The New York Times reports that since “giant e-commerce companies like Amazon are acting increasingly like their big-box brethren as they extinguish small competitors with discounted prices, free shipping and easy-to-use apps ... little sites are fighting back with some tactics of their own, like preventing price comparisons or offering freebies that an anonymous large site can’t. And in a new twist, they are also exploiting the sympathies of shoppers ... by encouraging customers to think of them as the digital version of a mom-and-pop shop facing off against Walmart: If you can’t shop close to home, at least shop small.”
- KC's View:
It seems to me that Amazon probably has to be a little careful about allowing the “bullying” narrative to gain too much traction in the media. Then again, maybe it doesn’t really matter in the end, because the ultimate battle is going to be between Walmart and Amazon, and pretending to be anything other than a behemoth simply would be disingenuous.
The story remains the same for the small guys. you have to offer something different from the big guys. Differentiated products, differentiated services, and a differentiated experience. Doesn’t matter if you;re talking about big box retailers vs. independents, independents vs. online retailers, or small online businesses vs. big online businesses. You’ve got to offer something different.
I’m a little guy. I get this. There are plenty of bigger sites out there, with more resources. But I like to think that it is the attitude at MNB that sets us apart - we say things that the other guys never will say, we think that entertaining the reader is as important as illuminating the reader, and we know that if we keep pushing the envelope in terms of “news in context and analysis with attitude,” it will keep us growing in terms of readership, which helps in terms of sponsorship.
And that’s what I think small retailers have to do, in their own way.