At a time of the year, well, the New Year, often there are SWAG (stupid wild ass guesses) that pop up from every corner of the media, all now magnified by the ability to self publish, um, I mean contribute to sites like Forbes, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Inc and many others. I tend to stay out of the prediction game, but I do seem to have a knack for seeing things evolve. That's why I'm thinking Amazon goes Prime at retail, with Prime Markets. The signs at Whole Foods are already there.
So let's start with Amazon, and really Whole Foods. You see, Amazon has a problem, just like Google (now Alphabet) has or had. It's a brand naming convention problem that is only going to get worse before it gets better.
In Google's case, everything was Google. GoogleVoice, Google Cloud, Google Ads. You get the idea. So for everything, not Google they've come up with other brand names and made them a part of Alphabet. Honestly, I need Google just to find what's in Alphabet these days. But I digress. Back to Amazon.
Right now Amazon's push in the consumer retail food world has the following (that I know of) which as a customer is starting to get confusing:
- Amazon Prime
- Amazon Fresh (only in select market areas)
- Whole Foods (with delivery in some market areas)
- Subscribe & Save
- Delivery Day (get it tomorrow)
- Amazon Launchpad (new food products from startups)
- Wickedly Prime
- 365 (line of low cost, high value products in select categories)
That's nine brands that I can track, all in the mold of Proctor and Gamble, the massive CPG company. Different brand names for different parts of the consumer market. For now, let's put aside the conspiracy theorists angle that the DoJ or the White House wants to break up Amazon. Granted there's thought that Amazon is much Microsoft and before that IBM as there's always some company that's a likely target if for no other reason that there's a reason to justify why they need to have so many people on staff. That could be a thought of as to why the Big A has to have so many different brands. It's not.
It's really all about the various subsets of markets by buyer types and categories.
People love AMAZON. They shop on Amazon. Consume content on Amazon Prime Music and Prime Video. The pay for Amazon Prime and many of the product deliveries are now being delivered by the Amazon Prime's own delivery team. Heck, there is even a Prime Air.
For all that, people use their Prime membership at Whole Foods to get discounts on products that are already on sale. They've yet to name that publicly, but that's all really about Prime Pricing. The only thing missing is Prime Rewards (but I bet that's coming).
So as Amazon expands Whole Foods, both in the number of locations and in products, they have a problem. Whole Foods core value proposition is about healthy, organic, environmentally friendly products. That means as they take over more market share at retail, the fight for shelf space from non-environmentally friendly products, non-organic, not as healthy items need a place to be sold. That's way beyond the 365 line for everyday low pricing of products, which is why I'm thinking Amazon rolls out Prime Markets.
Why? Prime Markets becomes the retail storefront and online presence for all things not Whole Foods, and it will be where the consumer package goods industry wants to see Amazon go. Many retail supermarket chains are floundering. The CPG industry needs retail storefronts. Delivery to C & D counties is not as fast as it is in metro areas, and those communities need to have supermarkets. While I may be wrong, it's too logical. Prime Markets also gives Amazon a way to consolidate all these other brands (Pantry, Fresh, Wickedly, etc.)
Time will tell, as with Amazon, anything can happen.