Ready to go direct

19 February 2021 • 12:00

While discussing Shopify’s recent earnings announcement, Benedict Evans talks about the trend of both consumers and brands being ready to go direct:

For 20 years Amazon had trust and it had your address and credit card. But for all sorts of reasons, we now have an explosion of new consumer brands using the internet as their first channel, and most of them want to go direct and own their own customer relationship.

I’ve long been an Amazon customer because of precisely the trust and payment factors Benedict mentions. It’s also because all of the information needed for purchase is already in Amazon. Even when I’m not using One-Click, it’s still relatively quick. However, the trust I have in Amazon has eroded. One part of this is because of counterfeit product issues. Another is the constant stream of stories about how Amazon treats their warehouse employees.

Newer payment methods like Apple Pay (and Shopify’s own Shop app) also help take care of the trust equation around payments. In fact, if a vendor offers Apple Pay, it’s my preferred payment method now. It really reduces the friction, both in terms of handling shipping details and the “Do I want to give this vendor my card?” question.

All of these things are openings. Amazon, of course, isn’t doomed. But, we are in an exciting shift that makes for all sorts of new opportunities.