CBS Minnesota ran a story last night on the special Amazon is promoting today. Download an app on your smartphone, visit your local small business and scan a product you want to purchase into the app. Rather than making the purchase at your local business, go home and purchase the product off of Amazon for a five percent discount.
As expected, many small businesses feel frustrated and threatened by this move as the Minnesota CBS affiliate reported. However, as a small local business you can either feel threatened or see it as an opportunity.
You now have a number of shoppers coming into your store that may or may not have every been through the doors before. They now have an incentive to enter your shop. While you might not be able to compete on price with Amazon, you surely can compete on other levels that are just as important to shoppers. Consider…
- Welcome your shoppers into your shop. Go above and beyond by introducing community members to your staff, your shop owners and offering suggestions or help in choosing the best product for them.
- Providing a followup opportunity for the shopper. Promote in house events whether they are sales, demonstrations, new hours, or learning events. Give them a reason to come back and try again even if they don’t make a purchase today.
- Tell them where they can find you online. Encourage them to form a relationship with your business online via Facebook, Twitter, and your website.
- Partner with other local small businesses. If you have a sale, consider suggesting that other small businesses on your block do the same.
While the discount applies today only with Amazon, small businesses can use Amazon’s move to drive business away from local brick and mortar stores as motivation to be creative in their offerings and marketing efforts.