Retailers Advised To Improve Customer Experience To Compete Against Amazon

Date: January 14, 2016

Focus On Core Business Sets Standard For E-Commerce Retailers

Amazon once again set the standard for holiday shopping season, leaving its competitors, whether brick and mortar or online, scrambling to compete. Retail Wire contributor Ken Lonyai said that Amazon had a “stellar holiday season,” adding 3 million new Prime members in a single week and accounting for $0.51 of every new e-commerce dollar spent in 2015. While Amazon doesn’t always “get everything right,” especially related to some innovations and hardware, Lonyai said that overall, the company “executes effectively on its core business, meeting consumer expectations and outperforming major competitors.” For other retailers to compete, they need to accelerate technology, innovation, and enhanced messaging, but they must first execute “dependably on stellar customer experience,” which is necessary now more than ever. Lonyai cited personal examples from the holiday shopping season. While Macy’s provided a “very good online experience,” he found that “multiple physical visits revealed stores were understaffed, over-packed, merchandise often jumbled, and the highly touted endless-aisle kiosks were universally ignored.” Meanwhile, department store Lord & Taylor offered “a slow, somewhat tedious website with a burdensome shopping cart.” Both of these cases, while dealing with large chains rather than small local retailers, highlighted the importance of the customer experience.

What This Means For Small Business

The takeaway for small businesses is knowing that their core business and effective execution are key to customer satisfaction. Amazon’s competitors, though they may offer quality products, failed to implement their strategies by overlooking this central insight.

Additional Reading

The NFIB provides guidance on building successful e-commerce for small businesses.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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