Who Scares the Big Bad Wolf?

By Ron Simmons/Area Director

Who scares the Big Bad Wolf? I have been working with a lot of people on the effective use of Google tools, so I have wondered “what keeps execs at Google awake at night?” One scary character in Google’s world must be Facebook. But after that, who?  All businesses have foes and competitors. After all, didn’t Apple just finish a big battle with Samsung with a billion dollar win?

So back to the original question, “Who scares the Big Bad Wolf?” I recently ran across a short article on Yahoo! which stopped me in my tracks with an “ah ha!” moment. Nicholas Carlson, writing for the Business Insider, wrote the show stopper http://finance.yahoo.com/news/forget-apple-forget-facebook-heres-184209532.html . After reading the article, I posed the question of “who scares Google?” to two of my Google Tools classes. The usual suspects were named, “Apple”, “Linux”, ”Dell”, etc., but no one said Amazon.com.

The Google “search and buy” experience can be compared with that of an Amazon.com “search and buy” process. Google is a service company with many parts and does many things well by helping others sell products and services.  Amazon.com also does many things, but concentrates on selling directly or through partners. Each started out on a different path. Remember when Amazon.com was the place to buy books? It’s more now, but what is it?  Amazon.com is now an electronic marketplace, matching customers with sellers and selling  selection, price, convenience, speed, security, and more, and it participates actively in the process, even to the extent of occasionally helping to finance particularly effective sellers.

Why is Amazon.com scary to the BBW? Google makes its money selling ads (to businesses) for customers (like me) who (MIGHT) click on your ad and (maybe) buy something from you (if I trust you and the reviews are good), but I might not trust you because I don’t probably don’t know you until I’ve done business with you at least once. By then, I have given a stranger (you) my credit card, a delivery address and my hope that you’ll actually deliver what I ordered. Or, I can look at a bunch of other ads and do it again, hmmm. Wouldn’t you like to know that Google would stand behind your order if it goes wrong?

When I shop on Amazon.com, I search and I get multiple sources to buy with reviews and prices, and then Amazon stands behind what their merchants sell. Amazon itself handles my credit card info (and I let them store it so I can buy from you safely and quickly). Amazon follows up with ME when I purchase from THEIR merchants and asks for my reviews of both you and the transaction. If I am not happy, Amazon is on my side to get it resolved. Are you seeing some differences in the models? That’s why I love Amazon.com. I love to buy local, but it doesn’t always work out. What to do?  I like it best when my store IS local and I can buy from them on Amazon, too! I’m a customer. I want it MY way. Always.

If you want to talk more about your electronic businesses, give me a call. We might also put together a class on selling on Amazon.com this winter if enough folks let us know. rsimmons@georgiasbdc.org or call 770-531-5681.

Ron Simmons/Area Director


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