Confession…

We don’t actually like Amazon (please read on – this is not a click bait article!)

We don’t like the way they have taken over the world, trampling upon many independent businesses, paying minimal taxes and treating people who work for them badly.

But they are extraordinarily successful.  There is a simple reason why they have succeeded and others have failed.

They give customers what they want.

And that is why we like (or at least admire) them.  They understand their customers (and their customers now span a broad spectrum) and they make life easy/easier for them.

I was aghast when I was organising something with a friend and we needed to buy a particular item.  We found it online (at somewhere other than Amazon) and she immediately went to Amazon to see if they were cheaper.  They weren’t, but she still ordered from Amazon because “it was easier”.  They had her address and payment details saved – one click and the items were on their way.  With Amazon Prime they arrived very quickly.

When we have been to craft fairs we have been horrified when “customers” (of the fairs not my stall!) have said “I do all my Christmas shopping on Amazon, I can get everything I need, delivered to my door, in one evening”.  No!!!!  Please support local businesses or they won’t survive.  But we understand that people have busy lives and will use businesses which make their lives easier…

World Book Day, dress up as a Victorian child, WW2 “evacuee”, Roman, and school plays requiring costumes (squirrel??) fill us with dread.  We are no good with a piece of fabric, needle and thread, or cardboard and paint.  We begrudge spending a lot of money (or even any money) on something that will be worn once.  When we don’t have something which can be easily adapted, even we now resort to Amazon as we know we will be able to find what we need, it won’t cost the earth, and will deliver quickly.

So, what can we learn from this?

We need to make our the lives of our customers/potential customers easier.  Make it easy for them to find what they want to buy from you, to contact you.  Make it easy to buy.  Look at your processes (and your website) – what can you do to make it easier for your customers?

We recently added an “Amazon Pay” button to a website we were building (on the basis if you can’t beat them join them!) – that way customers can sign in with their Amazon account.

You have lots of advantages over the big guys – think about what you can do to make buying from you easier for your customers. Come on, we can beat the big guys!!

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© Beyond the Kitchen Table 2019