King of the jungle

At some point in recent years we have all probably considered boycotting Amazon. What right did this upstart US company have to corner the retail market for just about everything? What was going to happen to all those independent retailers, especially the booksellers in the first instance, who would be put out of business by Amazon’s e-books and its Kindle, and later just about everyone else who was running a shop on the high street? Yet somehow the sheer convenience and reliability of using Amazon, not to mention their pricing levels, won us all over.

Image © AMAZON

The Amazon story is an obvious choice for inclusion in my lectures on Retail and Merchandising. This is a clear example of disruptive technology at work, with the company offering a one-stop online shop for almost anything you could want to buy thanks to its massive third party sales, which already account for half its turnover. Now generating its own content for media downloads, and acting as a home PA with its Echo voice interaction package, Amazon seems to be taking over almost all aspects of our lives. Maybe we should enjoy the convenience that this brings for now, but be prepared to draw the line some day.

Dig deeper –

Challenges old and new
Global giants
Offline and Online
Seismic changes ahead
Then and now – what has changed?