This IDC Perspective offers insights into the Amazon re:MARS event that took place June 4–7 at the Aria, in Las Vegas. The event felt like a cross between a TED conference and a technology event. Initial keynotes focused on MARS (machine learning, automation, robotics, and space). The event cemented for me that Amazon is "a technology company that just happens to do retail," as stated by Werner Vogels, Amazon's chief technology officer. As it turns out, the online store was just a first stop on Amazon's quest to execute on the fabulous ideas that science fiction taught them, as noted by Bezos in his onstage fireside chat. Amazon announced and demonstrated conversational AI, StyleSnap, deep learning, automation, and robotic technologies that are making it easier to not only personalize interactions but also improve forecasting and fulfillment to consumers.
Leslie Hand, VP Retail Insights, IDC, suggests, "Most retailer's collaborate and partner more, sticking to core business. Allow other providers to own last mile services and lockers and to innovate around drones, driverless cars, and conversational AI. Job one is growing customer relationships and market penetration of your products."