Why did Amazon buy Whole Foods? According to the man himself:
“Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy. Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting and nourishing customers for nearly four decades – they’re doing an amazing job and we want that to continue”
– Jeff Bezos statement
Many would instantly read between the lines. They might intuit incredible strategies that could arise from this aquisition. Amazon is going to use their big data/ai/drones/#latestNewThing to take over the grocery business etc.
“Even if I was king I’d do my own shopping”
Instead let’s take Mr Bezos’ intentions at face value. Perhaps with all of the drone experiments, cashier-less shops, dash buttons, Amazon is seeing that, as the old saying goes ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same’. Our two-dimensional digital world is always going to be a subset of the real-world.
People love having amazing real-world experiences. And going shopping is a key part of that. As Prince Harry said last week “Even if I was king I’d do my own shopping”.
My friend eloquently put it over lunch: ‘We are sensual, visceral beings.’ So while some fret about the take-over robots, AI and all things digital, we can rest assured. Amazon is sensibly investing in physical, real-world retail. The acquisition of Whole Foods gives it access to great locations, with a cool brand that’s known for healthy products.
While Amazon goes physical, time for everyone else to double-down on digital
That said, technology is changing how retail is done. So, while Amazon looks for ways to compete with retailers in the physical world, leading manufacturers, distributors and retailers should look for ways to compete in the digital. The good news is with cloud-based platforms, this is getting much easier and more affordable.
For manufacturers and distributors, iStockist offers the best way to grow sales, and process more sales in less time with B2B eCommerce. Feel free to sign up and give it a test drive!