The Future of E-Commerce & Retail – Prepare Your Business for Amazon

Columbus Chamber
The Columbus Chamber provides connections, resources and solutions that help small businesses and Fortune 500 enterprises grow Central Ohio's economy.

Member Insights by The Media Captain

The beauty of running of a marketing agency is that I get to work with hundreds of Columbus-based businesses, all of whom have different budgets and objectives. From a marketing perspective, this is extremely beneficial because I see what channels are yielding the best return on investment for different sectors and for different sized businesses.

Marketing Shift to Amazon

One of the biggest marketing shifts I’ve seen in 2017 is the transition retailers are making over to Amazon. If you follow the news, it seems as if Amazon is taking over the world. From acquiring Whole Foods and starting a meal delivery service to their Founder, Jeff Bezos becoming the richest man in the world, Amazon continues its dominance and growth.

Fascinating Amazon Stats

Below are some fascinating Amazon stats from Expanded Ramblings which show just how powerful Amazon has become.

  • There are 300 million Amazon users
  • 44% of web shoppers go directly to Amazon for product searches
  • 50% of US online shoppers are on the Amazon mobile app
  • Amazon’s net sales in Q4 2016 were $43.7 billion

Columbus is a Retail Hub

Columbus, Ohio is a retail mecca. Major brands like Express, Big Lots, Victoria’s Secret and Abercrombie are all headquartered in Central Ohio. If you weren’t aware, Columbus is located within 500-miles of half of the U.S. population, which makes it an ideal location for any e-commerce business. It is no coincidence that Amazon selected Columbus to put a major warehouse operation with 855,000 square feet and has a workforce of nearly 5,000 people.

Proof is in the Pudding

While you are likely reading articles and watching the news on Amazon’s growth, I’m actually seeing our retail clients shift their e-commerce strategy over to Amazon. It’s not like they’re just testing the waters. We have clients who are selling MILLIONS of dollars per year on Amazon.

My sister and I launched DermWarehouse, an e-commerce website selling dermatologist recommended skin care and beauty products, in 2016. Google and social media were our primary marketing outlets during the early stages of our business. After seeing actual retailers we work with each day make a killing on Amazon, our strategy in 2017 has been to get our feet wet with Amazon, not only so we could expand our own business, but also so that we could get ourselves more well-versed in this channel. We just got approved into the beauty category, which is one of the hardest categories to get approval for, as there are numerous restrictions and gates that you must get through. The approval process took 6-months.

Wayne Gretzky famously said, “Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.” If you are a retailer or e-commerce business in Columbus and don’t have an Amazon marketing strategy, you are already behind the eight ball. Get started now so come 2020, you’ll be well equipped for the future of e-commerce