(By Rick Fink) If you ask a retail business owner today who their biggest competitor is you are likely to hear them say, Amazon!
While that may not be true for all retailers, the fact is Amazon’s cut into the retail pie has hurt many local retail business owners and ultimately hurt many local towns, communities, and cities.
On Monday and Tuesday, July 15 and 16, Amazon, for the fifth year, will launch its biggest sales event of the year: Prime Day. Last year, the 2018 Prime Day took in a whopping $2.65 billion in sales in 36 hours in the U.S. alone, and a total of $4.2 billion in 17 different countries. The first Prime Day held in 2015 was a 24-hour event. In 2017, they expanded to 30-hours and added an additional six hours last year. This year they have doubled down, and instead of a 36-hour event, Amazon has expanded Prime Day to two full days, and no, they are not calling it Prime Days. They are keeping it singular, but you can bet their goal is to take in twice as much money… and that money is money that won’t be going to your local clients.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am all for the free enterprise system and I don’t blame Amazon one bit for what they are doing. In fact, I think Jeff Bezos is one of the most brilliant people on the face of the earth, but that doesn’t mean you as a local broadcaster shouldn’t stand up and fight for your local business owners, your local communities and cities, and your clients.
Your clients would like to fight back by saying, “don’t buy from an out-of-town, out-of-state, online e-commerce company,” but they can’t, as that would be whining on their part. But you can do it for them! The truth is, many of these local retailers are allowing this to happen. For years they’ve sat idly by and not advertised their businesses, leaving themselves even more vulnerable to the likes of Amazon and others. That topic, though, is for another day.
Today, if you are part of a media company and have input on how your inventory is used, I am suggesting that you run some ads. Let me rephrase that, not some ads but a lot of ads, suggesting to your listeners that they don’t participate in Prime Days.
Please keep in mind that this isn’t as much of an attack on Amazon as it is taking a stand for your local business owners, specifically your local retail business owners. Amazon, along with nearly all other out-of-town, out-of-state e-commerce retailers, does nothing, or very little, to support your local communities. They pay little to no taxes, they create no local jobs, you never see them sponsoring or supporting your youth clubs, ball teams, and organizations, and you never see them promote or support local events and promotions.
This year, instead of giving Amazon Prime Day free “jock talk” airtime, stand up for your local retail business owners and your local communities and fight back. Will it make a difference? I can guarantee you that if you don’t do anything, there will be a difference in your local retailers’ cash register receipts, and it won’t be for the good!
Are you ready to stand up for your clients and your local business communities? If so, here is your opportunity.
I have written a radio script titled “Amazon Prime Day – Shop Local ALWAYS.” This ad has a similar buy-local theme as the “Small Business Friday” and “Buy Local” Christmas ads that nearly 70 markets requested this past November. The response from the markets that ran these ads was tremendous, as they shared stories with us of how business owners thanked them and appreciated what their local radio stations were doing for them.
I can assure you this will be one of the most popular things you air on your stations the entire year, and your local business owners will love you for doing it.
If you choose to stand up and fight for your retail clients and your communities, email me at [email protected] to request a free copy of this radio script.