jack_o_lanternSince the advent of the internet, retail companies have been on a constant pursuit to expand and improve their eCommerce experience for shoppers. No company is achieving this goal more than the massive flotilla of eCommerce that is Amazon. Naturally, bigger ships make bigger targets and once-gilded brands are increasing the urgency of reaching the bar Amazon continuously raises. Major retailers–Wal-Mart and Staples, for example–are furiously enhancing their customer experience arsenal along with increasing their consumer touch points either through buying promising start-ups or expanding into previously uncharted waters.

This month’s Personalization Round Up explores the vanguards of retail along with their strategies for solidifying their leadership positions. Read on to learn how Walmart, Amazon and Staples are battling for the hearts, minds and wallets of consumers.

The eCommerce big leagues,” Retail TouchPoints– There’s no better way to illustrate the dynamics of eCommerce than beautiful imagery (produced by Baynote, no less!). The top 5 retailers today collectively produced more nearly $88 billion in web sales during 2012. With eCommerce sales growing quickly, expect to see even higher sales when numbers of 2013 are released. But don’t worry, this infographic demonstrates that there’s still room for the smaller guy in a space dominated by retail behemoths.

Amazon’s revenue soars, but no profit in sight,” NYTimes With the release of its 3rd quarter earnings report, Amazon continued its trend of ever increasing revenues but zero profit. The results, while attracting praise by investors for its positive growth, also has garnered criticism by those impatiently waiting for positive returns. While it’s not clear when Amazon will turn revenue into profits, it’s hard not to notice just how prevalent the company has become. If a strong user base is a sign of future fortunes, Amazon is certainly on the right track

Staples buys personalization startup Runa to square up against Amazon in office supplies,” TechCrunch– Not to be outdone by the personalization excellence of Amazon, Staples purchased startup Runa in order to increase the level of personalization across Staples.com. Wearing its flair for eCommerce proudly, Staples’ purchase follows the removal of Amazon lockers from brick-and-mortar locations. These two moves demonstrate that Staples is actively protecting its office-space turf; the company has made it clear that Runa is only the beginning of their eCommerce expansion.

To catch up, Walmart moves to Amazon’s turf,” NYTimes Few companies understand growth better than Walmart. Accordingly, Walmart has realized that in order to stay ahead of retail trends, it must take a two-pronged approach and adopt eCommerce to supplement its brick-and-mortar offerings. This move is particularly interesting since Amazon has adopted the same strategy as it is increasing more physical store locations in order to compete against the Walmarts of the world. This meeting-of-the-middle between these two retail behemoths illustrates how today’s retail landscape requires a mix of multiple consumer touch points in order to stay competitive.