93. Amazon (AMZ) Backcasting Strategies

Does your company plan to sell – physical or digital – goods to AMZ Prime members in 2020 and beyond? Then, backcast about the ideal customer shopping journey that AMZ will be dictating. And, start changing now.

WHAT’S BACKCASTING?

It’s visionary planning:

  1. Start with an ideal vision of what customers might want in 2020+.
  2. With that end in mind move backwards from the vision to the present.
  3. Then ask: “What do we do today – step by step – to move towards the vision”.
  4. “Back” contrasts with “fore”- casting which takes our past and extends it into the future. Backcasting will move you towards the future you will need.
  5. Talk in the future perfect tense. “By 2020, AMZ will have achieved this next-level shopping experience. And, we will have accomplished…” (What: to stay vital?)
  6. For backcasting slides search the term at Google Images.

WHAT WILL AMAZON HAVE INVENTED BY 2020?

Amazon’s announcements and trends add up to a high-probability scenario. Consider:

  1. Amazon’s value-chain platforms will all strengthen. What are the odds that Prime members, for example, will be greater in: number, loyalty and activity? 100% in my book.
  2. Demographics: 50% of purchasing agents will be digital-native, millennials. They will go to AMZ first for B2B shopping information and what spot-buy purchasing? The millennial shopping mindset will also infect many older buyers.
  3. 5G bandwidth phones will be getting traction. What’s possible with 10 to 100 times the download speed and pixelization of 4G speed?
  4. Amazon is already pushing multi-media advertising (with APIs) to all B2C and B2B brands.
  5. Their A.I. targeting of most promising customers for niche products will improve.
  6. AMZ patented the capability to give us reward points for watching the forthcoming infomercials.
  7. AMZ’s superior supply-chain will add more Amazon brand knockoffs of legacy channels’ most, net-profitable SKUs. Or, start-ups will do the same. Check out WyzeCam: a knockoff of an internet camera for much less with great reviews. Available instantly and only through AMZ. Channel creation and stocking barriers don’t exist for cyber-shelf space at AMZ.
  8. B2B brands will be on Amazon to win the content management war against the upstart clones. But, will legacy channel partners adjust to deliver and price like AMZ alternatives?

Conclusions

Backcast your best customers’ product shopping journey preferences for 2020 and beyond. Then, what new, scary (or it isn’t new) strategies will you pursue? And, what new, better analytics will guide you?

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