Amazon's latest earnings call yielded some interesting watchpoints for the industry. Here are four takeaways for retailers looking to stay ahead, or at least keep up with, the retail disruption engine.
1. Groceries Aren’t the Only Brick-and-Mortar Category Amazon Is Eyeing
Yes, Amazon’s purchase of 465-store Whole Foods is a key part of its physical store strategy, and the company has cut prices and added Amazon Lockers at some select Whole Foods locations. But Amazon is also planning to add more bookstores after opening its 12th location and is continuing to look at tapping into its Amazon Go grocery concept.
“We’ll also be developing new store formats,” said Amazon Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky on a conference call Thursday afternoon. “You’ll see more expansion from us.”
Thanks mostly to Whole Foods, while online store sales rose 22% to $26.4 billion, Amazon also broke out its physical store sales for a change: $1.28 billion.
2. Don’t Ignore Prime Day
Amazon recorded its biggest single-day sales ever on on "Prime Day" this year, surpassing even Black Fridays and Cyber Mondays of the past. Meanwhile, Prime Day spurred record sign-ups for new Prime memberships.
Subscription services, including Prime membership fees, jumped 59% in Q3 to $2.44 billion, a faster rate of growth than any other business segment, from Amazon Web Services to third-party seller services.
The Prime Day phenomenon will force other retailers to officially make July promotions a key part of their annual planning, and not just to promote back-to-school sales.
3. Upping the delivery game is an imperative