This week, Amazon announced #AmazonCart. And it was a Big Deal. Or a Passing Fad. Or a Game-Changing Disruption.
The consensus among the media/blogging community was clear: they all needed to write and post clickbait as quickly as possible.
If you can’t tell, I’m typically cynical about sweeping proclamations on the future of a particular technology. But in the case, put me in the Game-Changing-Disruption camp. Specifically, I'm in the Act-Now-Or-Else cabin. Which has great views of the Your-Business-Will-Fail-Without-This-One-Weird-Trick lake.
But tortured metaphors aside, I believe that retailers must respond immediately to #AmazonCart for reasons that are clear with a just a bit of forethought.
First, let’s briefly explain what we’re talking about. Amazon now allows Twitter users to add products to their Amazon shopping cart from within Twitter. Specifically, a Twitter user simply replies to a retailer’s promotional tweet with “#AmazonCart,” and the product is added to the user's Amazon shopping cart. Similar functionality is planned for Facebook and Instagram. If this explanation isn't clear, Amazon made an excellent 1-minute video introduction.
So now that we’re clear on the concept, why can’t retailers just wait and see whether this is the next Google or the next Google+?
Retailers have to act now because Amazon’s move makes a direct connection from a retailer’s financial performance to their creative production and marketing operations capacities. A retailer that can produce more creative assets in less time will see meaningful impacts to the balance sheet. A marketing team that intelligently targets more segments with tailored messages will generate more revenue than those that do not.
These competitive differences have always existed. But previously they were pulling indirect levers like awareness, interest or intent. #AmazonCart allows strong, targeted creative to directly and measurably impact revenue. Consider how much more effort the typical retailer spends on eCommerce versus Social Media. The difference isn’t eyeballs. It’s the direct connection to revenue.
And to be clear, we’re not just talking about Social Media and a tiny sliver of early-adopting digital natives. When #AmazonCart proves the model, it’s a short step to other media. QR codes haven’t taken off because they don’t streamline the user experience, but what if Amazon could improve the concept with a simple, non-disruptive way to add products to our carts from a magazine ad or a billboard? Or actual points of sale? The AddToCart button on your television remote is an equally small step.
And when every media channel can produce direct, measurable revenue, then a retailer’s capacity to produce strong creative for every channel becomes hugely important. Retailers that have implemented DAM to support scalable multichannel marketing effort will see their investment pay off immediately. Retailers who delay will feel the negative repercussions just as fast. Those who wait too long will find it impossible to fund the transformation out of their evaporating profits.
It’s not all bad news for these failed companies who delay on DAM. They can enjoy their declining years in a retirement community that recently opened on the picturesque shore of Your-Business-Will-Fail-Without-This-One-Weird-Trick lake.