A friend posted something last week about a new app from Amazon. Maybe you heard the uproar about it. The Amazon Price
Check allows you to easily compare the prices of local merchants with Amazon prices. On Saturday they were giving a discount to users who purchased an item that they’d price checked.
Price checking is nothing new. To paraphrase the marketing slogan “there were already apps for that.” Amazon simply benefited from some publicity when retail groups and Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) provided some media attention for the app complaining that it was “anti-competitive.” That was on top of grumbling that Amazon has an unfair advantage. Consumers bypass paying sales tax by purchasing at Amazon.
Saying Good-bye or Saying Good Buy?
I know it’s sad when your favorite local store closes. Who doesn’t want a vibrant downtown area? You want to keep your favorite coffee shop, health food store, neighborhood bookstore…
But I don’t think voting for scarcity (if people shop online then all our local stores will close) or blame (those big, bad stores are ruining our local economy) serves anyone.
I’m guessing that I’m not that different from most people in that I shop online for reasons like convenience, price, reviews of products…. And I shop locally for different reasons—the vibe of a store, liking the owner/staff, being able to see and touch a product before purchasing it…
The truth is that in any economy, some businesses make it. And others close their doors. It’s not the consumer or your client’s job to keep your business running. That’s your job.
And making sure your business thrives isn’t the job of another business, be they large or small, local or global. It’s your job. But I already said that, didn’t I?
Amazon’s Price Check is innovative. They paid attention to consumer habits, consumer desires. And then they got creative and took action.
Don’t waste your time and energy blaming them for running their business. Bless them for showing what’s possible. And then shift your attention to growing and maintaining your business.
The place to put your time and energy
The Senator called the practice “uncompetitive.” My computer gives me this definition for competitive: “As good as or better than others of comparable nature.” Of course you want to be “as good or better than others of comparable nature.”
My goal for you to go a step further. Carve out your niche, the place where your skills, desires, and knowledge come together perfectly with your clients needs. That way you don’t have competition. My goal is for you to be empowered as an entrepreneur so that you succeed at what you do best.
Empowerment Step One
Spend some time evaluating your business.
What makes your business special?
What do your target clients want?
How can you creatively give them what they want?
How do you, like Amazon, add more value to their experience?
If you’d like help with coming up with marketing that fits your values, that draws on your strengths, and that speaks to what your clients want check out the upcoming Beyond Random Acts of Marketing teleclass series.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts here.