2020 earnings of $125.6 billion soared past the $119.7 billion Wall Street forecast: for that period, the company saw a 42% increase in earnings (Motley Fool, 2021). These gains come at the tail of a $4 billion expenditure for coronavirus measures. This goes to show that Amazon has not only the foresight to build ecommerce to what it is today, but it has earth-shaking events paving the road to its retail shopping domination ever smoother.
Thus, if you’re actively selling online, keeping up with Amazon trends is not an option: it’s downright compulsory. It doesn’t matter if you do marketing, retail, or music. Bezos has his fingers in so many pies. What Amazon is doing and will be doing is going to affect you one way or another.
In 2020, Amazon smashed all earning expectations, delivering $386 billion in revenue that is up 38% from 2019. The 2020 record performance was $100 billion higher than the previous year, for an unprecedented 84% increase in net profit.
Yes, Amazon is doing pretty well and there is no question about that. This is thanks to its aggressive style of going big in every venture.
To spice things up even more, Amazon is doing all it can to reduce click-to-door time by exercising full control of the supply chain and mastering the last-mile delivery—the most challenging aspect of fulfillment and delivering total customer satisfaction in its line of business. To that end, it has purchased 11 more Boeing 767 jets for global delivery operations, which should bring its fleet to a total of 85 by the end of 2022. The effect is immediately felt: Amazon Air flights surged 27% from April to August 2020. Meanwhile, its Amazon Delivery Service Partners and drone delivery should tighten its control of the market even more.
These highlights are just the tip of the iceberg. The second quarter was a busy one and it sheds some light on the current direction that the online commerce giant is going.
Counterfeiters and brand hijackers abound in the ecommerce market. For brands to protect themselves, Amazon offers the Brand Registry. This ensures accurate product listings and enables businesses to find and report violators. Additionally, through this service, brands can take advantage of premium business tools and features.
Though the current set of capabilities are great, it is predicted that Amazon will expand those to include gatekeeping and advanced advertising features (Jungle Scout, 2020). The former will allow brands to let only approved sellers list their goods. In this way, they could control listings and prices with less effort.
Meanwhile, the latter would let approved sellers embellish their listings with videos. It is possible that this expansion would enable the inclusion of A+ content and other similar video advertising solutions. With these, even smaller brands can protect themselves against black-hat sellers.
Also, in the 2nd quarter of this year, Amazon launched its new Artificial Intelligence (AI) conference. It is ready to establish itself as the leader for AI innovations if it hasn’t yet. They called it Re: MARs which stands for Machine Learning, Automation, Robotics, and Space. Jeff Bezos is a well-known advocate of high-tech advances, especially with his Blue Origin venture. It was showed at the 2019 Re: MARS.
In the conference, Amazon featured talks and workshops conducted by Amazon and industry experts. Furthermore, Amazon showcased an electric adventure vehicle from Rivian that can integrate with Alexa. Also, they announced Prime Air’s new drone delivery design. This is one of the best innovations to improve transportation and delivery time. Moreover, they featured the Pegasus Drive sortation robot being used in Amazon sortation centers. All of these and many more remind us of the company’s commitment and obsession with advanced technology.
Amazon connects and uses information about customer behaviors in some aspects to make predictions in other aspects of your life (CNN, 2018). This is what makes the company different. This trend is not likely to die off soon or even for that matter as long as Amazon is still around. Amazon’s strategy is to leverage technologies across different industries and sectors to pull in users to its platform through ease-of-use and quick delivery times. This is all to increase efficiency and improve customer experience. Thus, they have become the go-to marketplace for many customers. Also, sellers almost could not afford to not be on the site.
Moreover, its in-house business intelligence tools rival the most popular business intelligence software out there.
We should expect this trend to continue in the future. Also, we should expect Amazon to use its technological breadth to dip more its fingers (or tentacles, if you prefer) into many other industries. For many, there is really no use in pushing back; thus the adage “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” is applicable here for many.
Furthermore, Amazon has different native products that it brands as its own. The range includes iconic products such as Kindle, Echo, Alexa, and Ring, the home security system. What we can see here is that Amazon goes for breadth more than it does for depth. It takes little shares from different sectors by connecting its specialized services in a whole new way that attracts certain groups of customers.
However, all of these products work better together with native integrations even though each of them may not be the best ones among each of their groups. Thus, we can expect Amazon to continue putting out its own products that integrate well with each other in a strategic way.
There are general trends as to how technology can change how you do business in the future. However, instead of passively waiting for such, Amazon is creating waves in this department. Thus, it is a must-watch company in this regard.
