Best Retail Practices: Competing with Amazon

Between student Amazon Prime memberships and the ease and price that Amazon offers, competing with Amazon can feel like a daunting task. Fear not! There are many things you can do with your college bookstore to stand out from Amazon and draw in your student shoppers. Here are 4 tips to compete with Amazon.

1 – Make the Shopping Experience Easy

Amazon offers convenience with straightforward searches, purchasing at the click of a button, and quick shipping. Making your store experience easy is vital in competing with Amazon. One area of your store to consider is the check out area. Is the process to check out efficient, easy, and quick? Or are customers standing in long, cramped lines? Studies have shown that the average customer only has the patience to wait in line for 5-10 minutes.

If you have the space, you can consider mobile point-of-sales systems so transactions can be made anywhere in the store. Make sure you have a POS software with fast transaction speeds.

Mobile POS system (Getty Images)

Another option that bookstores have done is a buy online, pick-up in store model or even curbside pick up options depending on your stores design. These models save customers time but also helps your prices stay down and avoids shipping dilemmas.

2 – Be Different

Amazon is truly an “everything” store, but you can have a specific niche and customer base: college students. Stand out from Amazon by setting yourself up as a place for students to get trustworthy, specific recommendations for their specific needs. Show your students that you know what they need each semester to succeed. Offer eco-friendly, sustainable options to appeal to conscientious buyers who will steer away from Amazon’s less sustainable model. Show your students that you are different than Amazon – in the best way!

3 – Offer a Loyalty Program

Amazon is successful largely because of their Prime Membership model. Statistically, loyalty programs cause buyers to spend more, more often. Offering some sort of loyalty program in your store encourages shopping because customers enjoy the excitement of earning rewards, free products, discounts, or exclusive offers.

4 – Improve Your eCommerce Presence

Compete on Amazon’s level by having a clear, operational eCommerce site to encourage online shopping. For tips on getting your college bookstore online, check out this article and this article.  

Have you felt like your sales have been impacted by Amazon? What strategies have you implemented?

Want to read more? Here’s how you can stay motivated during low sales.

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