3 Ways Retailers Can Compete with AmazonMolly Thornberg
Several years ago, after discovering Amazon — I pretty much gave up on all brick and mortar stores that sold electronics, especially Best Buy. Amazon offers amazing competitive prices, no tax and they delivered to my door. What more could I ask for?
Then the sales tax hit! In 2012, Amazon gave in to the sales tax debate and started charging Texas (and other states) sales tax. That added around 7.5 percent to my total. I get it, it’s tax — we all have to pay it everywhere (UGH!), but that addition in addition to Amazon’s prices just not being as swell as they use to — had my bargain hunting self rethinking my brick and mortar stance.
So how can brick and mortar retailers compete with Amazon? Here are three ways:
After years away, I found myself in Best Buy last year when I was needing to pickup an Apple Time Capsule. The Amazon price was $15 cheaper than Best Buy, but I needed it STAT. I found out while shopping that Best Buy now price matches Amazon. Actually, they will price match several online outlets. Target will also price match Amazon (just bring your purchase and your phone with the item pulled up to the customer service desk to purchase).
We all love products just showing up at our door step! While retailers have played with delivering products from a store to your door step within hours, it’s not widely done. So what’s the next best thing? Let me order my products and just pick them up in-store. A number of retailers from Best Buy to Target are doing this, thank goodness. I’d love to be able to do this at the grocery store, or CVS.
Reviews and Information
Before I buy let’s say a printer, I check Amazon for reviews and information. What Amazon provides is so much more than valuable than what’s on the box of an item.
Black Friday last year, I purchased a surround sound system for my husband. We went to a store that surprisingly not busy. I was talking to the sales clerk and he had NO information on the product and what’s even worse, he didn’t make an effort to find out. Make your staff experts about the product they are selling or at least experts at knowing how to find the information the customer needs.
As far as reviews, businesses should be encouraging their customers to leave reviews on THEIR websites. Then when future customers come into purchase, direct them to the website to see what previous customers said.
I’ll be an Amazon customer for life. I use Amazon Prime nearly everyday either watching a show, movie or by utilizing free shipping. But until Amazon jumps on that drone delivery thing, there are items I need NOW. Brick and mortar retailers can be grabbing more customers as myself for more purchase, they just need to step up their game so that we aren’t always jumping to Amazon for every purchase.
image source: morguefile.com
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