New shopping platforms, the state of the online retail economy, and everything else that’s relevant to today’s retailer.
The time has come — Google is giving fellow tech giant Amazon a run for its money by launching its highly anticipated shopping platform. The system addresses users by name, recommends products that they are likely to want based on search and purchase history, and directs them to a third-party Google retail store where they can purchase the items.
Amazon may have almost any item under the sun available, but Google has the advantage of knowing users’ entire search history, so it will be interesting to see how the competition pans out. So far the service is only available in the US, but a beta version was tested in France with positive results.
The In-Store Advantage
1,000 Kroger supermarkets now sell Home Chef meal kits, banking on the fact that plenty of consumers appreciate the convenience of a pre-packaged, easy-to-make meal but don’t necessarily want to invest in a full subscription package.
The main reason Home Chef subscribers cancel their subscriptions are for cost and lifestyle reasons — they no longer want to cook at home three times a week, for example, and end up wasting food and money on discarded meal sets. With Home Chef meals available in grocery stores, shoppers can pick up say, one per week, and grab easier frozen meals if that’s what their lifestyle calls for.
While subscription packages are often a major win for recurring revenue, meal kits have historically had the hardest time keeping customers since they require such a specific lifestyle commitment. A combination of subscriptions and in-store options might be just the ticket for these retailers.
A Brave New Retail World
The online retail landscape is constantly changing and shifting, and there are some extra important changes to take note of. Namely, online retail’s popularity has grown at a steady percentage rate since 2000, and we have no reason to believe it should decline anytime soon. China is the powerhouse of online retail, dominating the space since 2013, with the U.S. coming in shortly behind. By 2023, online retail sales in the Asia Pacific area are projected to reach $2.5 trillion, with plenty of this traffic coming from mobile shopping.
Primed and Ready
On Amazon Prime day a few weeks ago, major rivals Walmart, Target, and eBay also ran sales, hoping to keep up with the competition. However, their one-off sales couldn’t keep up because of a key factor — the membership aspect of Prime that keeps customers come back again and again and again. Yes, Prime Day promised especially low prices and quick shipping, but Prime members have grown accustomed to the fast deliveries and excellent service all year long, and this will keep Amazon’s recurring revenue train rolling.