29 Dec 2020 20:15 IST

Can anything slow Amazon’s path to world domination?

The world of retail is going through extreme turbulence making rebound tougher than we anticipated

Some people are hoping for a retail rebound as societies become vaccinated, based on the idea that there is pent-up demand to go shopping. While countries like China experienced a retail surge after the lockdown, there’s also a radical change in the way Gen Zs consume compared to older generations, with more focus on sustainability that Covid solidified.

During 2020, Amazon doubled the number of businesses that transact on its platform, and obviously expanded its consumer base. At the same time, in the US, Amazon had periods where it could not deliver items on time, and its customer experience went down during the pandemic. So there are limitations induced by the pandemic on fast growth, even for a great company.

This Harvard Business Review article identifies other types of retailers who are well-positioned, beyond the ecosystems like Amazon and Alibaba. The four other archetypes that have sustainable positions include:

Regional gems: Companies that are doing well in local markets.

Hitchhikers: Highly creative, branded retailers with great consumer appeal that are not big enough to sustain the fight on their own, so they choose to sell through the ecosystems and piggyback on that growth.

Value players: Companies for whom reducing cost and keeping prices low are in their DNA.

Scale fighters: Companies that have enough size to try to fight the ecosystems.

Read the complete story here.