Shopper Marketing - August 2017 - 9
of those elite brands whose reputation, pricing strategy and marquee standing in the
retail world (1,000 of its own stores; brand
shops everywhere else) meant that it "didn't
need" Amazon to succeed. In fact, Amazon's
price-damaging business model was considered a detriment to success.
Ultimately, not selling on Amazon proved
to be the greater detriment because, as many
other brands have learned through the years,
if you're not selling your own products on
Amazon, someone else is. And those Amazon
Marketplace sellers certainly aren't worried
about your margins or your brand affinity -
and they might not even be selling your real
product. In fact, Morgan Stanley found that,
despite its personal abstinence, Nike was still
the top-selling sports apparel brand on Amazon. (By the way, Path to Purchase Institute
members who need a comprehensive understanding of Amazon should check out our
brand-new Retailer Profile at P2PI.org.)
Now, Nike will itself become an Amazon
Marketplace seller and Amazon will scare off
the counterfeiters and unauthorized resellers.
You truly cannot stop the march of progress,
no matter how hard you try.
Progress isn't over yet, either. The question of whether to sell directly to consumers
through Amazon or any other channel will
probably seem quaint down the road, when
the issues facing consumer product manu-
facturers will become even more complex
- like, for instance, "How do I get Alexa to
recommend my brand instead of Amazon's
Here's another: "What will it be like when
we have to market to the personal assistant"
rather than a human consumer?
That question was posed by David Hewitt,
vice president of consumer experiences and
innovation labs for SapientRazorfish, during
a conference-closing keynote at Consumer
Goods Technology's Sales & Marketing Summit in June.
"We're starting to act human in the way
we interact with computers," using artificial
intelligence-enabled personal devices more
like personal assistants, Hewitt explained. In
the last six months, 42% of consumers have
started using voice commands on their personal devices; by 2020, 30% of web "browsing" will be conducted by voice instead of
screen, he forecast.
In that scenario, it will be common for personal devices to handle some of the purchase
decisions. Brand marketers will have to hope
that Siri, Alexa and all those other AI personalities have an informed, objective opinion.
Or, that they already subscribe to the
brand's automatic replenishment service. SM
Peter Breen is editor-in-chief of
Consumer Goods Technology (CGT), a
sister publication of Shopper Marketing.
He can be reached at 973-607-1300 or
AUGUST 2017 SHOPPER MARKETING y