Is Facebook The Next Amazon?

Is Facebook The Next Amazon?

After 30 years of watching the retail space, I have seen Sears move from the world’s most dominant (and feared) retail company to an afterthought today. Former Amazon executive and now a strategy and supply chain consultant, Brittain Ladd, has what I consider to be the most provocative and intriguing response that I’ve encountered to the question of who can eventually threaten Amazon. Ladd recently stated in a LinkedIn article that he believes the company that has the most potential to become the next Amazon is Facebook. Yes, that Facebook. Ladd stated, “Facebook has 1.5 billion active users and growing. Imagine if Facebook made the decision to give those same 1.5 billion+ customers e-commerce and cross-border commerce shopping capabilities from their Facebook user pages?” Ladd further stated, “Google and Microsoft also have potential to disrupt retail through acquisitions and strategic partnerships. Google could partner with Alibaba or JD.Com. Think BIG and leverage Facebook’s core capabilities of social media and communication to implement a value-creating strategy for the company and an innovative e-commerce and cross-border commerce experience for customers globally. It is highly likely that the next retail disruptor will not be a current retailer at all. Facebook may not pursue this direction but perhaps we see a glimpse of a future strategy with Google’s latest announcement or Microsoft’s work on a checkout-free store experience.

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ILLUSTRATION – 6 June 2018, Rottweil, Germany: The facebook app can be seen on the screen of an iPhone. Photo: Silas Stein/dpa (Photo by Silas Stein/picture alliance via Getty Images)

As Coldplay, once sung, “I used to rule the world, felt the fear in my enemies’ eyes…”.

After 30 years of watching the retail space, I have seen Sears move from the world’s most dominant (and feared) retail company to an afterthought today. Walmart’s era of scale and dominance with Supercenters seemed unstoppable, impacting every merchandise category. Until…big stores became less relevant and e-commerce emerged.

Now, Amazon appears to be an unstoppable force, gaining market share, growing globally and evolving into an omni-channel, omni-present retailer with Amazon.Com, Whole Foods, Amazon Books and Amazon Go. A question I am often asked is this: Who can beat Amazon? My view is that Walmart and Alibaba are the two companies with the best ability to impact Amazon and they have both made aggressive moves of late that better position them for the battle on strategic and geographic fronts. Can they beat Amazon? I’m not convinced.

So, maybe it makes sense that the next great competitor in retail won’t be a retailer at all. Former Amazon executive and now a strategy and supply chain consultant, Brittain Ladd, has what I consider to be the most provocative and intriguing response that I’ve encountered to the question of who can eventually threaten Amazon. Ladd recently stated in a LinkedIn article that he believes the company that has…

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