Tapping Into Amazon’s Flywheel

By Jason D. Whitmer

The Amazon flywheel is one of the biggest retail differentiators and likely why this company is disrupting the marketplace. Amazon is truly unique on how they think about their business, how they access the consumer, and where they make big bets – including key platforms and programs that can be leveraged by suppliers.

This flywheel continues to fuel Amazon’s business, and we think there are pressing questions to ask and answer that will help accelerate your business as you align with the top opportunities in 2018.

In order to better understand the favorable impact that Amazon can have on your business, we developed The Supplier Flywheel. At the center is success on Amazon, which we believe is driven by a combination of leaning into the right programs and levers on the site, having the right go to market strategy, and then supporting the business with the right levels of total investment – including people, technology, and supply chain. In our opinion these are the new keys to fast and profitable eCommerce growth.

At the top of the flywheel, gaining Expertise to achieve Faster Retail Growth doesn’t mean this is just about Amazon’s success at the expense of the rest of your retail business. The real goal is to expand the total pie rather than simply displace brick and mortar business.

We see leading suppliers on Amazon leveraging their strong eCommerce business more broadly because they apply those insights to other retail accounts as well as their own DTC offering. In other words, a strong Amazon business does not need to come at the expense of your eCommerce or B&M retail efforts but should help fuel the remainder of your portfolio in a more virtual cycle.

But let’s also not forget that we expect Amazon to drive over 25% of total retail growth in 2018.