3 More Ways Amazon is Shaking Everything Up (Thoughts from a CRE Guy Continued)

It wasn’t too long ago that this CRE guy gave his thoughts on Amazon Go and everything that goes with that. But, as quickly as Amazon moves … it’s time to update that blog with, you guessed it, more thoughts.

Who ever thought that an online bookstore founded a few short years before the dot-com bubble would grow to be the largest retailer in the world and one of the largest overall retailers in the United States? Amazon continues to push the boundaries of online shopping and tech development, so much so that they’ve become more than just an online retailer – they’ve become a company that pushes us further in the future.

Here’s a few thoughts to keep you in-the-know …

Thought #1: Buy Trendy Foods? Amazon’s Got You Covered

Food may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Amazon, but they’ve been a player in the grocery industry for quite some time.  AmazonFresh has been delivering food to online shoppers for a decade now, but the service didn’t really start expanding to major cities outside of Seattle until around 2013. Now even residents in Tokyo and Berlin can order groceries online and have them delivered to their doorstep or collect them at an AmazonFresh Pickup location.

Don’t like to buy your groceries online? Amazon still might get your business now that they’ve acquired Whole Foods, a smart move that has helped the company finally secure itself in brick-and-mortar retail. I think it’s now safe to say that nothing short of a widespread famine could prevent Amazon from becoming a key player in grocery.

Thought #2: Automation Hasn’t Scaled Back Amazon’s Hiring Practices... Yet

The good news about Amazon's expansion and popularity is that the need for manpower hasn't been made redundant yet. Despite filling their growing network of warehouses with robots, the Seattle-based company has yet to put a halt on its current hiring spree.

In fact, hirings have increased by 43% over the course of a year and in at the start of 2017, CEO Jeff Bezos vowed to hire an additional 100,000 employees by July 2018.

Thought #3: Amazon Prime Wardrobe Is Going to Disrupt Clothing Retail

The hardest part about buying clothes online is that they often don’t look like the picture advertised. How many times do we hear someone complain about someone ordering a stylish jacket online only to find that the actual item is either too small or made from a cheaper material? Amazon has solved this problem with Prime Wardrobe, a free-shipping box that lets customers try their clothes before they buy it.

Amazon Wardrobe was created with the hopes of winning over people who’re skeptical of buying clothes online. It offers free shipping both ways and gives users a full week to decide whether they want to purchase their clothes or not. Clothes that are available for Prime Wardrobe – more than a million at this point – are marked with a special logo letting customers know they’re able to return products free of charge. If this continues to grow, it will create even more of a need to reduce the retail footprints of apparel retailers. For me personally, if i never had to go to a store and try on clothes again it would be not soon enough.  

The Takeaway

As Amazon continues to make big moves in online and brick-and-mortar retail, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more growth and employment on their end – even as automation is rolled out further. It’s still difficult to speculate what the future holds, but one thing is for certain: competitors are going to have to come up with creative ways to compete with Amazon in order to grow in the age of e-commerce. Also (and most important) they are going to constantly try to change the way business is done. This is reinvention at the highest level. Remember … if your company is not also thinking ahead of the curve you will fall off the cliff eventually.