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Mom and Pop Shops Can Compete in an Amazon World

Mom and Pop Shops Can Compete in an Amazon World

In the reams of commentary written on the subject of Millennials, references to their penchant, indeed demand for instant gratification are voluminous. Gen Z is following in Millennial footsteps and it’s no surprise since both generations have grown up in an age when technology has made instant gratification increasingly attainable, in fact, the norm. Whether they want information on any subject, communication with any person, or purchase of any item, tapping a button or clicking a link will give them the desired result. It’s an “I want it now” world and for businesses trying to keep up with customer demands, it’s a daunting reality and an existential challenge.

The Big Kids Rule on the Retail Block

Large enterprises like Amazon and Kroger have made acquiring consumer goods almost instantaneous. Consumers can go online, buy a product and have it delivered within an hour. With their size and reach, these behemoths have created the instant-gratification rules that govern the retail playing field. Small retailers without the financial resources to play with the big kids face an uncertain future. Will consumers continue to buy from them if that means always having to show up in person rather than receiving purchased items on their doorstep? The economic trend does not appear to favor the traditional retail model and those that fail to adapt may be forced one day to hang the dreaded “going out of business sale” sign in the window. But how to adapt without a fat bank account?

The Little Kids Can Rule Too

The little retail kids may not have the big bucks to throw at their problem, but in this “Age of Applications,” they do have the ability to take on the giants. Today there is software available that allows small businesses to band together to offer their customers online purchasing with same-day delivery services included.

How It Works

Mom and Pop shops within a given geographic area become members of an online exchange that enables them to post requests to the exchange dashboard when they need something delivered to a customer. Other Mom and Pop shops can see posted requests on the system dashboard and employees who choose to become registered drivers can see requests on the system’s mobile app. Registered drivers can use the app to accept requests if they are going to be driving toward the delivery location. The system includes geo-tracking, so business owners always know where drivers are when deliveries are scheduled and can watch to ensure that a delivery is completed at the correct address. The inconvenience is minimal for drivers at or close to the pickup location who are already planning to go somewhere in the vicinity of the delivery address. The system handles payment processing between member businesses automatically making it easy for them to manage the financial side of participating in the online exchange.

The online exchange thus enables Mom and Pop shops to share their employees. Employees, in turn, get to make a little extra money for driving home (or wherever else they may be headed). And all of this happens with very little expenditure of effort on the part of business owners. The technology does nearly all of the work. To increase their competitive edge, businesses participating in the online exchange can also open the exchange to outside drivers. Interested persons would simply download the app and begin accepting requests for delivery. A broader base of drivers would greatly extend the reach of the Mom and Pop shop and provide the small business sector with the ability to meet Millennial (and other) customer demand and survive in the Amazon “jungle.”

GigFlex is a leader in intelligent scheduling technology.

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