If you’re going to purchase something there is a good chance you will buy it from Amazon. The prices are highly competitive, and most categories of products can be found there.
No physical stores (really), no special product photos or videos, no sales assistants. The customer is then required to do the work by researching the product required, reading reviews, loading the on-line cart before checking out.
The product is shipped via Amazon’s excellent picking, shipping and Amazon Prime service.
With a reasonably robust return policy, the cycle is complete; AND IT WORKS.
As Seth Godin so boldly states ‘the buying race is over. Amazon won’.
Customers rave about Amazon in customer surveys and polls and the bandwagon doesn’t show any signs of slowing up anytime soon. If you are a bricks and mortar store and the products you sell are on Amazon I put it to you that you have yourselves a huge problem. You’ll struggle to compete on price because of overhead costs and it will be difficult to match the power and efficiency of their delivery network. Amazon are local and convenient enough.
Shoppers do not NEED you.
But they may just WANT you.
The end of the dance, the purchase, has never really been the point of shopping on the High Street from the customer’s point of view.
Shopping is a social activity. A Meeting, an Arrangement, an Event between friends or families to spend a few hours in each other’s company at The Greatest Show in Town.
It’s YOUR movie they've come to see; and you’d sure as hell should be ready to ENTERTAIN.
Throw your doors open with the same passion as you did the first moment the store opened. Remember that day? How clean, tidy and well-presented your shop looked?
Every product, sign, demonstration, smell, sound and taste should present your story and your passion for your brand before you even open your mouth to speak.
Then on to the main event. Is your smile, knowledge, passion and your 'why' on display for all to see? Does your brand and personal story touch the hearts of your customer? Does your store innovate and experiment to keep things constantly fun, fresh and new?
Most importantly, can your customer see, hear and feel that you have the deepest understanding of their problem - and that you can solve it for them? Have you listened so closely that the solution you offer will exceed expectations and blow their mind?
For an encore do you have an after-sales service approach that turns problems into more sales? Product returns is a massive opportunity to restore faith in the power of face to face connections.
Work tirelessly to be a modern-day classic and not just another bad movie.
It’s extremely hard work...
But ... Amazon CAN'T DO THAT.