Amazon’s Retail Strategy with Rick Watson
Rick Watson and Joe Lynch discuss Amazon’s retail strategy. Rick founded RMW Commerce Consulting, a boutique ecommerce consultancy that supports investors and management teams incubating and growing digital businesses online – both direct-to-consumer and B2B.
About Rick Watson
Rick Watson founded RMW Commerce Consulting after spending 20+ years as a technology entrepreneur and operator exclusively in the ecommerce industry with companies like ChannelAdvisor, BarnesandNoble.com, Merchantry, and Pitney Bowes. Watson was one of the first employees at ChannelAdvisor, spending 10 years there in various executive capacities and launching many of the company’s flagship offerings. He was then recruited to launch the third-party marketplace at BarnesandNoble.com, expanding the company’s product catalog by over 1 million items. After the successful marketplace launch, he served as CEO of Merchantry and led the company to a $30M acquisition by Tradeshift. Upon fulfilling the transition obligations of Merchantry to Tradeshift, Watson directed the cross-border product strategy of Pitney Bowes, a $450M business, comprised of Borderfree and the eBay Global Shipping Program. Watson’s work today is centered on supporting investors and management teams incubating and growing direct-to-consumer businesses. Most recently, in partnership with WHP Global, Rick was a critical resource in architecting the WHP+ platform, a new turnkey direct-to-consumer digital ecommerce platform that powers AnneKlein.com and JosephAbboud.com.
About RMW Commerce Consulting
RMW Commerce Consulting supports investors and management teams incubating and growing digital businesses online – both direct-to-consumer and B2B. RMW was founded by Rick Watson after his more than 20 years as a technology entrepreneur and operator exclusively in the ecommerce industry with companies like ChannelAdvisor, BarnesandNoble.com, Merchantry, and Pitney Bowes.
Key Takeaways: Amazon’s Retail Strategy
- Rick Watson is the Founder and CEO of RMW Commerce Consulting, which helps companies accelerate their shift from retail to direct to consumer (ecommerce).
- In the podcast interview, Rick and Joe discuss Amazon’s retail strategy including their existing retail stores and their proposed “department” stores.
- Amazon currently has the following retail portfolio:
- Amazon has announced that they are opening a new “department store” which is most likely not the best description for Amazon’s new retail model, but the press has been using it as a placeholder.
- The new store concept is expected to be about the same size as Kohl’s department stores.
- Rick had the following thoughts about the new stores:
- The new retail stores will enable Amazon to move inventory closer to consumers to support retail sales, along with same day / next day deliveries.
- The new retail stores will most likely be designed to support both retail and ecommerce fulfillment. Note: Target currently supports most of their ecommerce sales via their retail locations, which may be appealing to Amazon.
- The new retail stores would enable easier returns and potentially reduce returns depending on what is sold at the new stores. Traditional retail stores have a 6% return rate, while DTC has a plus 30% return rate.
- Consumer data is very important to Amazon and the stores may enable them to collect more meaningful customer data through the stores.
- Amazon may want to use the stores to increase sales of their private label brands.
- Amazon will no doubt use their online data to select product SKUs and design the store layout. The merchandising and product placement/display will be even more data-driven than traditional retailers.
- Don’t think of Amazon as a retailer, ecommerce company, or logistics company – think of Amazon as a technology innovator that is always looking for opportunities to use technology to deliver a superior experience to consumers.
- A retailer, ecommerce company, or logistics company – think of Amazon as a technology innovator that is always looking for opportunities to use technology to deliver a superior experience to consumers.