Rihanna and Amazon — Marketing Perfectly Together

Rihanna’s second Savage X Fenty lingerie show will be a highlight of New York Fashion Week, with its inclusive line-up of models representing all body types. Last year’s show was available to anyone on YouTube. But “this year’s Savage X Fenty Show will be available to stream exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.”

Rihanna’s second Savage X Fenty lingerie show will be a highlight of New York Fashion Week, with its inclusive line-up of models representing all body types.

Last year’s show was available to anyone on YouTube. But “this year’s Savage X Fenty Show will be available to stream exclusively on Amazon Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, beginning Friday, September 20,” according to Deadline.

So why limit access to the 100 million Amazon Prime members, instead of letting anyone view the show?

It’s a win for Rihanna, because those 100 million Prime members are excellent e-commerce prospects. Why not take advantage of their ability to shop the new collection and buy with a single click? And it’s a win for Amazon, which iis interested in making further forays into the fashion world as traditional department store retail sales wane.

Wired reports:

“Amazon isn’t exactly the most stylish place to shop for clothes. Most of its top-selling women’s fashion items are simple pieces: easy dresses, spandex workout gear, socks, and underwear — a lot of it from brands you’ve probably never heard of … Now, Amazon is experimenting to attract a new, more fashionable segment of consumers: social media influencers and the people who love to follow them.”

With 93 million Twitter followers (fourth highest), Rihanna certainly fits that bill.

What’s more, Rihanna can expect to benefit from Amazon’s targeting capabilities. Who’s purchased similar lingerie lines? Who’s purchased Rihanna make-up, perfume, clothing, and music in the past? Who are the big spenders? What else have they bought? When are they likely to buy?

Dazed writes:

“The Amazon Prime stream will include behind-the-scenes footage of the show and the making of the collection, allowing us a peak into Rihanna’s creation of an inclusive lingerie brand for all women.

“What can we expect from the lingerie brand’s second show? Last year, a diverse group of models hit the runway, while a heavily pregnant Slick Woods walked the catwalk in nothing but pasties and a bodysuit. No bombshell bras and mermaid hair here.”

Playing the Amazon Game: Translating Big Data Into Big Dollars

Will 2018 be the year of Amazon (again)? The first week of the year is always filled with predictions, and there’s a good chance that most serious business predictions for 2018 will include some version of a call for businesses to respond to, react to, or create a new business model in order to compete in this age of Amazon.

Amazon boxesWill 2018 be the year of Amazon (again)? The first week of the year is always filled with predictions, and there’s a good chance that most serious business predictions for 2018 will include some version of a call for businesses to respond to, react to, or create a new business model in order to compete in this age of Amazon. Because the truth is, if you think that non-retail businesses are exempt from this challenge, you are wrong.

While Amazon may have started as an online bookseller, it is so much more than that now. It is, among many things, a cloud computing powerhouse, an award-winning original content producer and streaming content platform, a top-selling fashion house, a gamer’s paradise, the leader in AI and voice technology innovation, and the largest world marketplace for third-party sellers.

The company has innovated in pricing and subscription models, delivery systems and on-demand technologies and scared the heck out of those who previously thought their little corner of commerce was exempt from Amazon’s notice. No one is safe.

When Amazon enters a new industry or vertical — which the brand does with disquieting regularity — it changes the game for consumers and for businesses across segments and industries, challenging everyone and everything we thought we knew about consumer needs and how to sell stuff. Its impact is felt all along the business chain from suppliers and providers to adjacent businesses and directly to the consumer.

Amazon’s expansion plans and willingness to take risks, its consumer experience obsession, logistics expertise, consumer access and deep pocket investments have broad implications across categories. In 2017 alone, Amazon expanded through acquisition in non-retail directions including grocery stores (Whole Foods), cyber security (harvest.ai), gaming (GameSparks) and analytics presentation (Graphiq). And all these moves are strategically designed to strengthen its core offerings and consumer ties.

Amazon’s advantages also include a ubiquitous consumer presence in U.S. homes, (64 percent with Amazon Prime membership according to Forbes). This translates into tremendous data and insights into shopping patterns, price elasticity, promotion and offer value and critical consumer search patterns. And because it freely sells competing products, its marketplace supplies the company with nearly complete information on competitor strengths and weaknesses in not only sales data, but also consumer reviews.

