Sunday, December 11, 2011

Amazon is such a bully

I read in the paper today that brick and mortar retailers are up in arms and complaining about Amazon's newest mobile app - it allows you to scan the barcode of a product or take a picture of it or type or say its name and it will then tell you Amazon's price.  So if you are at a retail store such as Best Buy where everything is overpriced, you can use this app to see what Amazon is selling it for and then buy it from Amazon instead.

Understandably, retailers are angry. Me, I hate shopping.  Aside from Costco and Trader Joe's, I have absolutely no desire to visit any brick and mortar store unless I absolutely need something, and that something is not stocked by Costco or Trader Joe's.  I'd much rather buy it online, and most often that means buying from Amazon.  Why?  Because normally their price is lower, it arrives in two days and there is no sales tax (yes, I know we are supposed to pay use tax on this stuff but I'm just talking about what actually gets paid to Amazon).  Plus it has the convenience of being delivered right to my door.

So why should I go out and hassle with all the crazy drivers out there, and all the crazy people in the stores?  I don't need an app and I don't even have a smartphone on which to use one.  I'd shop at Amazon anyway. 

All the complaints by the retailers just got me thinking, what they need to get used to is that the whole model is changing.  Things went from mom and pop stores to larger, chain stores, that became larger and larger and larger. You had places like Borders and Barnes and Noble that were looked upon as evil (remember the movie You've Got Mail?) because they drove the neighborhood bookstores out of business.  Well, bachi (karma), right?  Now Borders is non-existent and B&N is hanging by a thread because their model was usurped by Amazon who got the jump on online sales. 

Something will eventually come along to further change the model.  If you snooze, you lose.  These retailers have no one to blame but themselves. They should have seen it coming and made adjustments for it.

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