After spending a fair bit of time speaking to a lot of my friends and ex-colleagues who either run e-commerce companies or work in them and providing honorary advice to quite a few, I have come to the stark realization that a lot of the good, "old world" analytics is not being fully utilized in the "new age" e-commerce companies. A simple case in point is the "recommendation engine". While the world is agog with praise for the beauty of the "recommendation engines" which based on the product that you select in your cart, comes up with a "basket" of associated, recommended products, we fail to realize and acknowledge that the buying behavior of an individual is not an instantaneous phenomenon.
There are two kinds of competitors in Retail at present- brick and mortar retailers and Amazon. There are two ways to stay ahead of the competition. And here I take the tiger, chasing the two men in a forest, analogy. While the two men are running away to save themselves from the tiger, one of them suddenly stops and takes out running shoes from his bag, to which his friend asks-“You think you can outrun the tiger?”. To this the other man responds- “No, I just need to outrun you. So, instead of taking on Amazon, retailers need to focus on beating their brick and mortar competitors.