Slideshow 5 Retailer Moves to Counter Amazon

  • October 14 2016, 10:26am EDT

When retailers first started developing mobile wallet apps, they did so to fight back against Apple Pay and the banks. Today, they are working against a bigger threat:

Retailer 'Pay' Apps

The design of Kohl's Pay has more focus on loyalty than payments. This makes it possible for Kohl's app to present the same types of targeted offers and discounts that are so common on Amazon and other e-commerce sites. “It is a fairly unique service and one that comes from innovation after we looked at how our customers were using their wallets and making payments,” said Ratnakar Lavu, CTO and CIO of Kohl's.

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Smart Appliances

Amazon's WiFi Dash buttons can be placed around the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room to reorder food and supplies directly from Amazon. Retailers are fighting back by working with Samsung and Mastercard to do the same in the kitchen with a smart fridge that can order groceries.

Putting Health First

Drug stores like CVS and Walgreens are using their mobile and e-commerce sites to build relationships with their pharmacy customers. There are payment mechanisms built in, but the emphasis is on health care and other needs.

Thanksgiving Break

Many stores have faced a media backlash for opening on Thanksgiving to get a head start on their Black Friday sales, but this year there will be less emphasis on foot traffic. Retailers are starting to shift their focus to targeting Amazon's e-commerce audience rather than try and draw people into stores on the holiday.

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If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em

Another option is to use Amazon's services as a selling point to boost a retailer's own business. The stores that sell diswashers are rarely the same ones that sell detergent, so it may do no harm to promote products like the new GE dishwasher that reorders detergent via Amazon Dash when it senses supplies are low.