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How Will You Thrive in the Face of the Biggest Threat to Retail?

Amazon revolutionized retail.

What one thing has made Amazon a digital superpower? It isn’t their vast selection of goods – even as a small online bookstore, they were disrupting retail by transforming the way we buy and consume media. It isn’t their reliable delivery – customers expect this of any retailer. It isn’t their customer service – while it excels in the eyes of consumers and has a positive impact on Amazon’s bottom line, it’s nothing that most other retailers can’t mimic or even surpass.

Amazon’s key differentiator has long been their ability to “ monetize their data better than any retailer on the planet. They created a destination for people to buy nearly anything they want, then monetized shopper data by selling limited access to this valuable information to their marketplace vendors. Now they’re gobbling up the marketing budgets of vendor brands.

The surprising thing about Amazon’s success selling ad space to vendors is not the program’s astronomical sales figures, but that they didn’t launch their lucrative digital ad program earlier.