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Merchants take swing at Amazon with new social, e-commerce platforms

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Merchants take swing at Amazon with new social, e-commerce platforms
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An e-commerce future dominated almost entirely by Amazon.com is a bleak possibility facing smaller merchants. But it isn’t the only possibility. There are other selling channels opening up on social platforms like Instagram and WhatsApp. They have the potential to lure sellers and starve some market-share bulk out of Amazon.

It’s hard to overstate the threat Amazon’s business model poses to competing merchants. “They own the channel, the actual medium and the platform by which transactions are happening — but they’re also a competitor on that platform, which is what makes them dangerous,” said T.J. Gamble
(pictured), founder and chief executive officer of Jamerson Design and Magento Master 2019.

Gamble spoke with Jeff Frick (

@JeffFrick

) and Lisa Martin (

@LisaMartinTV


), co-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, during the Imagine event in Las Vegas. They discussed the shifting e-commerce landscape and Adobe Inc.’s acquisition of Magento Inc. (see the full interview with transcript here
).


(* Disclosure below.)

Amazon, meet the great equalizers

In Gambles’ view, Amazon’s dominance is a bloated, anti-competitive monarchy ripe for a populist revolt. There are signs of coming change in the kinds of technology tools and selling  platforms becoming available to smaller markets. These include social media selling channels and e-commerce platforms that democratize data analytics and artificial intelligence for use by smaller, less technically savvy merchants.

Something is going to give with Amazon, though we can’t be sure when, according to Gamble. “Every juggernaut dies at some point. It may be 100 years from now before we see that happen,” he said.

It may be a lot sooner thanks to trends in Amazon alternatives. “The good thing about these other social channels is that they’re the medium, but they’re not also competing,” Gamble stated.

Channels like Instagram enable a very easy buying experience. Instagram provides a ready-made platform complete with one-click checkout, cancellation, notifications, etc., so  mom-and-pops need not worry about the technology stack.

“I think this is going to be the great equalizer where merchants are actually interacting with their customers. It’s going to be a huge opportunity,” he said.

Also favoring smaller merchants are new, advanced but accessible platforms for e-commerce. Adobe just integrated Magento’s e-commerce platform into its Commerce Cloud. The offering democratizes technologies for customer data management and analytics that smaller merchants traditionally lack, Gamble explained.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the

Imagine 2019 event


. (* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for the Imagine 2019 event. Neither Adobe Inc., the sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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