Reports suggest that 50% of purchases start on Amazon.com
, and Amazon wants to keep it this way. Yet, businesses and merchants increasingly want to sell their products via their own DTC (direct to consumer) site, retailers' websites, Facebook, Instagram, and more. Due to this, Shopify, which powers many DTC and retailer websites, is a growing thorn in Amazon's dominance of retail. Shopify reportedly helps power more than 30% of online U.S. retail sales
To remove this thorn, Amazon is secretly building a new service to stop Shopify (which I first read about in the Times, Thank you, Times!). You may ask: didn't Amazon at one time offer a website-building service like Shopify? Yes, Amazon Webstore, which closed in 2015
. Ironically, Amazon referred customers to Shopify when it closed it. In 2015, Shopify wasn't much of a threat, and Amazon didn't think anything of referring customers to its future foe. Joe Kaziukenas, of Marketplace Pulse, shares this:
"In 2015, merchants on Shopify sold $7.6 billion worth of products. Five years later, in 2020, they surpassed $100 billion
In today's market, Mr. Kaziukenas observes, "...everyone but Amazon is investing in enabling multi-channel commerce."
In Mr. Kaziukenas's article cited above
, he showed an 'anti-Amazon' alliance graphic that I found clever. (Joe, please consider Bridge part of this group.) In the graphic attached to this post, I took the liberty of adding Bridge's logo to the alliance.
Bridge started building a multi-channel commerce solution in 2008. Our Smart Products service is a multi-channel service that allows a brand to load a product once and have it appear on hundreds of authorized retailers' sites. The service also displays that item on sales reps' websites, on trade show sites, and on authorized dealers' sites. Using Bridge, a brand can power: its own DTC site, its retailers' sites, and even offer wholesale ordering. Use one software program to power many multi-channel needs.
In the future, I see merchants using these services to meet their multi-channel needs:
- Shopify or Magento (for DTC)
- Bridge (for DTC, product propagation (Smart Products), wholesale, and gift registry)
- Facebook (social)
- Instagram (social)
- Pinterest (social)
- Walmart (as a third-party seller)
- Wayfair (as a third-party seller)
It's worth noting that in addition to the above services, there are 'backbone' programs and applications that the industry uses. These include:
- Spreadsheets (e.g. Excel, OpenOffice).
- Image processing programs (e.g. Photoshop).
- File-sharing software (e.g. Dropbox, Box, etc.) to share spreadsheets and images.
To use an analogy, it's as if brands are the 'bakers,' and they bake 'cookies' (aka products). They need to package these cookies using spreadsheets, image processing, and file-sharing software. Then, they need to distribute these cookies to many authorized locations (aka their DTC site, Bridge, Facebook, etc.).
In the Bridge service, there is a built-in file sharing service named Library. Library allows one to skip having to use another outside service. One can manage products and file sharing more easily using one service.
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