How Innovative Online Retailers Are Taking On Amazon

Business Insider

Gilt Groupe's Kevin Ryan hosted a panel here at Business Insider's Ignition 2012 conference in New York City about the evolution of e-commerce, and the group had some interesting insights about what it takes to compete against global retail titan Amazon nowadays.

Amazon is "vending machine shopping," and as a smaller e-commerce player, it's impossible to compete with that directly, said OpenSky founder and CEO John Caplan.

Instead, you have to try something totally different.

"What's different today than 15 years ago is that today, everything is being launched as a reaction to Amazon and eBay," he explained.

At Dollar Shave Club, an e-commerce player that's still in its very early stages, they've decided to concentrate on lifestyle.

"We think about brand and experience and offering something that Amazon can't," said Dollar Shave Club CEO Michael Dubin. "A robust brand and lifestyle experience."

And at Fancy Hands, they're trying to keep things focused in order to leverage strengths. Most importantly, the company can't afford to lay back — it always has to press to get better.

"We can't succeed by having Amazon fail," said Fancy Hands CEO Ted Roden. "We have to be way better [than Amazon] at what we do in our niche."

Disclosure: Kevin Ryan, Gilt Groupe's CEO, is Chairman and co-founder of Business Insider.



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