Today we are talking about Amazon. Before we do, let me introduce you to our sponsor– my 71 Ultimate Marketing Tools Resource. It is a free book. If you want to copy my marketing system, just go here, grab it and download it.
Then, if you don’t like all the emails, there’s a one-click unsubscribe at the bottom. There’s no spam and I can’t grab your credit cards. I’ve got nothing for sale. So let’s talk about Amazon.
Amazon is not just a Goliath, a colossus; it is Amazon, the only company that can command a market like they do at the moment. Wal-Mart and Apple are still the biggest in retail sales, but Amazon is growing. They have a formula. We all love Amazon.
So if they are your competition, don’t think I’m not going to buy from Amazon because that will stop them. Don’t be silly. Just deal with it. Get over it. Amazon is there. Do not let them finish you off.
Now, one way to guarantee that Amazon will finish you off is if you work online and you have some specific products that you sell on your website that you then put them all into Amazon’s Marketplace and sell them via Amazon’s Marketplace. Not only do you pay them a fee of 16-20% of your profits, but they also monitor what is being sold.
If they have a product that sells lots consistently, it flags up on their systems. They look into getting that product and trust me, Amazon has better buying power than you, and if you had it made specifically, they’ll have it made. They are Amazon. They will discover if you’ve got a popular product.
They will sell it themselves. You’re out of business. Don’t help them there.
The other one is stick to your niche. Do not be like Amazon or like Wal-Mart. Don’t try and get too big. Stick to it. Offer value that they cannot do.
Amazon does not offer free trials. They do not offer training courses. They do not offer free training. They do not have YouTube videos galore specific to every single product.
They do not go into the nth degree in products. They have multiple versions. They don’t necessarily stick to smaller amounts of choice. Sometimes you go on Amazon, you don’t know what to choose so you sort it by popularity and pick the one everyone else has picked.
That’s what everyone else has done and that’s why it gets more popular. Nothing to do with whether it’s the best one quite often.
Have customers that are loyal to just you. Give them a reason to be loyal. But don’t twinge about it. I’m in a private fire extinguisher and fire safety group in LinkedIn and this comes up over and over where people moan about the Internet companies of which I run one.
What they don’t realize is that we offer the same service that all of the non-Internet companies offer, but because we sell the same products that they sell, and this may sound ridiculous, we quite often sell them for a slightly lower price than they can even buy them for because we sell so many.
We’re like a mini Amazon of fire safety. They can’t compete. Quite often they actually buy the products from us. We don’t give them any trade discount because there isn’t one. We have systems and we’re smooth, we’re slick and it’s all done with systemization and efficiency. We can do that. But we do what they do. But the offline companies moan about it.
Let me read what I said to this. I said “Why do you always complain about the online companies? Why do you create the demand from your customers for us discount competitors by putting huge mark-ups on your own products? If we can afford to sell them at that price, why can’t you?
Instead of selling them for three or four times the price we sell them for, why not sell them for 50% more than we sell them for? You deliver. You talk to the customers. It’s different. You’ll get the sales even at 50% more and that’s still a good margin.”
I said, “Does anyone here buy from Amazon? Because Amazon is fantastic. You can moan about Amazon or you can moan about the Internet companies but you still use it and that’s what your customers are doing. The customers are modern. They want what they want. Amazon’s giving them what they want.
Me as an Internet supplier is giving them what they want. Don’t moan about us. Get with the program.”
Wake up, smell the coffee. I didn’t say that but I like saying that one just in general and I do like a cup of coffee in the morning.
I said, “It’s right in front of us and the writing is on the wall. Customers are in charge now and they want what they want, not what we want. Shocking, eh?”
So, will everyone keep complaining and sticking to what works 20 years ago or will we start to give the customer what they want? Does anyone remember when Japanese cars were rubbish and we laughed at them because they were rust buckets? Well, in the UK, there is no UK car industry anymore.
The Japanese cars are made in factories in the UK with Honda, Toyota and Nissan written on the factory walls, massive things, and we all drive them because they provide the customer with what they wanted. They weren’t complacent, they got modern. The UK car industry is gone.
Our electronic industry is gone and motor bike industry is gone. Customers want lower prices. Customer want higher quality service. Customers want personal service. They want what they want. They want what you want when you’re a customer of someone else. Give it to them.
Do not let Amazon beat you. Do not let Wal-Mart beat you. Do not let big competition beat you. Do what you do. Ask your customers what they like about what you do and give them more of that. Does that help?
Tuesday Toolbox Tip
Anyway, it is a Tuesday. It’s time for a Tuesday Toolbox Tip. Today it is for a little app that goes with email called Sidekick. It’s clever. Just visit getsidekick.com. It is from the fabulous people at Hub Spot. It is free. Most of the things I recommend I think are free. There is a paid version. Most of the things that are free have a premium paid version but often if they’re good like Hub Spot Sidekick, the free one is good enough.
What it does is it tags emails. It’s a plug-in. It goes with Gmail. It probably works with Live and your other email things. But if you’re not using Gmail then you’ve not been listening to me. Please use Gmail or Google Apps.
Sidekick is a simple plug-in. When I say a simple plug-in, you just click it and it says, “Install with Gmail.” It just does it all itself. You just click the buttons it says to click. It does it. You don’t have to be technical. When you send an email, it sends a reply receipt.
Now, you’re thinking, “Everything does that.” No, this is different. This tells you when I’ve opened the email you sent me. It puts a pop-up in the corner of your screen. It says so and so is looking at your email right now.
So and so has just clicked on that click. So and so that’s listening, if they have it in their database which is sometimes a bit sketchy but for some it comes up, here is their Twitter handle, here is their Facebook, here is their LinkedIn, here is their Google Plus, here’s their email address. It’s really clever. If you don’t like it, just uninstall it. But I’ve actually found it’s dead handy.
By the way, you’re going to know a lot about what people are doing. Don’t scare them and think that you’re spying on them and tricking them. Otherwise they won’t take your emails anymore. But occasionally if you know they’ve clicked on something and then they don’t respond to you, a couple of days later or a day later, you can send them another email saying, “Hey, I’m pretty sure you’ve probably clicked on and had a look at it now. What did you think? Shall I send you another? Can I give you a call?”
Don’t say, “I know you’ve clicked.” Just say, “You probably have. Everyone else does.” Sidekick. You’ll find the link in the show notes. Same as every other Toolbox Tip. If you want to know this one by the way, I do use it and I love but it didn’t get into our special book because I haven’t used it for years.
All the ones I’ve used for years and use every day are in there. It’s called The 71 Ultimate Tools Guide for Marketing for Small Businesses. It’s great. It will give you all the stuff. They’re virtually all free.
If any of them cost any money, they’re going to cost hardly anything. I don’t like to spend money when there’s free stuff. Go to marketingforowners.com/71. It’s free. It won’t bite.
Or you can now text in the USA to 333-444. Text the words “71tools”, to that number and you’ll see how modern technology works. That’s tech clever too.
What can you do to keep Amazon from finishing you off?