This is in conjunction with the fact that it controls the marketplace and can therefore work the home-field advantage to highlight its own brands or those products that deliver the most value. In short, Amazon has a direct way to translate its big data into big dollars. This is increasingly important as Amazon aggressively expands its catalog of private label categories and products. Other key strengths include its forays into voice search, in-home electronics, alternate ordering methodologies and sheer operational excellence.

In terms of Amazon’s future endeavors, the brand has made recent investments, as well as public statements to include more acquisitions in AI and machine learning — maybe even in healthcare/genomics. And it’s probably safe to assume that we will see more proprietary devices like the Echo and Kindle that streamline consumer connections and reduce any friction in commerce while further building Amazon’s data advantage in the guise of consumer convenience and innovative experiences. Numerous patent applications in logistics, cyber security and cloud computing attest to its attention to the backbone that reliably delivers the Amazon experience.

Learning the Ways of Amazon

So how should marketers respond to such an intimidating competitor? I often think of Amazon as a wholly different planet filled with a lot of attractive consumers in active search mode for my products, but with its own set of customs, rules and laws. In order to commercially navigate on this planet, I have to familiarize myself with the environment and make some key adjustments.

  • My consumers may exist simultaneously in traditional sales channels and on planet Amazon as well as move frequently between the two. Therefore, I have to maintain a certain amount of consistency in experience and product as well as pricing unless I can distinguish an Amazon-only offering.
  • Amazon is built to provide consumers with easy access to a lot of competitive, comparative information. I better absolutely believe in the value and quality of my product before I enter this environment.
  • I must be ready to deliver at the potential scale and speed of the demand or otherwise risk a decrease in ratings and consequently, a downward sales spiral. This may require supply chain changes.
  • Planet Amazon competes directly with me and it has unfair advantages. I need to safeguard my margins to avoid giving them away.
  • The rules that helped me succeed in online marketing outside of Amazon may not help me succeed in optimizing search visibility or conversion rates within this proprietary world. I need to dedicate myself to learning the ad marketplaces, tools and options and be prepared for a dynamic environment that requires constant investment and learning.
  • I need to understand consumer expectations within this environment and work to achieve positive WOM and reviews/ratings to fuel sales.
  • I need to rethink my brand strategy within this saturated, pricing and ratings-driven marketplace.
  • I need to review my pricing strategy — including sales bundling — in light of the dense competitive field.
  • I need to carefully execute on CRM and other strategies I can control to build and develop sustainable direct connections with consumers outside of Amazon.

So by all means, plan your trip to planet Amazon, but do so carefully as it favors those that not only know its language and terrain, but also are willing to go at it with a full-fledged strategy.

4 Ways Amazon Is Remaking the World in Its Image

Amazon’s impact on commerce is impossible to ignore. The pioneering e-tailer has nearly perfected the arts of e-commerce and logistics to bring customers the shop-from-anywhere experience we couldn’t have imagined 20 years ago. But a flurry of announcements and acquisitions have signaled the next stage in its plan for world domination.

Amazon logoAmazon’s impact on commerce is impossible to ignore. The pioneering e-tailer has nearly perfected the arts of e-commerce and logistics to bring customers the shop-from-anywhere experience we couldn’t have imagined 20 years ago. Order it today, and it’s in your house in less than two days from just about and vendor in the world.

But a flurry of announcements and acquisitions in the last week signaled the next stage in its plan for world domination.

Amazon has mastered a massive niche in warehouse-to-customer fulfillment via online order. Amazon is able to control most of the variables in that world, which allow it to optimize for price, delivery and overall customer experience. If you can control those three things, you can win a lot of business.

Amazon also doesn’t make much money. Oh, it makes more than enough to make Jeff Bezos absolutely filthy rich, but Amazon prioritizes growth over profits to an unheard of extent. That leads to price cutting and a lot of pressure on any other business in its markets. In truth, many retailers rely on Amazon for sales, but suffer from its competition.

