Given that we just celebrated Thanksgiving last week, and Small Business Saturday just passed, I felt that it would be appropriate to write about how this particular day and holiday season could potentially pose problems for Amazon. There is no question that Amazon has the potential to take down any competition standing in their way. However, it is reported that more than half of American households with an Amazon Prime membership will head to their local mom-and-pop shops on Small Business Saturday.
While the common thought is that Amazon and small businesses compete with one another, Small Business Saturday is an exception. Interestingly, almost half of Amazon Prime members say that they will spend more than 50 percent of their holiday shopping dollars at small businesses. Small business owners generated as much as 15.4 billion dollars in revenue on Small Business Saturday in 2016.
I think this really speaks to a lot about what I have written in previous posts, about the perks of shopping for specialty items in the store. For items such as gifts, often times customers enjoy getting to pick out exactly what they want, ask about what is popular, and receive an opinion before making a selection.
As convenient as Amazon may be, holiday shopping is generally a time where they don’t see as many sales as they do at other times over the course of the year. Amazon is ideal for any customer who is buying a product they have bought before, or know exactly what they are looking for and don’t need to see it in person before making a decision. In addition, small businesses are sometimes able to customize products in ways that Amazon isn’t able to. It is for many of these reasons that both Amazon and small businesses are as successful as they are. While their target markets may be the same or very similar, each meets different needs.
Personally, I love the feel of walking into a small business. There is something unique about each one. It makes me feel good when the sales clerk takes the time to give me their opinion on the products so that I can make the right purchasing decision. These experiences are typically memorable, which greatly increases the chances that I will return to the store in the future. I also always feel good giving business to people who have worked hard to build their business to be where they stand today.
In closing, I really enjoyed blogging about Amazon this semester. Prior to beginning my research, I had never really thought about the huge differences between Amazon and small businesses. I have gained a greater understanding of how each has been able to achieve success. Small businesses are going to continue to be around for countless years to come, and so will Amazon. As I said in one of my previous posts, while Amazon may have a lot to offer consumers, they can never be everything to everyone. I look forward to keeping up with Amazon in the future, and see how the company continues to excel.