Much has been written recently about Amazon and their domination in various areas of the retail world, including books, office supplies, and most recently the food market. The question now is how does a retail operation compete with what Amazon is doing.
Well, one retailer—Best Buy—has decided that the focus on customer service is the key. Now for me, a national big box retailer and good customer service has usually been an oxymoron. I have read or heard stories about bad customer service with cable companies, cellular companies, banks, and almost any business that has customer service representatives located in India. With retailers, I will go to big box for a pre-determined selection, but would go to small retail for someone to ask questions or seek advice.
In the September 18, New York Times, writer Kevin Roose writes about this. Entitled “Best Buy’s Secret for Thriving in the Amazon Age,” he highlights numbered priorities for the retailer. These priorities include things such as price matching, shipping/delivery changes, and getting input from employees in the store. Small retailers have a history of good customer service, and this article should be a note for all small retailers with hopes of staying in business.
The New York Times had another article published in December, 2013 about Best Buy and their desire to compete against Amazon. Entitled “Underdog Against Amazon, Best Buy Charges Ahead”, it covers some of the points made in this week’s article.
I have not been a fan of big box. They have often tried and succeeded, such as Wal-Mart, at driving away the smaller competition. Low wages have been another issue with some. I can’t say that they are completely bad, because they have often demonstrated innovative ways to compete, rather than just buying out the competition. Best Buy is now the competition. I hope they are able to withstand Amazon and hang in there.
More to come in the future at this site about Amazon.