Radial Investigates Recent Changes to the Amazon Flywheel and Its Impact on Retailers

flywheel radial on amazon
 KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa., Nov. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Since Amazon’s founding 22 years ago, the flywheel concept has guided the company’s core principles and driven its rapid ascent. However, ProPublica recently reported that a piece of Amazon’s flywheel is under increasing pressure: the customer experience. Radial took a closer look at the potentially larger effects this could have for the rest of the eCommerce ecosystem and released today its findings in a paper titled, “Is there Grit in Amazon’s Flywheel? Implications and What Retailers Need to Know to Survive.”
 
“Amazon was founded on the belief that by offering the largest selection of products and the best customer experience, consumers would flock to its site and sellers, looking to reach that audience, would join its marketplace. And for years, it has been right,” said Stefan Weitz, author of the paper and Chief Product and Strategy Officer at Radial, the leading omnichannel commerce technology and operations provider. “The flywheel is a business model that has delivered tremendous value to consumers, and raised the bar for all eCommerce companies around the world. But the funny thing about a flywheel is when one piece fails, the overall system can be destroyed. And it’s possible we’re witnessing just that with Amazon.”

Radial’s paper dives deep into what’s actually happening with Amazon’s flywheel. According to ProPublica’s report, it seems that Amazon, which pioneered the ideal customer experience, is now focusing some of its efforts on increasing profitability at the expense of many consumers. Specifically, ProPublica‘s report states, “Amazon often says it seeks to be ‘Earth’s most customer-centric company.’ But in fact, the company appears to be using its market power and proprietary algorithm to advantage itself at the expense of sellers and many customers.”

The paper then offers an analysis on why these findings should be troubling for retailers and large sellers using Amazon as their eCommerce partner and relying heavily on the company for their future success.  For example, Radial points to companies like Demand Media and Mahalo that nearly collapsed when Google’s “Panda” algorithm change, which was done, much like Amazon claims, to benefit users, significantly diminished traffic to their sites.

With eCommerce continuing to grow at 16 percent annually, the opportunities for retailers to take advantage of the market are endless. The paper concludes with actionable ideas and considerations for retailers to deliver an “Amazon-like” customer experience without having to choose Amazon itself.

“The visible fissure we’re seeing in the Amazon flywheel points to this simple truth: survival depends on profitably delivering an exceptional customer experience while building your own brand,” said Weitz. “The time is now for retailers and large sellers to create experiences that customers crave – understanding how to build them durably is job No. 1 for progressive companies in 2017.” 

For Radial’s in-depth analysis, download “Is there Grit in Amazon’s Flywheel? Implications and What Retailers Need to Know to Survive.”

About Radial

Radial is the leader in omnichannel commerce technology and operations, enabling brands and retailers to profitably exceed retail customer expectations. Radial’s technical, powerful omnichannel solutions connect supply and demand through efficient fulfillment and transportation options, intelligent fraud detection, payments, and tax systems, and personalized customer care services.

Hundreds of retailers and brands confidently partner with Radial to simplify their post-click commerce and improve their customer experiences. Radial brings flexibility and scalability to their supply chains and optimizes how, when and where orders go from desire to delivery. Learn how we work with you at www.radial.com.      read more

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