Do you have a local business or are planning to start one? That’s great; there is no better time to start a business than now. Small business confidence in the United States has never been higher.
But let’s address the elephant in the room – Amazon. How are you going to compete with Amazon, the internet behemoth that destroys every competitor in its path? What chance does your local business have against Amazon?
Well, the way to compete against Amazon is by not playing their game, not playing by their rules. As the brilliant business writer Malcolm Gladwell says, “When underdogs choose not to play by Goliath’s rules, they win.”
Follow these tips for taking on a large internet behemoth such as Amazon.
#1: Don’t even think of competing with Amazon.
Unless you are Wal-Mart, there is no way you can compete with Amazon. You just don’t have the same kind of capital or resources, or the infrastructure and scale. You can’t even compete with Amazon on delivery – Amazon is now capable of offering same-day delivery. What you should do is to focus on your own inherent advantages as a local business and as a member of the local community. Play the David vs. Goliath to the hilt and do things that Amazon can never do, such as establishing a human connection with your customers.
#2: Provide an outstanding personalized consumer experience.
There is no way for you to compete with Amazon on price. Jeff Bezos has become the richest man in the world by providing people with what they want at the cheapest possible price. There are over half-a-billion products on Amazon available for sale. So you can’t conceivably compete with them on product selection either. What you should do is to do things that Amazon cannot, which is to establish a connection with the local community and provide everyone who comes to your store with a personalized shopping experience. Show them you care about them and their life – say a few kind words to people. These are things Amazon can never do.
#3: Take advantage of the negativity surrounding Amazon.
In this day and age, “the human touch” or consumer experience is far more important to shoppers than the price and delivery time. Amazon is seen as a big company that does not really care about people. They are all about profits. There is also a large section of the American population who hates Jeff Bezos and his politics. There are a lot of people who hate Amazon and want to shop locally – provided they can get what they want from Amazon for a similar price. Playing David to Amazon’s Goliath actually works to your advantage.
#4: Offer better shopping convenience.
One of the reasons people shop online is because of sheer convenience such as home delivery. If you can offer home delivery on orders by phone, you can provide them that. It is much easier for people to place an order by phone than online through the internet. Think of the things Amazon cannot do, and focus on providing them to your customers. Make use of the human touch.