Amazon.com is not a "friend" or 'foe' to small businesses.
It's in business, just like we all are to make money.
That money is made by selling something someone wants and making a profit. It's having great products, great customer service and whatever other things—marketing or hiring the right staff—that make our businesses competitive.
Amazon.com has an app, the Price Check app, that makes it easy for you to search for a price on a product and see the price on Amazon.com.
Amazon.com has caused some controversy in the small business retail world, politicians and advocacy groups by giving folks a 5% discount if they checked a local retailer's price on the app and then bought the product from Amazon.com.
Hard for retailers to compete against that? Sure. Sleazy? No.
People already check local retail store prices and compare them to what's on line. In fact Staples has been a leader in having computers, in plain view, in their local stores and encouraging you to check the web (albeit a Staples store) for the item in question.
Instead of getting angry, local retailers should use this as an opportunity to "step up" their retail game and compete more effectively, whether they have an online presence or not. Here are some easy steps they can take to compete with the online giant:
5. Hire great people who can execute well technically and from the heart.
6. Don't be afraid of lower prices. Every customer is NOT for you. Maybe someone wants a pair of jeans for $15 that you can only sell for $45 or more. That's fine. Happily direct them to a lower priced competitor and work hard for those who value your higher priced item and what it stands for.
7. See how you can leverage Amazon.com. Maybe you should sell some products through Amazon.com and partner with them as John Lawson spoke about here.
8. Stopping tinkering around with social media and leverage it as the deceptively powerful force it is.