Transforming Retail: Embracing the Amazon Experience


Paola Mejía

Senior Service Designer

In today’s retail landscape, consumers are increasingly expecting brands to match the convenience, speed, and personalization offered by industry giant Amazon. The pandemic has further accelerated this trend as people have grown accustomed to online shopping and seamless customer experiences. According to a recent study by SOTI, a leading provider of mobile and IoT solutions, consumers have come to view the Amazon experience as the standard baseline. This trend makes C-level executives in the retail industry understand this shift and explore strategic actions to meet customer expectations, and thrive in a competitive marketplace.

Consumer Demands: The Amazon Benchmark

With the rise of e-commerce and evolving consumer preferences, retailers face the challenge of meeting customers’ heightened expectations. The SOTI study reveals some key statistics that highlight what consumers desire:

Mobile Experiences: An overwhelming 92% of shoppers prefer stores that offer mobile experiences, emphasizing the need for seamless digital interactions throughout the customer journey. Mobile apps and optimized websites that provide easy navigation, personalized recommendations, and quick access to information have become essential tools for engaging customers and driving conversions.

Quick Checkout Times: 73% of consumers desire mobile Point of Sale (mPos) systems for faster checkout processes, highlighting the importance of streamlining transactions to enhance convenience. Implementing mPos solutions allows retailers to reduce wait times, eliminate the need for physical queues, and provide a frictionless checkout experience that aligns with customers’ expectations.

Location-Aware Coupons: 65% of shoppers expect location-aware coupons, signaling the demand for personalized and contextually relevant offers based on their location. By leveraging location-based technology, retailers can deliver targeted promotions, discounts, or incentives to customers when they are in proximity to a physical store, enhancing the overall shopping experience.

Self-Service Technologies: 61% of consumers would choose using a self-service kiosk over speaking with a sales associate, indicating a growing preference for self-directed and efficient shopping experiences. Retailers can embrace self-service technologies such as interactive kiosks or digital signage to empower customers to explore products, access information, and make purchases independently, enhancing convenience and reducing reliance on sales associates.

Personalized Service: Nearly half, 47%, of shoppers expect personalized service, underscoring the importance of tailored recommendations and experiences to drive customer loyalty. Retailers can leverage customer data and advanced analytics to understand individual preferences, shopping behaviors, and purchase history to deliver personalized product recommendations, targeted offers, and customized communication across multiple touchpoints.

Embracing digital transformation and innovation

Overcoming Challenges: The Path to Success

To deliver an Amazon-like experience, retail companies must address several challenges that come with embracing digital transformation and innovation. These challenges include financial investment, data and analytics, organizational culture and agility, operational efficiency, talent and skills gap, and the competitive landscape.

Financial Investment

Exploring partnerships with third-party e-commerce platforms or technology providers can alleviate the upfront capital required and expedite the implementation of online presence and e-commerce capabilities. By leveraging existing infrastructure and sharing the financial burden, retailers can reduce costs and accelerate time-to-market.

Data and Analytics

Investing in data management systems, analytics tools, and partnering with data analytics firms or hiring data science professionals can help retailers gain actionable insights and make informed decisions based on customer preferences. Retailers need to collect, analyze, and derive insights from both structured and unstructured data sources to understand customer behavior, preferences, and trends effectively.

Organizational Culture and Agility

Fostering a culture of innovation and agility through cross-functional collaboration, agile project management methodologies, and continuous learning programs empowers employees to drive change and embrace innovation. Retailers should encourage experimentation, embrace a fail-fast approach, and empower teams to take ownership of initiatives that enhance the customer experience.

Operational Efficiency

Optimizing the supply chain, leveraging advanced inventory management systems, exploring automation and robotics technologies, and partnering with logistics providers can enhance operational efficiency and provide a seamless customer experience. Retailers need to streamline processes, improve inventory visibility, and invest in logistics infrastructure to offer fast and reliable delivery options, easy returns, and efficient order fulfillment.

Talent and Skills Gap

Investing in upskilling the existing workforce, collaborating with educational institutions, and hiring external consultants with specialized skills can bridge the talent and skills gap necessary for digital transformation. Retailers should identify key areas of expertise required for successful execution of their digital strategies and invest in training programs, certifications, and talent acquisition to build a capable and future-ready workforce.

Competitive Landscape

Differentiating from competitors can be achieved by focusing on niche product offerings, superior customer service, exclusive partnerships with influencers, and implementing effective branding and marketing strategies. Retailers need to clearly define their unique value propositions and communicate them effectively through targeted marketing campaigns that resonate with their target audience.

Embracing the Amazon model is not only a necessity but an opportunity

The retail industry must adapt to the changing consumer landscape by embracing the expectations set by Amazon. By addressing the challenges through strategic actions, companies can deliver the convenience, speed, and personalization that customers seek. Investing in digital capabilities, leveraging data and analytics, fostering an innovative culture, optimizing operations, and standing out in the competitive landscape will position retail companies for success. It is crucial for C-level executives to lead this transformation and drive their organizations towards offering an Amazon-like experience, propelling growth and ensuring long-term success in the retail industry. Embracing the Amazon model is not only a necessity but an opportunity for retailers to exceed customer expectations, build brand loyalty, and secure a competitive advantage in the rapidly evolving retail landscape.

Contact us today to discuss how we can help you embrace the Amazon Experience in your retail business.