Now Amazon is reaching far beyond its niche in ways that could rewrite other areas of commerce. And those innovations could remake the entire shopping word in its image.

whole foods logo1. Buying Whole Foods

The most notable move was snapping up Whole Foods, a favorite grocery chain among affluent customers, with stores in some of the most desirable retail real estate in America. Speculation on how Amazon will use that purchase has run rampant since it was made, but the advantages are numerous.

The obvious next step would be for Amazon to use Whole Foods as a jumping off point for home food delivery, a space it’s been trying to crack for years but never had the grocery distribution network to cover. That will allow it to apply the kind of logistical expertise it has in non-perishable goods to the grocery market, and compete with the PeaPods and Fresh Directs of the world.

It could also launch a subscription box service like Blue Apron; which is a big enough threat that it’s actually impacting Blue Apron’s IPO.

2. Amazon Prime Wardrobe

Of course, being an online retailer has limits. It’s hard for customers to try on clothes from the other side of the Internet. But subscription clothing services like Trunk Club allow users to try on clothes at home and only pay for what they keep.

Yesterday, Amazon announced its own version of that service, called Amazon Prime Wardrobe. Customers in the program can order clothes that come in a resealable box with UPS return labels.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIQh0O3wOdM&feature=youtu.be

Try on the clothes, pay for what you like (currently there would be a discount for keeping multiple pieces) and return the rest.

Add the Echo Look — which combines the echo personal assistant device with a camera for personal stylist-like functionality — and you have a transformative clothes buying experience.

3. A ‘Prime’ Low-Income Segment

I mentioned earlier that Amazon is in the business of growth more than profits, and perhaps no move shows that more than it’s price cut to Prime for low-income customers.

Ding Dong, Prime Day Is Here

‘Twas the night before Prime Day, when all through the lands, consumers were searching for their favorite brands. Online purchases were placed by the shoppers with care, in hopes the 2-day delivery soon would be there.

‘Twas the night before Prime Day, when all through the lands
Consumers were searching for their favorite brands;

Online purchases were placed by shoppers with care,
In hopes the 2-day delivery soon would be there.

What am I, a farmer?All right, look, I may have been a literature and creative writing major in college, but I am not qualified to parody any more of that classic Christmas poem. I’m sorry. Send your complaints to mward@napco.com.

Sternly written complaint drafted? Excellent. Let’s talk Prime, and I don’t mean Optimus.

The number of Amazon Prime members is a fairly guarded secret, but according to a CNN Money article from January 2016, nearly half of the households in the U.S. have a membership, with the total estimate being 54 million memberships. That’s a whole lotta boxes.

Cats love Amazon Prime
TRUTH.

Nevertheless, Prime Day is upon us. I know this because I couldn’t look at a single thing online in the past week without coming across this most joyous of newly made up shopping holidays, July 12:

Will the sales be any better than last year? (Fact: While a bunch of people complained about the sales for 2015 Prime Day, sales in the U.S. were up 93 percent.)

What sort of deals should shoppers prepare themselves for? (Get your credit card ready: Prime Day is going to feature more than 100,000 deals worldwide exclusively for members.)

Are other retailers trying to soak up some of the Prime Day juice? (Walmart is offering a five-day period of free shipping, with no minimum purchase and open to all online shoppers.)

The bigger thing here, in my opinion, is to recognize just how HUGE of a disruptor Amazon is.

Sure, Amazon is essentially our e-tailing overlord, and we have accepted it willingly. I won’t say “no thanks” to the ability to order 40 pounds of cat litter, as well as a retro-style dress (thankfully not in the same box), and have them delivered to my doorstep in two days, thanks to my wonderful Prime membership. Hello future, I love you.

But the real disruption — and I’m sure the experts, a.k.a my really smart colleagues over at Total Retail, could do a WAY better job digging deeper into the retail nitty gritty — is this: Amazon has the power and ability to create a shopping holiday in the middle of July, and proved it successful in 2015 on the first Prime Day when customers ordered 34.4 million items worldwide, breaking its Black Friday records.

Other retailers who have some serious FOMO are jumping in, trying to get a piece of the holiday Prime Day pie. Will they be successful? We shall see.

But keep this in mind: If Amazon can disrupt the natural order of the retail industry’s Black Friday and typical holiday shopping ahead of December by creating its own day of shopping delight in July, what’s next?

Or more importantly, who’s next?

Jeff Bezos and the robot uprising