Experts project that by 2024, 82% of online food and beverage transactions will be from grocers with omnichannel marketing (Multichannel Merchant, 2019). This is a staggering number compared to the projection of 15% sales coming from pure retailers and 3% from third-party marketplaces. Amazon will be a big part of the first kind as it has made aggressive moves in the sector.
Its acquisition of Whole Foods Market in 2017 is something that we should expect to be leveraged here. Also, with its current competition with Walmart, we should expect more aggressive moves from the ecommerce giant.
Currently, ecommerce only accounts for 3% of food and beverage sales around the world. However, given the competition and development in the industry, this is expected to grow to 4.5% by 2024. Amazon and Walmart are both fighting to be on the top spot i the coming years.
Walmart is Amazon’s biggest competition to date when it comes to online grocery. Thanks to its brick-and-mortar footprint, it is poised to offer curbside pickup for its 3,100 stores by the end of this year (The Motley Fool, 2019). This curbside pickup scheme allows customers to order groceries online and pick them up the next day without going out of their cars.
Walmart accounts for 26% of grocery spending in the United States and it intends to keep this leadership. Furthermore, it is planning to offer unlimited same-day grocery delivery for just $98 per year. Its plan is to have this service up for 1,400 stores. Thus, it is threatening to eat up Amazon’s share in general online retail.
Now, Amazon only has less than 500 Whole Foods Market locations in the country. Also, these are located in metropolitan areas. It seems that it will have a hard time pushing back Walmart. However, Adam Levy suggests that it has two competitive advantages that it can use in the fight: customer data and online traffic (The Motley Fool, 2019).
Since the Whole Foods Market acquisition, Amazon introduced exclusive deals to its Prime members. Also, it offered a 5% cashback rate on co-branded credit cards to Whole Foods shops. This allowed Amazon to collect valuable data from its customers every time they use their cards for Whole Foods shopping.
Thus, with these data, Amazon knows what to recommend to its shoppers. It can then find useful suggestions on how to make shopping as convenient to its users as possible. Thus, it can create an onboarding experience that is far more superior to those of its competitors. Additionally, Walmart doesn’t really have much data on customers. They attempted to replicate what Amazon can do by offering Walmart Pay, a branded mobile wallet. However, even with a 5% cash back for using this on Walmart stores for the first year, it doesn’t have as much data as that of Amazon.
Amazon’s Prime Now app boasts of 1.8 million active users per month. Also, the site gets about 200 million unique visitors monthly. This is a treasure trove of data where Amazon can find correlations and other relationships affecting buyer behaviors and preferences. We can expect this to be leveraged to push further online grocery sales.
On the other hand, Walmart has been investing in traditional advertising with Super Bowl spots and various promotions to bolster online grocery sales. It is effective yet it can be expensive. This can prove to be unsustainable in the long run compared to Amazon’s online resources. Walmart has already spent $3.5 billion this year with an increase of 400 million from last year’s spending.
Thus, expect the competition between the two companies to be fiercer in this sector.
Do you want to increase efficiency and improve user experience? One strategy that can help with this is to kill the pesky middlemen. This has been Amazon’s long-term strategy (Marketing Dive, 2019). This has helped it in various ways. Firstly, this helped it eliminate competitors when it comes to retail goods. Amazon went about this via mergers and acquisitions. Sometimes, they even instigated price wars.
However, in the advertising industry, Amazon’s share of global digital ad spend is only 3% in 2018. This doesn’t mean that it will not grow. Experts suggest that by 2023, this number will rise to 8% (Marketing Dive, 2019). Furthermore, it seems to be supporting that growth by recruiting account managers and advertising specialists. The top two companies when it comes to digital ad spend market share are Google and Facebook.
Source: Marketing DiveDesigned by
Facebook gets 94% of its total revenue from ads. It’s 85% for Google. On the other hand, Amazon only gets 4% of its revenue from ads. However, digital ad spending is predicted to dip from 17.6% of global ad spend in 2019 to just 8% by 2023. This presents a challenge to both Facebook and Google. Some experts think that this is a result of some stagnation where the digital ad market can’t expand because of global economic constraints. In other words, it has become too saturated. But what does this mean for Amazon, Google, and Facebook?
Well, it all stems from their business models. Google and Facebook serve as referral sites to online marketplaces. People go to these search engines to get to where they can actually purchase the products and services they want. On the other hand, Amazon is one of those top marketplaces. Google and Facebook just act as its middleman. Furthermore, Amazon is actually the third most-used search engine in the world (Search Engine Journal, 2021). In a sense, it already started killing its middlemen.
