Is it possible for retailers to compete with the online behemoth? In both the U.S. and Europe, a handful of brands have figured out strategies to do just that. Here are some insights from L2’s Digital IQ Index: Retail Europe:
Save Costs Where Amazon Can’t: Many U.K. stores offer free click-and-collect and ship-to-store instead of free delivery, thus saving them delivery charges. While Amazon inherently has to incur delivery charges for all of its orders, Sainsbury’s and Tesco can bypass the post office by using existing stores to fulfill online orders – keeping costs comparatively low.
Experiment With New Store Formats: IKEA is the master of the impulse buy, and nowhere is that more evident than with its new small-format store in central London. Customers order their furniture online and come to the store to pick it up, but they also stock up on smaller items like plates, napkins, and tchotchkes – one of the few areas where Amazon is unable to compete.
Build a Platform: Amazon’s website works as a platform for advertising and sponsored branded content, transacting with brands in addition to consumers. While many U.S. retailers have followed Amazon’s lead in developing their sites as platforms, their European counterparts tend to lag behind.