Forbes contributor Micah Solomon has an interesting piece up on that site all about how Amazon's unparalleled efficiency of scale coupled with unbeatable customer service poses a major threat to independent retailers' brand loyalty. Simply put: you're not going to be able to beat the major retail aggregators on a whole in the categories of price, logistics, and ease of transaction. What you can do if you find yourself in the unhappy position of being squeezed out by Amazon is to try and compete on micro levels. That means one-upping them in just a few categories rather than fruitlessly attempting to match their entire business model:

"Add as much character to your site as possible—aim to make it more of an experience and adventure to buy from you than to go elsewhere. But don’t offer an experience at the expense of ease, or you’ll scare your customers right back to Amazon. The adventure a customer has on your site needs to be a frictionless one..."

He further advocates for a "simple, fast, and personable" returns process, tossing in "free, brand-relevant extras" with every direct purchase, and customizing your packaging a la companies like Moosejaw and Brooks Brothers. After all, you wouldn't order a product from Tiffany's if it didn't come with the little blue box. A personalized touch like that can fuel much-needed brand loyalty.

Check out more of Solomon's tips via the link below and let us know what you think in the comments below.

Read more at Forbes

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