Ad agencies may benefit from Amazon’s digital ad platform according to Marketing Dive. However, they would need to come up with new competencies in running campaigns for clients in Amazon’s digital real estate. Furthermore, the platform has been rolling out some self-serve ad features, which poses a threat to agencies overall. Third-party (3P) sellers may just opt to do everything in-house with Amazon if these self-serve ad features have high usability.
Moreover, many advertising technology vendors may need to partner with Amazon to keep their products and services relevant. Walmart, a big competitor in online grocery, had already acquired Polymorph Labs to bolster its ad services. Also, Target has also made a move when it comes to expanding ad integrations into its properties. However, Walmart and Target have limited arrays of products and services being sold on their platforms compared to that of Amazon’s. Thus, the disruption that they may bring to this industry is also limited to that of Amazon.
Therefore, if you are an advertising professional or a marketer, it is time to dive deep into how you can leverage Amazon’s ad services for your firm and clients. As the digital ad industry is likely to stagnate because firms are cutting middlemen, you don’t really want to be in the middle anymore. You should consider taking sides and expand your breadth, range, and core competencies.
Jeff Bezos was approached by Farrah Abraham for an Amazon deal for her biopic (Showbiz Cheat Sheet, 2019). Not that it is going to be a top-selling item. However, it’s an indicator that Amazon has a big pull when it comes to entertainment. It has been producing Amazon Originals for its Prime members and has made waves in the movie and streaming industry.
Also, it recently launched Amazon Music HD (BBC, 2019) for which Neil Young chimed in and was quoted to say that: “Earth will be changed forever when Amazon introduces high-quality streaming to the masses… This will be the biggest thing to happen in music since the introduction of digital audio 40 years ago.”
So, if you haven’t been living in a cave, you’d know that Amazon has already been making moves in the entertainment industry. Prime Video has received 47 Emmy nominations for original programming. These include 20 nominations for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, plus 11 nominations for Fleabag. It is becoming a legitimate alternative to other streaming services out there. With Amazon Music HD on the music front, it will be offering media in FLAC, which is a lossless format compared to Apple Music’s lossy AAC format and Spotify’s very lossy MP3 filetype.
Thus, it is easy to think that Amazon will become more of an entertainment giant than it already is. Combine all of these efforts with the launching of new Echo speakers and wireless earbuds with music streaming, it seems like a surefire way to make big splashes in the entertainment industry in the years to come.
Jeff Bezos has been known to say that Amazon’s vision is to be the most customer-centric company on the planet (The Detroit News, 2019). However, he and other executives have received much pressure from workers about the sustainability of this planet. Thus, after hundreds of employees walked out of Amazon offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other US cities, management has taken more urgent steps. This is not to say that they have not already.
In the 2nd quarter of this year, Amazon has already announced the completion of hosting 50 solar systems on its fulfillment and sortation center rooftops. Also, the company was already considered to be number one when it comes to the amount of corporate on-site solar facilities installed in 2018. Furthermore, Amazon has 61 solar and wind projects operating globally. These worldwide efforts have been expected to generate 1,044 megawatts and provide 3.1 million megawatt-hours of energy every year.
Additionally, Amazon India has already introduced the Packaging-Free Shipment program in nine cities. This helps reduce waste and put this together with how they use reusable crates, is providing progress to Amazon’s vision of Shipment Zero—making all company shipments carbon-free.
Moreover, the current walkouts reached Amazon management in a drastic way. We can bet that Amazon will intensify its sustainability efforts. It has already agreed to the purchase of 100,000 electric vehicles from Rivian. Thus, this is a big step in achieving Bezo’s goal of achieving 80% of company energy use to come from renewable sources by 2024 and to zero emissions by 2030.
Feedvisor predicts that 72% of brands will be on Amazon in the next five years (Feedvisor, 2019). This is not too far off because 54% of brands are already on the platform. There are many reasons to think this way and Feedvisor may be right on this one.
Consider that 44% of companies selling on Amazon, earn more than half of their total ecommerce sales on the site. Moreover, 32% of brands on the platform report that sales on the site make up about 75% of their total online sales. What this shows is that being on Amazon gives brands a great selling potential.
Brands believe this.
More specifically, a whopping 97% of brands on Amazon and a very significant 84% of brands that are not on the site believe that by selling on the platform, they’d be able to acquire new customers. 61% of brands are seeking to develop their relationships with Amazon to be able to get in front of bigger audiences. With these beliefs, we should expect more first-party and third-party sellers to come in.
