Retailers have already discovered the power of apps and how they make your business better, sharper and able to respond quickly to customers needs. But something has come into play looks to destabilize everything by turning an app against you. We’re talking about the Amazon mobile price check app which uses your own framework against you. But how can you defend yourself against such an action? It’s easier than you think.
It’s not hard to start thinking in terms of fiery doom for your store when Amazon is not only offering to match your prices on anything you sell, but also offering discounts in some cases, as much as $5 off if they use the Price Check app in your store. But this is one of those times when you have to step back, take a deep breath, and remember: there’s more to marketing than just price.
It’s called the Marketing Mix, and it’s one of the great basic principles of marketing. It’s even broken down into what are called the Four P’s, for easy mnemonic-style remembering: Price (the one that Amazon’s about to walk away with), but also Product, Place, and Promotion. And this is where you and your little retail store are about to do a number on Amazon. When it comes to price, it’s very hard for brick and mortar to compete with online. They have lower overhead. They don’t pay sales tax in more than a few cases. Basically all they have to do is get the item in question and ship it out. You, meanwhile, have to buy several of the item, keep it on your shelves, keep those shelves sufficiently well-lit to see the item, keep the store heated or cooled sufficiently that people can stand to be in the building, and so on and so forth.
Looks bad for you, until you consider that you have other ways to compete. You can compete on Product, or what you sell. Sell things that people want or need, that Amazon or the like can’t easily bring into play. You can compete on Place; offer up your goods right now, an edge Amazon and its shipping times can never match. And there’s always Promotion, offering your goods in such a way that people want them over those of Amazon. And of course, you can compete in terms of service as well, offering a toll-free number so customers can contact you, hunt groups to keep your calls funneled and unmissed, as well as cloud-based telephony to handle higher volumes. There are plenty of options you have that places like Amazon don’t use, so winning the retail war may not be as hard as you think, even with Price Match in place.