Please do not compare Amazon to Walmart! I don’t recall ever having a pleasant shopping experience at Walmart, and I think the folks over at http://www.i-hate-walmart.com/, http://www.walmart-blows.com/, http://ihatewalmart.blogspot.com/ and http://walmartsucksorg.blogspot.com/ would agree with me! My experience at Amazon has always been pleasant and their customer service is always on point…and I would know because I had a lost package and they were excellent in taking care of my problem and sending over a new order right away.
All kidding and personal opinions aside, you learn something new every day! I had no clue about these new taxes on Internet purchases (oops, I’m not one of those knowledgeable consumers). Thanks to California’s lead, it looks like the days of no Internet tax are over.
Should these sales taxes be implemented, Amazon is going to have to strategize and rethink their positioning. As mentioned in the http://www.sensibleemarketing.com/2012/09/will-amazon-be-next-walmart-new-tax.html blog, what makes Amazon different right now is that they have very low prices and should people have no problem waiting for the delivery, then they are golden. With the advent of a new tax, prices will increase and Amazon will face stronger competition from brick and mortar retailers. Living in a fast-paced world where people want everything instantaneously, I think the face-to-face retailers might gain a slight advantage over Amazon if a sales tax is included.
Will Amazon go from a solely online retailer to an actual brick and mortar retailer? What makes Amazon unique is that users from any location around the world can buy and sell goods. I don’t think Amazon would ever have the same presence and business practice like that of a superstore such as Walmart, Kmart and Target because that would go against its philosophy as a brand. I think the online element is vital for Amazon, which is why they would have to reposition themselves and change their strategy should they open face-to-face locations…and I don’t believe that is going to happen. An actual location isn’t necessary in order to sell Kindles. Amazon has a loyal customer base and I think they can remain a strong competitor regardless of the tax, but they do have to be mindful about the competition. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger sounds cliché, but I think in the long run, Amazon may come out on top if they play their cards right.
I see this online sales tax being a heavier burden on small, web-based retailers rather than on Amazon. Small online retailers might find it more helpful to open a brick and mortar location as a result of the sales tax and (potentially) slowing business, but the operating costs of a store are much more expensive than that of a solely digital presence. This may not be feasible for some online businesses and may be detrimental in the long run.
I think the truly innovative small businesses will prevail in the long run, and smaller businesses can still compete with larger firms, but with facing hardships and having to work that much harder to stand out from the crowd.
This taxation shouldn’t really come as a surprise to citizens, as we are used to being taxed. I don’t think e-marketing will change much, there is still a need to target consumers. As for Amazon, I think we will be seeing a rise in the number of pick-up stations at 7-Elevens nationwide and delivery trucks. I think if they place customer service at #1 (and here’s why they should: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/customer-service-important-organization-2050.html) and start improving their same-day delivery program, then Amazon might just survive this change. Maybe they’ll even go the FedEx route and have their own delivery system one day.
And all throughout this Amazon should maintain positive PR 🙂