A few months ago, eBay launched its newest commercial called “When You’re Over Overpaying”. It basically shows how guests in local shops are comparing the in-store prices with prices on eBay and start laughing out tastelessly load, because eBay’s are way more cheaper. In this post, I want to explain eBay, why they will regret this commercial very soon beside the fact that it is just tasteless. But first, watch this!

1. Know your competition

Dear eBay, we are about writing the year 2020 and you are really still trying to compete against local stores? Because if you are still positioning yourself as the alternative to shopping in brick&mortar, you should rethink this strategy carefully. Nowadays, nearly everyone has had the experience of online shopping and it is mainstream for many good reasons. Of course, it is more convenient and of course, you have much more product options.

However, people still choose local shops for many other reasons. Consumers still want to try and feel products before they buy them. Real interactions build trust and are not irreplaceable. Also, they get great consultancies and experiences. While local shops put a lot of effort into making their customers happy, they become – a bit unintentionally – part of your customer’s journey. By offering those showrooms, they inspire and prepare your customer’s purchase decision. And for those reasons, they do not deserve to be laughed at by you. You rather should explain consumers, why they should prefer eBay instead of Amazon or Alibaba. How do you perform in that regard?

2. Never compete on price

Speaking of Alibaba, I remember a quote from Jack Ma which nearly all Marketing lecturers tell their students: “Never ever compete on prices, instead compete on services and innovation.” Because when you compete on price, you become easily replaceable and you already are. Price sensitive customers are not loyal, so they will prefer any other e-commerce giant if they have cheaper prices.

Since the price differences between offline and online are usually by far not that significant as you show in your commercial, people always will prefer their locals if they offer the same price. Consumers are totally aware of the challenges local businesses are confronted with. Local shops are crucial for their local communities, local jobs, the secure feeling and attraction of inner cities. That is why people support their local shops and they will even support them more when they offer the same conveniences as online shops do. Now I hear you are asking how on earth will local shops achieve the same or even better conditions for consumers. I tell you how.

3. Watch how local shops will join forces with RaaS platforms

Brands that sell consumer goods know very well, how effective physical product presentations are and the crucial role offline channels play within their customer’s journey. This is why they seek opportunities to be represented in the real world additionally their online channels. Ever saw a high-quality consumer brand that only had an online presence? Me neither.

However, today’s offline channels are not accessible for most brands and way too complex to manage. In the very near future, Retail-as-a-Service platforms, such as tryff, will allow brands to turn their online shops into brick and mortar chains within a few clicks. We will match brands with local shops, which then will host those brands. On the one hand, brands will start to sell offline as easy as they do online thanks to our smart point-of-sale solution. This will also ensure the same prices and order options as online – for instance, product variants or delivery choices. On the other hand, Retail-as-a-Service platforms will not only generate revenue by sharing sales fairly with local shops. It will also reduce the risk and work for local businesses because they do not have to pre-finance products or do the bookkeeping. Thus, local shops can completely focus on their strengths, which are creating the right atmosphere, the experience, and the consultancy. In the long term, this sounds like a much better experience for the customer, whose behavior at the end will change the retail game fundamentally.