There are mixed feelings about January 26. Should we really be celebrating what is, to many of us, an invasion of Australia?
Maybe we should have mixed feelings about December 5 too. Especially if you’re a retailer.
This invasion has been peaceful. They’ve dropped their anchor, rowed ashore and hoisted the Amazon flag without a lot of fanfare. Just a news report or two.
Many are predicting an Amazonian victory. Maybe not this Christmas, but possibly in the months ahead.
So why would they win? Is it because their products are exclusive to Amazon? No. Most of what they have to offer is available elsewhere. Are they cheaper? Not necessarily.
A lot of observers reckon that the real reason Amazon strikes fear into the hearts of other retailers is their customer service.
The company doesn’t really focus on its competitors. It focuses on making its customers feel special. In an interview with US News, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos talked about how important word of mouth is. He said that in the physical world an unhappy customer might tell six people, but online, that same customer could reach thousands.
So Amazon works hard to keep its customers happy. They get the little things right, like fast shipping.
If local retailers are getting the little things wrong, they have every reason to fear Amazon. But if they evolve, they can not only survive, but thrive.
Evolution is good for retailers. After all, Amazon itself evolved from a bookseller into one of the biggest and most trusted online stores in the world.
Peter Goodall is BCM’s Creative Director