One of my military boot camp instructors (yes, way back in the day) used to have a near-daily mantra:
That huge gap between cowardice and conviction will only shrink when you actually DO what you say!
In other words, if you’re not practicing what you preach, but STILL making a vocal stand about something ‘every blue moon’ (especially mostly only when you see others emoting about some perceived injustice), you’re not being congruent… or fearless enough to make a difference.
Like so many “woke” celebrities and other left-leaning activist type, without much thought, some souls just naturally feel the NEED to espouse their ‘inner do-goooder-ness’… ‘cause, well, guess what:
It just seems like the ‘socially-spiritual’ hip, acceptable thing to join in on.
I’m told it’s called Virtual Signaling.
But more on that in a few minutes. First, let me share an interesting exchange with you:
The [unnamed] online sales guru said, “Within 6 weeks we had a six figure per month revenue stream… Just selling customized world maps; the scratch-off kind, on Amazon!”
Then… to rub salt in the wound, the guru told my friend who owns a local sports memorabilia shop: “Then about a year later, with my girlfriend, we got into the ladies sports bra market. The product, to this day, is still one of a kind… And selling like hotcakes.”
My friend asked (with a slight facetious twinkle in his eye): Do you feel no shame for us lowly brick-and-mortar retailers… scuffing it out everyday as we rely, mostly, on foot traffic?
The E-commerce guru quipped: “Why not have the best of both worlds? You already have an advantage with an established and unique brand. Go where the traffic is!”
Guru-son had a point.
Don’t sit around, like a martyr, believing consumer shopping behavior will magically snap-back to the pre-2005 era.
Buying online — especially through the world’s largest retailer, Amazon, where 50% of every dollar spent online runs through its veins — will continue to grow and flourish.
Even though that still only adds up to about 5% of total U.S. retail sales, as Sarah Rasmusen (senior vice president of e-commerce at Lands’ End) put it:
“We’d be ostriches sticking our heads in the sand if we didn’t take heed and pay attention to where customers are going.”
Brands like Lands End, Chico’s, and other already-established offline retailers either can compete or partner with the world’s biggest online marketplace.
They don’t have to be stuck between a focused brick and mortar retailer and Amazon, the marketplace.
Via a traditional wholesale relationship, they can sell their products directly to Amazon. Or, they can act as a third-party merchant and have Amazon store & ship their products directly to the consumer, on their behalf.
Of the top 10,000 sellers on the site, 66% of them use the Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA) model.
The fee to do that (~15%) is worth it as it includes Amazon’s stellar 24/7 customer service, the cost of shipping goods to customers and access to one of the largest and most advanced fulfillment networks in the world.
Side note: My longtime friend and M4 co-founder, Brad Weinman, tells a fun story here about how, in 2017, he created a thriving e-commerce side-business using the above model.
Now, let’s flip the sell-buy transaction on its head… and… talk briefly about something tied into the consumer side of it.
Last week, I went to three different local retailers (granted one of them was Walmart, so that doesn’t count); the two that were truly local didn’t have the type of wall-mounted mailbox I was after. Walmart did; however… it was $15 MORE than what I could get the very same item for on Amazon.
So… when I see stuff like this, posted on Social Media, can you imagine the head-shaking I do:
“Dear local economy… I’m sorry I bought everything from Amazon these last few years. I had no idea how badly I was hurting you. It won’t happen again.”
It would be easy to just reply with the surface-level facts, with a short wisecrack like:
“Hey, glorious one…. According to the advisory firm Deloitte, 87% of retail sales still occur in brick-and-mortar stores. What’s your legit issue, truly?”
And if this beginning of this video apologizing for not have gotten in touch with their pent-up contempt and anguish for being… er… well.. WHITE.
Look, I don’t know ‘about you… but, me personally… I adore the convenience, selection and pricing options that are available on Amazon. I feel no guilt to judiciously use the marketplace either. No do I think by doing so am I somehow part of some perceived local retailer problem (a cry, by the way, that’s been heard even before Walmart made its massive entry into the world).
And, I think I’d just be a little martyr man, by trying to eschew any opposite opinion, if I was to join-in on the annoying minority who are screaming their moral ‘high ground’ virtues from the rooftops.
When the social mob dies down on an “issue,” that very person who claims he or she is banning Amazon, no doubt, will go back to Amazon and… buy, buy, buy.
“You want all the power and all the victimization at the same time.”Dr. Jordan Peterson via this interview excerpt