March 16, 2018 – CIO – The new partnership between Amazon and Kohl’s is just the type of forward-thinking experiment retailers may need to succeed in today’s competitive commerce landscape. These companies looked past their competitive motivations to make consumer experience priority number one. And all bets are on that this won’t be the last time we hear about retailers using their natural symmetries to find their way forward.
Innovative retailers are experimenting with all sorts of novel ways to increase shopper foot traffic in their bricks and mortar locations. In today’s retail environment, it’s no easy task. Data shows that some such initiatives, such as a recent partnership between Kohl’s and Amazon could have a positive impact, and I expect that as time goes on consumer data and insights will also be what propel a lot of tomorrow’s retail innovations.
Over the past several months I’ve thought a lot about — and written — about how data and consumer insights can help retailers excel in an increasingly unforgiving consumer landscape. I’ve suggested that retailers can use local-level mobile location data to ensure they have goods in stock that are not only seasonally-appropriate but reflect the interests and previous shopping behavior of local demographic groups. I’ve contemplated a retail future that employs consumer and location data to inform the transition from just places where people “buy stuff” to experiential and social environments where people convene, use healthcare facilities and even visit libraries.
I’ve observed as leaders in the space such as Target have focused on creating a seamless mobile-to-real-world experience for consumers for product research, building shopping lists or when in the store.
However, perhaps no brand makes commerce innovation headlines the way Amazon does. One of the most watched of Amazon’s recent initiatives is its integration with Whole Foods, which Amazon acquired in June. Shoppers are starting to see Amazon devices like Amazon Echo, Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets on Whole Foods store shelves, for example.
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