It seems silly to say that the future of retail is online. America’s abandoned strip malls stand testament to the fact that ecommerce has, for the most part, decidedly won the battle of digital versus brick-and-mortar. At the top of the ecommerce heap stands the undisputed world heavyweight champion of online shopping, Amazon. Amazon, however, needs to watch their back. Not only does Amazon have traditional retail competitors nipping at their heels as they make their way online, Amazon has another 20,000 pound digital gorilla who’s ready to go toe-to-toe in the battle for ecommerce supremacy: Google.
Google Enters the Ecommerce Arena in a Big Way
Recently, Google fired a shot across Amazon’s bow. Last year, Google launched Google Shopping Express in San Francisco. With GSE, Google teams up with local stores (Amazon’s not-quite-vanquished foes) and delivers products you order online on the day you order them. Now, they are launching GSE in Manhattan and LA. To promote the service, Google is offering six months of free delivery to new users. While Amazon has declared their intent to offer same day delivery services of their own, they do not seem to be close to actually launching same day delivery yet.
Amazon and Twitter: A Match Made in Heaven?
Of course, Amazon is not resting on their laurels. Amazon recently formed a strategic alliance with Twitter (who has some problems of their own.) With #amazoncart, Twitter users will be able to add products to their Amazon carts through the popular social media service. Theoretically, this would create more business for Amazon while providing Twitter with something that has alluded it so far: the ability to provide marketing solutions to potential business partners.
It remains to be seen whether either of these campaigns will succeed. One thing seems certain though, the war for digital retail dominance is far from over and the next few years will certainly be an interesting time to shop online.