How Amazon Disrupted Brands' Data-Driven Merchandising Efforts

And if you can't beat 'em, join 'em

When it comes to ecommerce, no player is larger or stronger than Amazon. eMarketer predicts the online retail giant will account for more than half of all US ecommerce spending next year, so it's important to understand how the company set a new bar for merchandising strategy.

eMarketer’s Lauren Fisher spoke with Mike Sands, co-founder and CEO of location-based services firm Signal, about how companies use marketing data to modify their merchandising efforts, and why they need to pay extra close attention to Amazon. Sands was interviewed as part of eMarketer’s August report, "Using Marketing Data for Merchandising: Optimizing Inventory Levels and Launching New Products."

eMarketer:

What are the biggest trends with regard to how companies use marketing data to inform product and merchandising decisions?

Mike Sands:

We usually see this having an effect with things like product launches or seasonal marketing activity. A brand will traditionally use very broad-based targeting mechanisms, like back-to-school or holiday shopping to run their merchandising program.

But that misses what the individual customer wants. In addition to these broad-stroke merchandising programs like Christmas in July or back-to-school, we see brands trying to pull data-driven marketing and merchandising all the way through the pipe.

eMarketer:

What does this look like for a typical brand?

Interview conducted on June 27, 2018

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