Amazon by Natalie Berg and Miya Knights

amazon by natalie berg pdf

Amazon: How the World’s Most Relentless Retailer will Continue to Revolutionize Commerce 1st Edition

Amazon – The retail industry is facing unprecedented challenges. Across all sectors and markets, retailers are shifting their business models and customer engagement strategies to ensure their survival. The rise of online shopping, and its primary player, Amazon, is at the heart of many of these changes and opportunities. Amazon explores the e-commerce giant’s strategies, providing original insight at a time when the company is on the cusp of revolutionizing itself even further.

Amazon’s relentless dissatisfaction with the status quo is what makes it such an extraordinary retailer. This book explores whether Amazon has what it takes to become a credible grocery retailer, and as it transitions to bricks and mortar retailing, explores whether Amazon’s stores can be as compelling as its online offering and if innovations such as voice technology, checkout-free stores and its Prime ecosystem will fundamentally change the way consumers shop.

Written by industry leading retail analysts who have spent decades providing research-based analysis and opinion, Amazon analyzes the impact these initiatives will have on the wider retail sector and the lessons that can be learned from its unprecedented rise to dominance, as stores of the future become less about transactions and more about experiences.

Book Review by Hande Z

For a history of Amazon, the book, ‘The Four’, by Scott Galloway is more informative, but this book by Berg and Knights is a careful study of the business of Amazon – and retail apocalypse. Bearing in mind that when Amazon came around 1997 selling books, and iPhone made its debut ten years later in 2007, we are now in an era of the Millennials who were born with a silver iPhone in their mouths. The result is that commerce and retail has changed in the past twenty years. This book explains how and why, and a lot has to do with Amazon, but read carefully; offline is not entirely dead. This book tells us about the rise of O2O (online to offline) and companies like Warby Parker led the way, not to mention Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods.

Whole Foods is another story altogether. Some may think – and the authors here hint – that there is a masterplan behind this acquisition. No, it is not just getting a whole lot of cheap warehouses for the food line that Amazon has started. Amazon will reach out to the weekly grocery shoppers and lock them into its ecosystem (see page110).

With voice command, Alexa, new modes of payment, connectivity with a human touch, where amazon may venture is a dream for consumers and a nightmare for competitors. From books, to music, to retail of all goods, grocery, and soon, restaurants, where is the last frontier for the giant? We may soon see the return of distance learning – University Amazon – where you can obtain any tertiary degree with quality teaching; all from wherever you are. Just call Amazon.

Editorial Reviews


“As well as being a comprehensive and authoritative insight on how the Amazon model relentlessly evolved to create more Amazon, it’s also a must read insight into the future of Shopping and how Retail must adapt to stay relevant to the “on my terms” customer.” (Robin Phillips, CEO, The Watch Shop)

“Berg & Knights’ in-depth look at Amazon will be the go-to handbook for retailers looking to understand its impact. It’s much more than a book about Amazon – it’s a social commentary on the impact of higher-than-ever customer expectations supercharged by technology. Shoppers know what was impossible, is now possible; What was unfeasible, now feasible; what was a dream, a reality. Berg & Knights remind us reinvention to serve this new customer is not optional for any retailer.” (Andy Bond, CEO, Pepkor Europe)

“Berg and Knights lay out in a comprehensive manner a must-read primer on Amazon. This roadmap of history and progression of the online behemoth surgically explores key inflections and pivots that have led to the DNA of Amazon. Most importantly, the insights and implications presented will provoke anyone who participates in the “Industry of Everything” which Amazon competes in to reassess and evolve their own strategies. I know I will.” (Anh Nguyen Lue, North America Open Innovation and eCom Category Management Leader, P&G)

“If you believe in the philosophy of knowing your enemy then Amazon is a must read for any omnichannel retailer.” (Tim Mason, CEO, Eagle Eye Solutions)

“Natalie Berg and Miya Knights have written one of the definitive accounts of the rise of Amazon and its dramatic impact on the world of retail. As a financial analyst that has followed AMZN for over two decades, I found this book to be chock-full of insights and datapoints. Berg and Knights’ explanation for why Amazon “went physical” – developing Amazon Go Stores, acquiring Whole Foods – is particularly compelling. There are valuable lessons in this book for investors and for retailers, especially for companies looking to excell at WACD: What Amazon Can’t Do. I highly recommend this book.” (Mark S. Mahaney, Internet Analyst, RBC Capital Markets)

“For any e-commerce entrepreneur, Berg & Knight bring rich insight into how Amazon has become a 25-year overnight success. But as well as unpicking Amazon’s growth, it’s also a well-timed reminder about the seismic and exciting changes in customer behaviour that’s helping new retailers like Missguided make an impact.” (Nitin Passi, CEO and Founder, Missguided)

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About the Author

Natalie Berg has spent many years helping retailers compete, or partner with, retail giants like Walmart and Amazon. A prolific speaker and retail commentator, she is former Global Research Director at Planet Retail and runs her own consultancy, NBK Retail, specializing in retail strategy, changing shopping habits and future trends. She is co-author of Walmart.

Miya Knights is Head of Eagle Eye Solutions with 20 years’ experience as an analyst, journalist and editor, specializing in enterprise technology use in retail. She owns Retail Technology magazine, is ranked one of Vend’s top 50 retail influencers and has appeared on the BBC, ITN and Sky News, as well as regularly speaking at or moderating industry events.