While death and taxes may be the only things that are certain in life, we should now consider Amazon on this short list. Following the success of Prime Day and the launch of its Prime Now service, the retail giant is cementing itself into the mere fibers of consumers' lifestyles by reaching them offline, online and beyond.

The good news for retailers is that Amazon alone cannot capitalize on the $460 billion U.S. shoppers will spend online in 2017 (according to a new report from Forrester). As companies small to large realize there is still a strong appetite for consumer spending, they can learn a lot from Amazon in how the company has been able to reach the right customers at the right time and in the right place. 

This all starts with collecting and analyzing the right data on your customers, including who the customers are, where they're coming from and why (both physically and based on intent). Amazon doesn't just pick a random month to have its Prime Day - the timing is right at the peak of summer, the smell of American pride is still lingering on the grill and we're well before the holiday rush. Amazon is also giving consumers easy and fast opportunities to acquire products that they may not need but they realize they can take advantage of in the moment. 

All of these decisions center around the consumer and the purchasing journey we make - not around a single transaction but in our daily lives. This focus on the consumer has allowed Amazon to reach who it wants and when. As more retailers release earnings in the coming weeks and retail sales continue to skyrocket heading into the holidays, keep a close eye on how each business approaches this critical time of year. It's not a one-size-fits-all mentality - we've graduated to a time where the customer is in full control.