Forget about the search engines from Yahoo! and Microsoft, it is Amazon who will take on the mighty search mogul Google.
Why the hell Amazon? A story for the nonlinear minds…
Because like no other company, Amazon understands the impact new trends and technologies will have on business models. Next, Amazon has always proved to be capable of morphing itself into capitalizing on the huge opportunities of the 21st century.
Its CEO and founder Jeff Bezos is a unique blend of corporate and street-smart. His stunning track record makes him an authority with a sixth sense for inventing disruptive new business models.
How Amazon Positioned Itself As Go-To Search Engine?
Amazon’s position as an all-in-one marketplace has helped the company launch its business around the globe. But now, according to insights from Business Insider, Amazon’s business model has a clear impact on companies even outside of e-commerce, particularly on Google’s function as a search-and-discovery engine.
In the past, consumers would mostly turn to search engines like Google when looking for a place to buy online and in order to vet sellers to make sure they were legitimate. It functioned as the go-to search-and-discovery platform for online shoppers.
But over the years, as Amazon has built out its offerings and built up its name recognition, the international marketplace has become the first stop in the search-and-discovery online shopping process.
Instead of going to Google first, many more consumers rely on Amazon’s own search results to find what they’re looking for. This is not to say that shoppers only stay on Amazon’s platform, but it has certainly become the first stop for many shoppers on their path to purchase.
How has Amazon evolved to become equal parts search-and-discovery and shopping platform?
The company’s subscription service Prime has helped the company gain positive feedback for its customer service, speedy shipping, and low prices. Amazon has built up such a positive name and has become so closely associated with online shopping that consumers no longer think of searching on Google first.
Going forward, Amazon’s new Dash buttons can potentially eliminate the need for search and discovery altogether. The button allows customers to place orders for products as soon as they need them, allowing Amazon to observe patterns of what their customers need and when. Eventually, Amazon could use this information to anticipate its customer needs before they are even aware of them.
Google’s own efforts to fight back in this arena have come in the form of its Google Express delivery service, which partners with local retailers to provide same-day delivery in certain metro areas. However, this service is only offered in limited areas from limited retailers. It is not a broad enough program yet to reintroduce Google to consumers as a go-to online shopping resource.
In my SWOT Google also clearly failed to gain valuable insights on their customers. Gmail is a nice effort, but G+ was a complete failure. It could have helped Google towards See, Like, Buy, but it failed to close the loop in social commerce.
Amazon Increasing Its Revenues Going From CRM To VRM
The ARPU (average revenue per user) and CRM-driven Amazon have the powerful advantage of big data. It might be the most predictive company on this planet, with access to many customer profiles, smart recommendations, and sophisticated CRM.
But Bezos as an amazing strategist has seen the benefits of VRM (vendor relationship management). Meaning based on its consumer needs and profiles, Amazon has become a powerful intermediary that can easily make loads of money from its vendors.
Do vendors need people that are moving into a new home and need new furniture? Amazon could deliver the profiles based on high-margin kick-backs. The highest bidding vendors can get the data.
Same for beauty, health, fashion, and so many other fast-growing e-commerce segments.
Amazon could even offer its customers the best deals with their ‘best’ vendor selection. Customers will be happy with more relevant and better deals, and so will be the vendors.
So from CRM to VRM? Amazon will be the smiling facilitator and matchmaker.
Amazon is increasingly becoming consumers’ first stop for product search-and-discovery, chipping away at the historical dominance of Google’s search engine.
In the past, consumers would turn to search engines like Google when looking for an online retailer to buy from. But as Amazon’s trusted brand and innovative new services convinced online shoppers to turn to Amazon first to conduct their product searches.
As you will have also experienced since the Google search engine offers too much blur and irrelevancy when it comes to finding shoppable products fast. And Google Plus was never a real service.
This could be bad news for Google, which has been able to charge a premium for its sponsored results featured at the top of its search results.
As an e-commerce intermediary, Amazon will be happy to earn more money from its vendors, thanks to its VRM-fueled model. And Amazon will be able to increase its affiliate margins from the selected vendors.
Yahoo! and Bing are stuck in the middle. They are no general search engine competition for Google and they could not impress in the field of e-commerce either.
What About You?
After reading my story, do you also think that Amazon will be able to take on Google? I’d love to read your feedback in the comments below.
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About the Author
In the spotlights, Igor Beuker is a top marketing innovation keynote speaker and futurist known for his foresight on trends and technologies that impact business, economy, and society. Behind the scenes, a serial entrepreneur with 5 exits and an angel investor in 24 social startups. Board member at next-level media firms, changemaker at Rolling Stone Culture Council, Hollywood sci-fi think tank pioneer, award-winning marketing strategist for Amazon, L’Oréal, Nike, and a seer for Fortune 500s, cities, and countries.