With the release of Amazon Fire, many are suspicious of Amazon. Are they trying to close small businesses? Are they that audacious?
Maybe. But to be fair Amazon does have a local side, Amazon Local. And it’s actually pretty cool.
What is Amazon Local?
Amazon Local is an online marketplace where local businesses can meet local customers.
As Amazon says, Amazon Local is “a platform website where customers can discover deeply discounted products and services not only from local businesses, but also from national chains and online merchants.”
Enough with the flowery detail. Let’s talk about the bare essentials.
The Bare Essentials.
Amazon, of course, is an online super store, known for its reduced “list” pricing and super saver shipping. Its Local part, then, is very similar: discounts, locality, and super-duper saving shipping.
Let’s start with the discounts.
Every Amazon Local user signs up for the deals.
In fact, that’s how Amazon markets it: “Buy today’s amazing deal, then tell your friends so they’ll save a bundle too.”
So, if you register your business, keep this in mind. Amazon is not offering free local marketing to businesses. They are offering to market your best deal.
Next we move to locality.
Amazon Local is, well, local. As such, it uses customer information to link a customer’s site with a local deal. If you live in Atlanta, for instance, you will see deals in the greater Atlanta area.
The point, of course, is to link customers to businesses close by. But more important: it links customers’ interests to relevant businesses. When you apply for Amazon Local, you are asked to fill out a survey. On this survey, you give your interests: spa and relaxation, sports, books, cars. Amazon uses these two bits—your location and your interests—to connect you with relevant businesses.
And finally the shipping.
Well, there is no shipping.
When a customer purchases a deal, he prints a voucher. This voucher is activated by the business itself. So, because Amazon’s general site ships products to your home, Amazon Local requires you to visit the local business.
How does Amazon Local help small businesses?
Why should your business use Amazon Local? I got two reasons.
1. You use Amazon’s brand to market your product/service.
Let’s be real for second.
Amazon has taken out many businesses with its online authority. Electronics, books, music, movies. If you sell these, you are competing with Amazon.
On the other hand, Amazon Local connects local businesses with online users. Maybe Amazon feels responsible for the havoc they’ve wrought. Maybe not. Either way, Amazon is offering local businesses a well-branded platform from which to market.
In other words, your not-so known business can market through Amazon’s globally acknowledged website.
2. Secondly, you get new customers from your region.
Amazon Local sends their customers to your door with vouchers. The goal is to hook these new customers. You want to create a relationship, one that strengthens over time.
I’ve had this happen to me. While I’m not an avid user of Amazon Local, I do occasionally check the emails they send. One caught my interest immediately.
Mint II Thai & Sushi, in Atlanta, was offering a $30 sushi boat for $15.
When I found out what was in the boat, I couldn’t believe it. I immediately purchased the voucher. Because of the discount, I didn’t expect much.
I was wrong.
Their sushi was delicious, their restaurant comfortable, their service excellent. Now I’m their customer, even without the voucher.
3. Thirdly, you get awareness.
And this is the supreme power of Amazon Local: it raises awareness about your local business.
Amazon Local does what a flyer cannot: it markets directly to your audience. In fact, Amazon says it themselves, “We connect local businesses to Amazon customers nearby through offers for local services, products, and experiences.”
What do you think of Amazon Local?
Hopefully this helps you better understand Amazon Local.
But now I’m curious.
Have you used Amazon Local before? If so, what was your experience?