How Amazon is Affecting the World of Retail and the Ways to Counter it
More and more people are spending their precious time online which can both be a waste and a gain. Waste because we find ourselves surfing the net more frequently, putting off chores and workloads that need our immediate attention. Gain because financial transactions can now be done online and communication is a lot more convenient than before. But aside from these, technology in general and internet in particular, have also made a lot of changes in the way consumers behave. Here’s how.
The Amazon Effect
Amazon comes from humble beginnings just like the rest of the multi-million companies of today’s times. It started out to be an online bookstore that was barely surviving. After major revisions and change of ideas, Amazon was able to build a stronger foundation and now, is the biggest e-commerce website.
The Amazon effect describes how it changed the way of business and commerce. It slowed down traditional brick-and-mortar retail demand and lessened foot traffic in shopping centers. All these things were happening while online shopping was just about becoming popular with the masses of consumers. Now, people spend more time shopping online instead of physical shopping. For them, browsing online and paying for delivery charges are much more convenient than having to fight their way in parking spaces and malls, especially during the holiday season. And since Amazon has practically everything, consumers don’t have to go elsewhere to find what they’re looking for.
The Amazon effect has also been linked to why a lot of retail stores like ‘Toys R Us’ are closing down. As the day goes by, the effect is becoming more felt and huge brands are succumbing to the pressure of coming up with a website where shoppers can buy their goods and services. And because Amazon is being favored more means that all brick-and-mortar retailers have to suffer. Here are some of the things that can help small businesses counter it from crushing them.
Use Physical Stores to Serve the Online Business
Instead of competing with each other, why not make these two work together? Nordstrom Local in particular is converting their physical store to supplement the online orders they receive. It’s where people can pick up, return, or refund their orders made online. One of the advantage of having a business like this, is that people would actually opt to have an online shop where they don’t have to pay for shipping. They can also get the products much faster, provided that the item is available in the store.
Be more mobile and web-friendly
Recent survey shows that people appreciate retailers who are accessible online. This means that products and items that they are selling can be viewed on mobile apps and websites. This includes the sizes, colors, and designs that are available in store. This is most helpful for clothing brands since consumers can get very disappointed if the advertised image and what gets delivered to them are vastly different. This way, they can browse the store’s online catalog, saving them time from searching rack to rack.
According to recent survey, 90% of the customers are more likely to spend more time in the store if it has a free and reliable internet connection. They use WiFi when searching for other products online, reading reviews, or calling friends to help them arrive at a decision. They won’t also get bored and won’t be out of the loop when they shop in a store where they can connect to the world wide web.
Human Interaction and more
Amazon serves the need of the people for convenience. Anything we can think of buying, already exists in one place and can be delivered to our doorstep. But what these e-commerce businesses lack is human interaction, that people also look for during these transactions. Physical stores also removes people’s doubt and reassures them that the item they’re going to check out can be returned or replaced whenever they want. There are also many reports of broken, lost, and damaged items when they buy products online. That is why, no matter how big Amazon gets, it will not seal the fate of the retailers who have physical stores.
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