For nearly 70% of online shoppers, the path to your brand or retail website goes through Amazon, according to a global survey of 4,500 consumers cited by MarketingLand. It turns out 44% of consumers often check Amazon, and 24% always do, when shopping online. When they don't start there, their first stop is Google, of course. But either way, 89% will cross-reference Amazon at some point in the online purchase process. What does that mean for your online marketing strategy?
It's time to review what we got right, and what we got wrong, in our first annual predictions episode in early 2018. Which of our prognostications on marketing, media, tech and pop culture turned out to be spot on? Which ones were serious misses? It's time to grade the good, the bad and the WTF predictions—one year later.
IN THIS EPISODE
🍡Pez Candy: Time for a 'Rick & Rick' Dispenser? (at 1:07)
🏛Politics: Did More Brands Take Sides, or Channel Switzerland? (at 2:07)
🏈 The San Francisco 49'ers: Touchdown? Or Fumble? (at 3:51)
🔠 Google Parent Alphabet: Playing the Name Game? (at 4:12)
🗣'The Post-Screen Internet': Are More Brands Prepping? Or Procrastinating? (at 4:36)
🍎Apple: Spit-Shined? Or Bruised? (at 7:27)
🏰Disney: The #1 Box Office Winner Every Month of the Year? (at 9:55)
😎 AR & VR: Are Brands Getting Their Goggles On? Or Playing 'Wait-and-See'? (at 13:58)
🎬Video Marketing: ⏩? Or ⏸? (at 16:36)
🍕Brand Digital Innovation: Delivering? Or in a Ditch? (at 17:36)
🧠A.I. in 2018: Milestone? Or Reality Check? (at 18:27)
This special edition of Rick & Rick Rule the World looks at how Nike, Burger King, Coca-Cola, Ikea, Doritos, Wendy's and others are fueling fandemonium and driving sales through some absolutely blockbuster digital experiences spanning key categories, including:
The ever-popular coffeehouse chain scores a seasonal hit with its Pumpkin Spice Lattes and now every brand and its mother has to have its own pumpkin spice something. Anything. It doesn't even seem to matter what it is.
Rick Mathieson and Rick Wootten aren't having any of it. And when they audit some of the ridiculous products brands are offering this year just to jump on the pumpkin spice bandwagon, you're not going to believe what they found. But fair warning: Its not for sensitive stomachs.
On the heels of our recent post about Amazon Go, it's worth noting this automated convenience stores powered by WeChat. There's no checkout. Instead, customers scan QR codes to enter the store, select products, then pay using their WeChat mobile wallets.
How soon we'll see this sort of thing in the US is anyone's guess, but it can't be that far off.
Indeed, it's actually not tremendously different than using Apple's Store app at Apple locations, where you can walk in, scan an item and walk out.
Except that BingoBox has, you know, junk food. Hard not to love that.
We're McLovin' this new promotion from Mickey D's, which turns their recyclable drink trays into boom boxes for your iPhone.
It's not the first time this has been done, of course—Coca-Cola once famously turned a magazine print ad into a speaker system for mobile phones as well. But that doesn't make McDonald's promo any less fun (our loud).
As goes Whole Foods, so goes the future of grocery stores?
A lot has been made of Amazon's recent announcement that it will acquire Whole Foods for a whopping $13.7 billion (insert your own "Whole Paycheck" joke here).
Many have speculated the brand will continue to operate as it has, with enhanced pre-ordering and home delivery. But Amazon may have something far bigger in mind.
As Business Insider recently pointed out, Amazon released a video back in December on a concept it calls 'Amazon Go'.
Here, shoppers use an Amazon Go app to pre-order items in a virtual cart. When they get to the store, they simply walk in, scan the app at a turnstile, pick up the items they want, and walk out the door, without ever digging for cash, writing a check, swiping a card—or ever standing in line.
Using what Amazon calls "Just Walk Out" technology, Amazon Go leverages "deep learning algorithms, computer vision and sensor fusion" to keep track of what you pick up in-store. It'll even know if you put something back, or picked up additional items, and update your order. Everything's automatically charged to your account when you walk out the door.
It's a fascinating and compelling vision. It's also one shared by many others, of course.
It's been well over a decade since I started chatting with Seth Godin, Tom Nicholson and others about the concept—and how elements of it have already been applied for brands such as Prada and Tesco—as showcased in my books, The On-Demand Brand and Branding Unbound.
What I think is especially elegant about Amazon's concept is that it at least appears to remove the need for things like RFID tags to be applied at the item level, and for readers to be set up throughout the store—something that has so far proven costly and impractical. At least from this video, the technology appears to be completely invisible to the customer. The first Go location opened for Amazon employees in Seattle earlier this year.
It'll be a blast to see how the concept develops, and what role if any Whole Foods ultimately plays in its evolution.
However things play out there, it's hard to imagine some version of this concept is not just the future of Whole Foods or even just the grocery category.