It’s no longer enough to simply post up a lemonade stand and sell products for cheaper than your competition. No, things have grown in complexity now, and it owes to the issue of massive retailers like Amazon now forcing the old-timers like CVS to innovate on their business model. The memory of Toys “R” Us’ recent demise is still fresh in everyone’s minds, and with that said, Amazon’s recent motion into the provision of medical equipment has offered renewed resolve in the hearts of medically focused entrepreneurs to press even harder to hold their ground.
Drew Madden is currently a revered man in the field of medical information technology, but he’s about to become much more than that. CVS countered on Amazon recently with their own reflexive motion to bring Aetna into their array of services, which if successful would allow clients to walk into any CVS retail location and find health insurance services sold and supported right next to the pharmaceutical consultation desk and the provision of prescription pills. In order to make this work, CVS will have to double-dip into the Internet world with more due diligence since box stores are seemingly becoming obsolete by the day.
We don’t think this is the end of medically focused retailers of the sort that you’ll find on the corners of shopping centers everywhere you go, but it’s certainly the start of an omen. Amazon’s tempestuous influence on every industry it touches is a fearsome sight that sort of makes an individual want to root for the smaller companies just out of indignation against the coming Internet-fueled monopoly if more companies don’t start taking Amazon seriously. Losing Whole Foods to Amazon hasn’t been forgotten, either, and it just stands as testament to how serious the situation can be for any company that doesn’t defend itself strategically.
However, don’t take this to mean that the net-based monolith is unstoppable. The whole reason for CVS discussing the move into healthcare provision is precisely because of Amazon’s one great blind spot: They’re just a retail company. As such, they’re not in the business of providing what CVS will hopefully soon provide, which will give clients a reason to keep stopping by those locations despite the benefits that Amazon will try to sell them on.