Let’s face it. Any retail category Amazon touches turns to ash for small business and even its larger competitors. The company has forever changed the nature of book, music and electronics sales. As an author, once upon a time, I enjoyed fairly impressive sales through a network of small and independent book stores. Those outlets slowly but surely caved in as authors, publishers and bookstores found the lure of online sales either devastating or deceptively lucrative.
Amazon has made it intentions extremely clear from the start when it came to their latest endeavor – high fashion. A still somewhat slow economy may be partly to blame for the decline in retail stales, but the likes of Kohl’s, Macy’s and even Nordstrom are feeling the pressure with notable drops in retail sales. This decline can be set side by side with the proliferation of Amazon fashion. I’ve discussed this before – Amazon’s new photo studios In New York and London are strategically poised to compete with fashion’s heavy hitters, and it appears that they have begun to pick up the kind of steam that others are forced to acknowledge.
It’s fair to say that competition is good. It keeps all of us on our toes with regard to providing value and innovation to our customers. I don’t believe it’s necessary to be afraid or feel threatened by Amazon, but it sure helps to know what you’re dealing with. I think Nordstrom is a company that has always had the right idea – it isn’t my favorite store because I like the name. Superior customer service, quality merchandise and a nice shopping experience will keep customers coming back. I also value Amazon when I want to find the best price or compare options in one place with a variety of merchandise. As a customer I value both experiences, and as a small business, I can just as well learn from both approaches to customer satisfaction