5 Ways to outsmart Amazon

November 13, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

Business Insider published tactics major retailers are using to outsmart Amazon. Wolff Olins, a consulting company that helps build brands, made the observations, summarized here for Christian stores:

Bring the best of Amazon into your store

Let people pay online and pick-up in store. Karl Heiselman, CEO of Wolff Olins, said half of Wal-Mart’s online sales are picked up at stores. Offering online orders for in-store pick-up is just one way to save your customers time, especially if they are able to get merchandise at their leisure, without waiting for it to be shipped. The Convenant Group and Signature Websites support this strategy.

Make shopping an experience

“Retailers need an engaging offline strategy to get customers in stores and keep them coming back,” Heiselman said. Christian retailers have a distinct edge here, as they build relationships with their customers and are able to extend the grace and love of Christ to them.

Having better merchandise than Amazon

Target achieved this through its Missoni collection, an exclusive collection of designer-branded merchandise that quickly sold out. Heiselman also cited Target’s “Everyday Collection” campaign, which “transformed a dull, yet necessary, retail experience into an energetic and memorable one.” Offering desirable merchandise not carried on Amazon encourages customers to come to Christian stores – and once at the store, to purchase all other Christian products.

Creating communities that provide editorial content

This could exist through online consumer reviews and more. The retailers could also include professional editorial reviews, along with a way for customers to easily buy reviewed products, Heiselman said.  Customer reviews not only help direct new shoppers to your store, they also build community among recurring customers.

Making employees happy

“Costco is known for nailing this,” Heiselman said. The average employee earns twice as much as Wal-Mart staff, and as a result Costco sees lower turnover and better-trained staff. Great customer service is a key way for retailers to beat Amazon, so keeping employees happy is important. We’ve all heard the old adage, “happy employees = happy customers.”  Christian retailers should be able to “nail this” as well.