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Digital transformation is all the rage. With few exceptions, every business now grapples with how the digital economy changes how things were done in the past. Traditional industries wonder worriedly how they’ll be able to keep up.
Take note, then, that a master class on digital transformation is about to begin. Amazon announced Thursday that it will complete its purchase of Whole Foods on Monday. The screaming headlines focused, rightly, on Amazon’s promise to transform “Whole Paycheck” to affordable organics. Amazon will apply its consumer-friendly cost-cutting regimen to a range of Whole Foods products.
The bigger news, though, was how Amazon (amzn) intends to make Whole Foods into a digital powerhouse—or least how it’ll integrate Whole Foods into its digital engine. The high-end supermarket’s loyalty program will become Amazon Prime, instantly boosting the value of the Whole Foods shopping experience and of Amazon’s free-delivery-and-other-benefits program.
Amazon also plans to put many Whole Foods products onto its online platforms, including many that hadn’t previously been available through e-commerce. This will be a possible step function up for Whole Foods and a boon to Amazon too.
Lastly, for now, Amazon plans to test its delivery “lockers” in Whole Foods stores. This drop-off location service is good for Amazon’s shoppers and also enhances the traffic potential for Whole Foods.
Each initial innovation that Amazon is bringing to Whole Foods is something the grocer either couldn’t or didn’t do for itself. At the same time, Amazon is able to “synergize” its e-commerce machine with one of the premier non-digital brands in the country.
Let the transformation commence.