Look Back to the History:
The phenomenon of dethroning is not started by e-commerce era. It started way back when the neighborhood stores started closing down for the retail chains. The retail chains are now closing down for Amazon which gave every customer, the power of buying any product without leaving your couch.
History gives us numbers but there are still more to be down to tally. There are many neighborhood stores which sustain. Starbucks could not close down our favorite food truck which serves us yummy sandwiches, Fredmeyer could not close the Indian grocery stores in every corner of Redmond, Kindle could not stop the paperback printing. I am sure that there is an impact but these reasons are never enough for the warrior in you to admit the defeat and put down the sword.
How Small Business can win the war against Amazon?
Business cannot compete with Amazon because of its three strengths:
Sellers – They enrich Amazon website by selling pins to cars
Technology – Amazon is more a technology company than a retailer
Cash Reserve – Forbes list is the answer
Ten simple steps for businesses to resist Amazon wave:
- Signature Products : Think about the food truck where you purchased again last time. Why did you do that? As against the available options of restaurants, a long queue is formed for their signature recipes. This could mean much, for the small business as well. Bring your store or products a signature touch which would compel the customers to visit you.
- Human Touch : Digital screen will never be equivalent to a human response. Greet your customer, help them by knowing what they want. Express your gratitude for their patronage.
- Use Technology : Have a good website and create a strong patronage by newsletters, offers exclusive for your subscribed customers.
- Social Media : Amazon does not need an advertisement to be in the minds of customers and still every new product of theirs are hugely advertised. Being a small business owner, you may not compete with a cash rich conglomerate in advertising. Instead use the power of social media, interact with them, help them know your offers and encourage them to participate.
- Know the Market: There is always a demand for products new to market. Keep a check on Amazon to see their best selling items. Your advantage is the customers may touch and feel the product before buying it, so encash it.
- Sell on Amazon : Amazon need not be a competitor always. You can also grow with them by selling your products in their online stores.
- Ask for Feedback: Ask everyone to share their feedback on your product or services. Offer them discounts or in store coupons for their effort spend on giving you feedback.
- Price Margin: Selling a product at $50 for a profit of $8 and selling two at $45 with a profit of $5 each, earns you $2 more. Sell your products for most reasonable price with less profit margin.
- Customer Loyalty: Remember your returning customers and acknowledge them. Express how thankful you are for their visit. Send them an automated mail on their birthday’s, offer them a Priority Card. Bring in a strategy to honor your loyal customers in a more special way.
- Service : After sales service, minimum courtesy to call your customers to see if the product they purchased is working fine, explaining the product and allowing them to play around with it will make them come again to your store.
Tame the Mammoth:
“Seeing is believing”: Probably this is true even in today’s world. Customer gets the products immediately in their hand, without wait time and they can trust what they are purchasing. This is the strength the neighborhood store and even 100% return guarantee cannot topple its acceptance. Go for it!