Amazon and its e-commerce competitors: Who’s winning?

It’s clear that there are four companies dominating the e-commerce landscape today: Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. Each is taking a different approach to consumer businesses, but each is overlapping the others’ core competencies right now. RetailWire panelists discussed which of the four has had (or will have) the greatest influence. Here’s my opinion:

Of the four companies, Amazon has had the greatest impact on retailing…so far. It has set a standard for what makes a great website (broad assortments, competitive pricing, easy navigation and good execution) and has raised the bar for other e-commerce and multichannel retailers. Amazon also refuses to rest on its laurels, whether by expanding its variety or by moving aggressively into the “mobile” business.

Of the other three companies, Apple has been hugely influential in terms of its store experience but has had the benefit of selling its own remarkable products. It’s clear that Facebook and Google are working hard to become comprehensive e-commerce portals, so the answer to the question may be different in another five years.

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