Retail vs. Amazon.com: How can smaller retailers keep up with customer expectations in the age of Amazon fulfillment? / by Anthony Carpenter, Brianna Deihl, Chongxi Qiu, Puxi Yang
The advent of the internet has changed most things about life in the western world. Communications are fast and free, geography no longer defines interpersonal relationships, and the world of commerce no longer needs brick and mortar stores to sell their goods.
At present 96% of American’s shop online but 49% say they would prefer to see the item in person before purchasing. [Kelly] Clearly there is an internal conflict happening based on these statistics. While it’s nice to see the product before you purchase, the expectation no longer wins out.
The generations definitely shop differently, which isn’t surprising. Tech-savy Millenials have no problem trusting the online process whereas Baby Boomers still need to see the product before handing over the money. [Kelly] As the Boomers age out and lose their hold on purchasing power, the younger generations and their habits will take hold of the economy. This means more online and less in person.
At present 2/3rd of American shoppers check prices on their phones before buying something at a brick and mortar. [Lunka] This is called “showrooming” and it’s devastating local businesses who cannot buy at Amazon’s margins nor offer as large of a selection.
This opens the door to explore how small businesses can compete with such a large competitor. We will explore shopper’s experiences, expectations to help ascertain where and how small business can thrive.