Nowadays, most people when they think of making a purchase, think ‘let’s check on Amazon to see if they have it!’ and most likely, they do. While for many people, the convenience that is offered with shopping on Amazon, as well as the low prices, is a much-needed relief for those who don’t favor or can’t afford conventional shopping, for small business owners, Amazon is running their livelihood into the ground.
So while many people are enjoying free two-day shipping, their purchasing habits are making small, family-owned stores run out of business.
Why Is This Happening?
Most small business owners rely on the local market to need their store as much as they need the customers. When a local business offers a good product at an affordable price, the locals will make that store a staple in their shopping day, as it is more honorable to support local shops and sometimes more convenient to shop local than to go to big chain stores.
Shopping local usually offers a much-needed sanctuary for many people, especially for those who hate the atmosphere of big stores, such as people with social anxiety. Smaller stores are usually not as crowded or in your face as bigger stores on the market, which can make it a lot easier for people to shop.
Yet, to stay financially solvent, smaller shops sometimes can’t afford to offer their products at hard-to-beat prices. And since consumers are conditioned to shop at big box retailers anyway, trips to the local shops become less frequent.
However, with the surge of items available on Amazon, especially with their programs such as Amazon Now, which delivers products within a couple hours, and their Prime Membership, which delivers a product with free two-day shipping, it is taking the business from small business owners to people who would rather just stay at home than go out shopping.
Who Is Being Affected?
While you may expect only specialty stores like toys or hardware to be affected by the overtaking of the market by Amazon, it is also affecting small town grocers who are being replaced with a service that will literally deliver food for you called Amazon Pantry. It seems no one is safe from the takeover of Amazon, and it is killing local stores who rely on their regular customers to survive in the market.
How Can I Help?
The biggest way to help out with small businesses who are struggling because of Amazon is to shop locally. Instead of ordering something from home and waiting a couple days, go visit your local mom and pop store and get the item immediately. You won’t have to pay for shipping, and you can rest easy knowing that you are helping them stay in business.
Another good reason to shop locally is that local stores are generally better to their employees, and you can be sure when you shop locally that the products are not unethical in any way and that their employees and managers are well taken care of.
So, click out of Amazon and spend some quality time looking at your local businesses and figuring out which ones will suit your shopping needs the most. Your local store will thank you.