WPP Checkout 2017 Commerce Forum Highlights

POSSIBLE had a big presence at the first ever WPP Checkout in 2017, with employees and clients alike in attendance. POSSIBLE was excited to host the session From Interactions to Transactions: The Future is Brand + Commerce with our global CEO Shane Atchison and our friend and client, Katie Frink, senior director of ecommerce for New Chapter, Inc. Additionally, we led the Amazon Black Belt Master Class with our global SVP of commerce, Frank Kochenash.

A WPP exclusive event, Checkout helped POSSIBLE share knowledge, learn, and discuss trends in retail, shopping, and technology from the commerce industry at large. We caught up with Frank to find out what stood out at the conference, and what we can expect from commerce in the years to come.

Amazon, Amazon, Amazon

It’s hard to talk commerce without mentioning Amazon, and that proved to be true at WPP Checkout, where nearly every presenter spent time discussing the commerce super giant. From Amazon Prime to Alexa and Kindle, they continue to disrupt the industry and set trends for the future. You can read more about Amazon’s presence in each point below.

Conventional grocery is in a death spiral, and commerce is picking up the slack.


With online shopping at an all-time high and still growing, we are at a tipping point of a complete commerce take over. This means traditional retail and grocery is in peril.

As Brian Gildenberg of Kantar pointed out, grocery margins are so razor thin that if a typical grocery store loses five percent of revenue, it becomes unprofitable, leaving them extremely vulnerable to market changes. Many analysts are predicting that Amazon will capture three to five percent of the grocery market by 2020, while other commerce companies capture much of the rest.

This means we will probably see the start of a death spiral in conventional grocery, and a bifurcation in retail: commerce and higher-end retail stores on one side; discounters like Aldi and Lidl on the low-price end. Everyone in the middle goes through the same door that Borders and Circuit City did.

Where do brands fit on retailer platforms?

Amazon and commerce are changing consumer buying behavior and brands aren’t totally sure where they fit into this. It is imperative that brands become part of the consumer relationship, create emotional connections, experiences, and customer journeys

The relevant economics are customer economics

Despite their prevalence, basket economics and unit economics are dead because they are short sighted. If brands and retailers can create lasting relationships with their customers, then they’ve won a customer for life. Amazon Prime proves this. In developing profitable relationships with consumers—rather than profitable baskets—they’ve generated long term, growing, loyal customers.

POSSIBLE was honored to be a part of this new event and will continue to lead the industry on commerce strategy and trends. If you’d like to learn more about this event, head to the WPP Checkout website.

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