Amazon is Encouraging People to Narc the Competition

ON PRICES They have an app or something that let’s you scan a bar code with your smart phone and get an instant price check — from Amazon — and while you’re in a different store.

Frigging brilliant!

And, of course, the people whose stores are being thus used are going batshit. Accusing Amazon of all manner of bastardy, the executive’s parents of bestiality, and the like.

Which is, of course, entirely to be expected. Nobody likes change. Nobody likes to be forced to work harder for their daily bread. Businessmen, for the most part, hate competition. Capitalists hate capitalism. They would far prefer some sort of crony-ist command economy where senior players get preferential treatment, or that a business, once established, should be protected from newcomers or other types of competitors in “their” market segment. I know. I work for a company that was once king of the world and has had to accept competitors into a niche that it formerly not only owned, but actually invented. Hard cheese, indeed.

Of course, instead of whingeing about how hard life is, we’ve pulled up our big boy pants and gone to work to improve our product line, our offerings to our customers in the realm of service, and to improve our performance in all areas. In short, we’ve competed right back at the bastards.

So, in the case of those stores whose premises have been used as an Amazon price check shelf, what’s their problem? Competing with Amazon on price cuts their margins? You’ll notice that, in my list of things my company has done to compete, nowhere is price mentioned. Competing with a lowballer on price is a chump’s game. You have to differentiate yourself in other ways. And you have to be prepared to deal with potential customers who ONLY shop on price. And be prepared to send them away unsatisfied when your offerings won’t do.

But, first and foremost, you have to remember that the market exists for the benefit of the buyer. If the buyer cannot benefit from your offerings, then it is you who’s drawn the short straw, and it’s you who will go out of business.

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