Disruption in aisle 12
13 June 2016
News that web giant Amazon has started its supermarket-style home delivery service in the UK shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone with a keen interest in online shopping trends. The Amazon Fresh brand has been successfully operating in the US for some time, and its inevitable expansion has been talked about for some time. As with anything in the online retail world, its been a case of not if but when Amazon would seek to challenge the establishment.
The term disruption might have become overused in tech media circles of late, but its use really just reflects the rapid pace of change in retail, online and commerce in general. Challenger banks have been doing the same in the retail finance market, after all.
But whats Amazons latest venture got to do with the auto retail industry? In basic terms this evolution of online trading goes beyond the current and popular click and collect model favoured by bricks and mortar stores keen to remain relevant. Sure, traditional supermarkets are now, mostly, onboard with the whole click and deliver experience, however Amazons strengths lie in its sheer size, legendary customer focus and consumer familiarity.
Its already taught traditional retailers a thing or two about how to operate in a digital world and, lets not forget, also squeezed a few out thanks to its aggressive approach to pricing. Sound familiar? It should if you view Amazons new venture in the same context as the rise of online car retailers and pricing aggregators.
An increasing number of consumers want immediate gratification when shopping, which means cutting out the distractions (physically visiting a store) and expecting prompt delivery of their chosen purchases. Amazons ability to do this with books, DVDs and now your weekly food shop – albeit in a small part of London for now – is proof that no retail sector is sacred. If youre selling cars, you now have to factor in Amazon as a potential threat.
Okay, you cant yet buy a BMW along with your biscuits, but consumers spoilt by Amazons slick operation will increasingly choose to buy more of their big-ticket purchases online. Its only a small jump from clicking on a replacement washing machine to buying the next family car. Food for thought, wouldnt you agree?
Auto Retail Network