How Amazon Killed the Retail Store


That big red line sailing upwards pretty much says it all.

At a time when retail sales have been flat or even declining, e-commerce–and Amazon specifically–has been experiencing tremendous growth. In the less than a decade we entered a world where you no longer have to leave your home to do all your holiday shopping. Think about that.

Not only do you not have to leave your home, I would argue that the online shopping experience is actually far better for the following reasons:

  • Consumer Reviews: When you are at a retail store looking at five different coffee makers, it’s very difficult to determine which is the best. Can you really trust the marketing on the box? But online it’s different. You see reviews of people who have actually purchased that coffee maker and what there experience was
  • Price: I’m not sure how they do it, but Amazon is consistently 20-30% cheaper than the same item in a retail store. And the site makes it extremely convenient to price shop across different sellers of a given product. You can even sort by lowest to highest price. And with Amazon there is often no shipping or tax.
  • Availability: When you get to retail store you never know if they will have an item in stock. Or sometimes they say they have it in stock but then can’t find it on the shelf. These problems don’t exist with Amazon. Not only do they tell you if they have an item in stock, but when they get low they tell you how many they have left.
  • Speed: I can comfortably purchase an item on Amazon much faster than the amount of time it takes to get out to a retail store, dig through the aisles, and then wait at checkout. Now granted I will not have the item immediately from Amazon, but their 2-day shipping (through Amazon Prime) is usually fast enough for most items. My main concern is that it saves me time.

Amazon has truly changed the way we shop. This year I’m doing all my holiday shopping online and loving it!