I have used Amazon three times. It is not that I am against it. I just prefer dealing with humans. I want my emotional needs met with human interaction. If you ask someone why they use Amazon, thy will tell you they love it because of price and convenience.
What they won’t tell you, because they may not even consciously know it, is that there was a litany of needs that DID NOT get met with that purchase. Did they give up trying to fulfill those needs in exchange for cheap prices?
I don’t think they did.
I simply think we gave up the other needs being met, and settled for value and convenience.
Let’s recall Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs:
How many do you think an Amazon purchase fulfills?
You could argue that a physiological need is met, especially with the purchase of something your body needs. Safety needs may arguably be met, especially for someone unable or unwilling to physically take themselves to a place to purchase something they need or want. But beyond that, how many of these important needs are met with a digital purchase. The answer is, not very many.
Now, consider the needs that CAN be met when that customer goes to a business that understands their role in humanity and gives them what they need! Nearly ALL of the needs listed above can be met with a positive connection with another human at a place of commerce, even self-actualization.
Look at this chart often to remind yourself of how you can fulfill as many of your customer’s emotional needs that is realistically possible. Pretty exciting, eh?
I ordered a dryer part that I would never have found in a mountain town store, and a couple of Lego sets my son wanted. I am not, however, “Anti-Amazon”. I do find, however, that automation kind of ruined the customer service experience, but others would argue that is a fabulous addition to modern society. Are you aware that since Amazon, thousands of online “stores” have sprung up that are doing nothing more than reselling stuff on Amazon for a little piece of the action? Millions and millions of dollars are being spent trying to find that digital business, with software, click funnels, seminars, and online courses promising to teach you how to get in on that “action”. I would much rather see business learn to connect with customers as an answer to increasing their business versus buying software to fish data and try to do something with it. All the CRMS (Customer Relationship Management Software) in the world is not going to really connect humans. It’s going to connect machines, which does nothing for the emotional needs of human beings.
I optimistically see a retail revolution on the horizon. A day where people come back to brick and mortar, in search of something more than a transaction that fills their immediate physiological need. I think retail will become “Retro”, and businesses will return to finding innovative and exciting ways to attract and retain customers, while creating real human connections that serve us all in to the future.
An Amazon purchase will never be a purchase a person looks back on fondly, at least not the transaction itself. No human connection was made. None. Humans remember the way you treat them, so what do you want them to remember? How will your next customer interaction go?
I think it will go swimmingly