Market Watch, the Wall Street insider websites reports that Amazon earned $232.89 billion last year https://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/amzn/financials.
It is achieving this mind blogging revenues by systematically taking business away from local businesses. Amazon is growing its revenue and operating margins. The question then becomes, “What is the marketing strategy driving Amazon’s success?”
Amazon’s success is built entirely around growing its 105 million customer list. The best article I read on Amazon’s marketing strategy comes from the local business website My Local Bee https://mylocalbee.com/. In their blog there is a post which details Amazon’s marketing strategy – “Amazon is building the world’s largest bird feeder https://mylocalbee.com/blog/post/amazon-is-building-the-worlds-largest-bird-feeder.”
My Local Bee lays out the impact of Amazon’s strategy on local communities, “In every local community when enough local businesses fail, a tipping point occurs – the community falls apart because tax revenues fall; there are no jobs; local governments don’t have money for basic community services; and Main Street becomes desolation row. Suddenly, seeing Amazon boxes on all those porches doesn’t seem like such a good idea.”
Local Businesses Need to Wake Up
Amazon is taking away customers from local businesses one customer at a time. To fail to understand what Amazon is doing is akin to smoking three packs of cigarettes a day – it’s not if you get cancer but when. Cancer kills. Amazon is cancer for ALL local businesses. Amazon is going after every type of businesses: mattresses, autos, pharmacies, food, and the list goes on and on.
Learning to fight back against Amazon should be the number one focus of every local business.
The My Local Bee post goes on. “Here’s the Amazon strategy in one sentence – “if you build a bird feeder for shoppers, then you don’t have to spend on advertising to bring them back.” Amazon and Bezos KNOW that bird feeders are the most important tool in marketing today because they are in sync with shoppers who are walking around with their cellphones 24/7. Here is an Amazing statistic; it is estimated that 66% or 197 million[i] US shoppers visit Amazon EVERY MONTH.
Once a local business knows what Amazon is doing then it is time to do something to fight back. Amazon is showing local businesses how to fight back by building their customer lists. Amazon has DIRECT communication with 197 million[ii] US shoppers EVERY MONTH. This means 66% of shoppers communicate with Amazon every month. If any local business does not understand the long-term consequences on their local business is ASLEEP.
So how do local businesses FIGHT BACK. There are three rules that every local business can implement today. Here are the Three Rules.
The Three Rules of Local Business Success
- Copy Amazon. Every local business #1 focus needs to copy Amazon and build its customer list. The ONLY reason customers will sign up for direct communication with a local business is because they are going to get something GREAT. Amazon gives free shipping to people who sign up to their Prime program. Free Shipping is GREAT.
- Fight Amazon Every Day. A local business fights Amazon by creating one Amazon Beating Deal every day. It then communicates that deal to the people on its customer list.
- Communicate excitement. Everybody wants information if, and ONLY IF, it is about a GREAT DEAL, exciting or highly informative.
Understanding these three rules helps us to understand the core differences between Amazon and local businesses and why, if local businesses do not implement these three rules they will fail.
- Amazon #1 focus is building its list. Local businesses think it is too much effort.
- Jeff Bezos is a disciplined leader who follows a strict routine with stringent requirements for team members at every level. Local business owners are not.
- Amazon has a set routine that it follows to reach out, engage, and market to customers. Local businesses DO NOT. Instead, one day a sales rep sale the local business a Yelp account. The next day a Facebook rep says you have to advertise on Facebook. The lack of a strategic routine is what is killing local businesses.
Amazon, the tech giants, and the retail chains have a choke hold on local businesses and local communities. But they can be beaten by any local business owner who decides to change.