The model of retailers having all the power in the relationship between business and consumer has shifted, whether you like it or not. Where it used to be that retailers dictated the channels, options, products and quality, now consumers have taken more control over the process.
Consumers have so many more options, channels, to get insights and better prices for different products, it really hanged the whole model. And Amazon was a huge part of it, they also embraced it, whereas many of the big box retailers didn’t.
With the explosion of mobile and the improvements in wireless technology, it has opened up doorways for consumers that they never had before. It was very difficult in the past for a consumer to deal directly with a big shipping company without actually going to a store and trying to coordinate it.
Now, you never have to leave the comfort of your home.
Consumers have embraced technology, they’re creating a new method for shopping to enhance and fit in with their lifestyles. They don’t have time to go shopping with the kids, they don’t have time to spend a weekend at the mall, but they do have time to spend 20 or 30 minutes at night to talk to friends on social media, do their shopping and take advice and learn from the their friends and family.
In the past retailers have really been able to control the relationship – they were able to say here are the products that you have to choose from, but consumers are just walking away from that now, they don’t need to put up with it. They’re now able to find their own market in a sense.
This is this can be disconcerting for big box retailers, because they just don’t know where to go; Amazon put them on their on their heels, and a lot of them didn’t see it coming.
But, we are starting to see some changes.
Walmart just bought Jet.com for over $3 billion. A lot of people see that as a clear shot across the bow to Amazon, because Jet.com was started by and ex-Amazoner. Best Buy, in their last quarterly report had a huge increase in revenues – a lot of which came from their online retail.
So it looks like retailers really trying to grab that land back, because they are beginning to realize that resting on their laurels is a recipe for disaster.