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The Big Bad Wolf or Poster-on-the-Wall Impressive?

Series: Challenges in the Marketplace

There is still a lot of talk on the topic of Amazon and other industry “outsiders” entering the industry. Recently I had to take a step back and look at what Amazon has done, so I pose the question, does Amazon scare you, or impress you?

Many in our industry are scared of Amazon and all other forms of “new” competition. We are in a competitive industry, but all industries are competitive.

Strong businesses will change and grow. Those unable to embrace change will struggle. Personally, I believe that our industry needs to move past the product and price, selling of “stuff” mentality. Beyond selling proven effective marketing materials, we also have the opportunity to do good with our businesses. I love what Promo Cares is all about.

Many distributors are successful offering additional services. Some operate as an agency partnering with clients to help them achieve their goals. Others offer safety and wellness programs. Those who would like to offer wellness programs and fundraising events that are driven by product sales can have FREE access to the FreePromoTips SuccessFit4Life! program. Click here to get your custom website and marketing materials you can personalize.

Some distributors let anxiety affect their choices, and they miss out on using great tools some suppliers have provided. A few of the videos we have on our end-user safe that have more prominent supplier branding have had some pushback by some fear-based distributors. Suppliers provide their videos, and we can’t control what they have on them, but these videos are no different than showing a client a catalog or sending a website link.

If your business is unable to stand up to today’s marketplace and be able to earn the business on the merits your company to be an asset to your clients, you should be scared.

We understand why people are so scared of Amazon. They are a juggernaut business that has changed the game of purchasing. And they have changed it in a big way. I’m guessing most of you shop on Amazon. I do, and that’s what nudged this commentary.

Amazon created an online shopping mentality that altered how people choose to do business, and who they want to do business with. They did it by making it simple to buy, creating value and being incredibly efficient.

I needed a collar for my dog Kona and didn’t think twice about ordering it online from Amazon. Our “precious” cat knocked over my Apple Time Machine back up drive. I ordered it online and had the choice of 1-day or 2-day free shipping. Of course, I chose 1-day. Why not? My wife buys laundry soap and other basics on Amazon. We have embraced the Amazon business model.

Would you buy a bed online? My wife, (The Amazon Queen) suggested this, to which I calmly replied, “are you kidding me?” A bed is a personal thing. It’s not something you buy without seeing and trying it. That said, for those who know bed shopping, after a while, you go to the bed stores and learn what you like, and most have similar products under different names.

Friends loved a bed they purchased online from a company called saatva. Checking out the reviews and looking at their business model, I was open to doing something as crazy as buying a bed online.

At the very least, I knew there was a PromoTip story to be told.

Their business model is game-changing. Unlike beds in a box and other online mattresses, saatva is a traditional box spring mattress. They make these around the country in various strategic locations, and local companies deliver them. The saatva mattress is built with quality eco-friendly materials, and they have 24-hour support in the US.

We found the ordering process simple, and all the people we talked to made doing business with them a pleasure. Our bed arrived in 5 days. They removed our old mattress and set up the new one. They give you 120 days to try it. So far, we like it! Before the Amazon mentality, would I have considered buying a bed online? No way! But Amazon has changed how we all shop.

I was in a discussion about Amazon with some friends. Some think it’s an evil company, pushing lower wage people to move quickly to get the packages out. Others believe Amazon is creating jobs and having a positive economic impact on the businesses who use it to sell their products. Cities, including my own, are fighting to have an Amazon facility.

What do you think? Does Amazon scare, or impress you? I’m in the impressed category.

© 2018 Jeff Solomon, MAS


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