What small businesses can learn (not to do) from Amazon.

I am a huge Amazon fan, like so many others.
The customer experience is exceptional. They do everything right .. almost.
Two recent stories expose “what not to do” lessons for any business.

1. Don’t piss on your own vendors just “because you can”.
2. When you take a public stance, don’t muck it up with a poorly executed message.

1. Amazon uses their massive data machine to target their own vendors who sell on Amazon. They can pick a vendor’s best selling item and then bypass that seller, going directly to the manufacturer and cut a deal for themselves, typically undercutting the original vendor. Good for customers .. yes .. in the short run, but they hurt the Amazon marketplace ecosystem and their overall reputation as a good partner in the long run.

I was doing some consulting work and in trying to solve a problem for a client,
I brought in a vendor who had a number of ideas and a solution at a good price.
My client bypassed the vendor and pieced together a solution based on the
original vendor’s ideas. By both pissing on and pissing off this vendor, my client had damaged their industry reputation and shut off a good source of innovative ideas… just because they could? It is just not good business in the long run.

Businesses should place value on ideas and execution from vendors .. it’s really about leveraging value vs. someone over for the lowest price.

Companies need to make sure a message, whether to employees, vendors or customers, is crystal clear and on point. If there is any white space (lack of information), people will fill it in with their own conjecture.

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