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Amazon is a behemoth, and for retailers, this is one beast that needs slaying. The ecommerce giant has been eating up retail market share since it moved from a seller of books to a seller of everything. Ecommerce advocates have brazenly predicted the end of bricks-and-mortar.

Relax everyone. Amazon can be conquered. To beat Amazon, retailers are going to have to start thinking like Amazon.

Amazon has been making a killing using retailers own bricks and mortar against them. The phenomenon is called “showrooming”: A customer comes to a store, browses product, asks questions of sales staff, and then get their goods online at a lower price. The retailer pays the overhead, Amazon gets the money. Insult to injury.

Amazon’s app encourages showrooming, as a user can scan barcodes using the camera on their smartphone. It seems tough to beat.

While that seems like Amazon’s greatest weapon, it is also its greatest weakness: They have to go into your store. Your job is to cut that link between your showroom and Amazon’s pay screen. In other words retailers need to hold their customers’ attention.

This can be accomplished with some omnichannel engagement. According to loyalty360, when customers are engaged in a retailer’s own app, they are 46% less likely to comparison shop. The ability to hold attention is a huge advantage.

But how can retailers guarantee participation in their app? They can’t really. Due to file size and data concerns, customers are less likely to try to download an app for a mobile device while they are away from their wifi leash.  

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A solution: The app does not have to run on the customer’s personal device. Retailers can run the same app from customer-accessible tablets in their own store. Integrated tablets draw eyes and attention, and keep customers engaged in a positive way. Take our SmartStand for example. A broadway-style sign with an Android tablet built right in catches eyes. Content can be changed remotely from the back office, or the home office, offering product promotions, calls to action, upsells, and more.

Next to think like Amazon, a retailer must push their advantages. Amazon ships everywhere, and though Amazon has recently raised it’s free shipping threshold to $35 for free shipping, that is still a very low threshold.  You know what they can’t do? Allow a customer to go pick up their purchased item in-store. A retailer can. A retailer can also empower customers order in store and ship it wherever they like. Again, according to loyalty360 they really want to do this.

Then, a retailer can highlight all the things they have that Amazon does not: a competent sales staff, a place where people can try products, a chance to wow them with interactive, in-store experiences.

With a few changes, Amazon isn’t thing that’s going to kill the retail store, they’re the creep selling ill-gotten goods in the shadows of the parking lot.

To learn more about Kokley’s iPad and Tablet solutions for retail, visit www.kokley.com

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