Here’s what’s going on at Amazon and what Wal-Mart is doing to fight back:
Amazon is #1 when it comes to apparel shopping by millennials! 18-34 year olds bought 17% of their clothes on Amazon, followed by Nordstrom, Old Navy and J. Crew.
- Amazon’s apparel sales are projected to rise 30% this year to $28 billion, making it the largest clothing retailer in the U.S.
- Last year Amazon launched seven private-label clothing brands plus they are working on an Amazon-owned line of $10 bras. Job listings also indicate Amazon is working on its own line of active-wear.
Amazon’s “Just Ask” takes shopping with Alexa to another level (Source: Richard Shapiro)
- The ‘Just Ask’ feature offers daily promotions – but what makes it a real game changer is that Echo knows each Prime customer’s buying history, delivery address and payment preference which makes the whole thing seamless. The reverberations of this will be felt by every retailer and those that can’t make their shopping experiences as easy, will be left behind.
- At the ShopTalk Conference in Las Vegas last week, Marc Lore, chief executive of Wal-Mart’s e-commerce operations (and founder of Jet.com which Wal-Mart purchased last year for $3 billion) announced the launch of a Silicon Valley-based innovation center to identify future trends in retail and commerce.
- The standalone incubator, known as Store No. 8, will invest in and work with venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, early-stage startups and academics.
- It will focus on robotics, augmented reality, machine learning and artificial intelligence.
- They just bought ModCloth, an e-commerce site specializing in vintage clothing.
- In January, they bought Shoebuy, an apparel and accessories site to take on Amazon’s Zappos.
- In February, they bought Moosejaw, a site selling apparel and footwear with an outdoor focus.
- Hayneedle, a home furnishings and decor e-tailer is also part of Wal-Mart’s stable.
What the deals all have in common is they target more affluent shoppers e.g. Shoebuy sells suede boots for $750, Moosejaw sells Patagonia as well as apparel for yoga, biking, skiing and swimming.
Wal-Mart will keep the startups separate from the broader organization so that they will not affect the retailer’s bottom line in the near term.
Read on below for more breakthroughs in retail – including one of the best uses of influencer marketing that I’ve seen.