65% of your customer base views Amazon’s market dominance as a challenge to the existence of their business
70% want the government to either break up or regulate Amazon
When budget is allocated to increase sign-ups or improve retention with a douceur, we want recipients to feel intrigued, recognized, engaged, welcomed, and understood. It turns out there are much better ways to sweeten a deal than sending a gift card with a logo on it that stands for a threat to the livelihood of the community we want to serve. Quotes from survey participants indicate how hard they are struggling, and how forgotten they can feel:
“Hard to understand how the growth and survival of small businesses has taken such a back seat in both political parties over the years.”
“Make Amazon […] pay their taxes. I have to pay mine, they should pay theirs.”
“We frequently have the opportunity to bid on school district purchase orders, and we lose them when Amazon’s prices undercut our margin.”
“Amazon is killing the independent office supply industry.”
“If our cities and towns lose small businesses, we lose essential and culturally significant institutions. If large retailers continue to … monopolize industries, we as individuals also lose the ability to make meaningful choices with our purchases.”
Clearly, with distress signals like these being emitted by the majority of the local business sector, the last thing that will make them feel championed is the sight of an Amazon gift card in their inbox.
The better news is that survey data like this empowers our agencies to ditch vague assumptions that “everyone loves Amazon” in favor of some truly nice, thoughtful, useful alternatives that will demonstrate awareness of clients’ reality! Here are seven Amazon alternatives to suggest at your next marketing huddle:
Experience has taught me that the one thing local business owners may appreciate more than any other incentive you can offer them is a little bit extra of your time. Yes, the time of the experts at your company is very valuable, and you need to charge for it, but you can make a sales campaign much stronger by bundling it with some gratis consulting. Generously helping small entrepreneurs power through a session of their most important FAQs also turns out to be a great way to forge new relationships based on meaningful conversations. You will find out that you learn a lot from the experience that can be of use to your agency. Win-win, indeed!
Offer a tote holding a selection of excellent books for small entrepreneurs. Topics could include economics, tech, marketing, DEI, environment, advocacy, history, and something just for fun. Choose titles that you feel will be of real help to SMBs learning to set up, improve, and market their business. And don’t forget to throw in a copy of “How to Defeat Amazon and Why” by independent bookstore owner, Danny Caine.
If you feel that a gift card to a large, general marketplace is really the best fit for the
It was Winston Churchill who said that we make a living by what we get but that we make a life by what we give. When your agency is seeking to give something to the local business community, survey data like ILSR’s can help you choose a gift that will make customers respond with that magic phrase, “This company really gets me.”
A final tip is to reach out for potential partnerships with other companies once you’ve narrowed your selection down to the gifts you’d most like to offer. Vendors will sometimes come up with a good deal for you if you’re using their product or service as part of your agency’s promotion, which can be a great opportunity to further grow your own B2B relationships.
Local business owners are already longing to make a life beyond Amazon, and with a little thoughtfulness, you can demonstrate your brand’s awareness and support.