First-party sellers (1P) are those that sell their products wholesale to Amazon and for the ecommerce company to retail. On the other hand, third-party sellers (3P) are firms that sell their products retail on the site. There are also those that use a hybrid approach for their whole product portfolios. Even individual sellers can make good money with the simple scheme of buying items on sale from Walmart and selling high on Amazon. Check the video out below.
To wit, if you are not on Amazon yet, you better consider the option. However, it will be harder to rank on the list that answers”what are the top searches on Amazon?”. Your competitors might beat you to the punch and take up significant market shares. Thus, this is a good trend to keep up with. Also, the numbers tell us that the ecommerce industry is going to grow more in the near future.
Amazon in its apparent form is a marketplace for selling third-party items (Business Insider, 2019). However, it has been more than that. As mentioned, it’s also an audio-visual content creator. Also, it delivers fresh products and helps companies store data. It is truly a diversified company. It has done all these not just by in-house innovations but also by clever acquisitions and mergers.
Many have called Amazon a monopoly. These include the former president of the US, Donald J. Trump (Alphr, 2017). It’s not really clear how it is a monopoly. Clearly, Amazon is a behemoth but it is not that. It’s going more for breadth rather than being a monolith in one sector. There are many criticisms out there being levied against Amazon’s way of doing business. Surely, it has disrupted industries not just with its clever use of technologies but also with how it leverages its size and budget to acquire companies.
Zappos was acquired in 2009 for about $1.2 billion. The company has allegedly gone through many price wars across industries trying to overtake the leadership position. Also, the list of its acquisition and mergers have gone through the roof with over 100 moves since its inception. This is the way it does business. It’s aggressive and leaves other firms and jobs to disappear in its wake. That’s a free market for you and there’s really no argument against it being fair in that sense.
Moreover, this trend is likely going to continue in the future. It has already acquired Twitch, Whole Foods Market, and many others that can add value to its ecosystem. Thus, companies must be wary about where they stand in this regard with Amazon. It doesn’t really matter if you are a tech company or someone that does retail. When you get on Amazon’s radar and you can add value to their operations, selling could be an option. Also, if you are in their way, you should be wary of how they can leverage their breadth and budget to take you out.
Yes, we all can say that from voice search statistics that voice search will likely be the norm in the future. The global speaker market reached 20.7 million units shipped in just the first quarter of 2019. Also, Amazon became the top smart speaker brand in Q3 of 2018 worldwide with a global market share of 31.9%. Thus, we can expect Amazon to continue to do better in the future.
To control other devices monthly%
To check news and weather daily%
To play music daily%
To look up information on search engines%
To send texts or emails daily%
To ask for quick questions daily%
To check traffic or to navigate daily%
To control other devices daily%
Source: PWCDesigned by
Amazon has access to a wide variety of customer information and it leverages this to improve its voice search products. Moreover, these voice search services can be considered to be bridges for consumers to buy into the web of Amazon services. Everything Amazon does seem to pull customer into the whole Amazon services world where everything is being ordered from Amazon. Voice search services like Alexa and the Dash Wand are designed to include Amazon into the everyday life of consumers.
In the next few years, we can expect Amazon to improve its voice search in various ways. First, we can expect to have it on more Amazon-produced devices and in better quality. The latter means that Alexa and the Amazon search algorithm will be able to suggest more useful product recommendations using data across its digital properties. Second, we should also expect that it will be integrated into other AI devices like Rivian vehicles and other products and services.
Lastly, we should expect the unexpected. Amazon has always had the knack for doing unorthodox things aggressively and with gusto. Amazon’s voice search is really close to Amazon’s strategic operations. It strives to make everything more convenient and efficient for the customer. Thus, with Alexa and Echo devices, it is likely to strive to become a part of everybody’s everyday life; to make itself an everyday thing in all households more than it is that way today.
As you already know from this Amazon industry analysis report, the company has disrupted many industries from publishing to online grocery, and from advertising to space. It is really hard to pin down what the company, its subsidiaries, partners, and executives will do next exactly. However, from what we know it will always be big, aggressive, and even out of the box. This is what makes Amazon great and very interesting to follow.
But we can expect the company to continue on its strategy of taking up business real estate across different industries and sectors without really taking over them. For the most part, Amazon will continue to provide value by making buying everything way easier for its users, from product search to deliveries. It will become more of a household name than it already is and it will be global.
For companies that are in Amazon’s way, this can be very bad news. However, if you are willing to work with the change rather than plainly rejecting it, you can ride on the great Amazon wave. The ripples had already been felt across many industries—from advertising to online grocery. Success may all come down to how you handle Amazon’s aggressive expansion. Thus, keeping up with Amazon trends report is a good thing to do regularly.
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