Amazon is on track to capture between 45%-50% of all e-commerce sales this holiday season. So is it the clear winner in the online race? Phil Bak, CEO of ACSI Funds, and Daniel Ives, Chief Strategy Officer & Head of Technology Research at GBH Insights, join The Long and The Short to give an overview of this holiday shopping season.
Bak believes that there is no greater competition on the web when it comes to retail than there is right now, and for Amazon to take almost 50% of that marketplace is staggering. He thinks if it continues to expand its brick-and-mortar presence and gets into pharmacy and customer service it's going to rule the internet even more than it already is. But what is the "golden jewel" of the Bezos empire? Ives says it's the Prime membership. Prime members spend twice as much as a non-Prime members. He calls it Amazon's "ironclad fence" and is even surprised how well it worked during the holiday weekend shopping.
Opposition from other retailers such as Wal-Mart could derail Amazon's world takeover. Ives says most product prices are within 1% of Amazon's, if not cheaper. That's put some dents into the online giant's armor. Bak believes people shop at Wal-Mart because they have to and they shop on Amazon because they want to. He believes Amazon has the power over its customers that Walmart doesn't. He doesn't believe the price will retain customers unless it enhances its customer experience.
Another retailer to watch out for is eBay. It's tried to rebrand itself from an auction site to more of a retailer. According to Bak, its customer experience satisfaction ratings are very high and it's on the cusp of being on the top tier of e-commerce sites. The website is putting a big focus on marketing this season and he's excited to see how successful it will be.