Amazon’s Retail Market Domination Isn’t Unbeatable

While Amazon certainly has control of the retail market here in 2018, and seems positioned to remain the dominant retailer for years to come, they aren’t unbeatable. And traditional brick-and-mortar powerhouses can do more than they realize to snatch back market share.

Yes, you read that right. The state of the retail market isn’t totally out of your control. You can still compete. However, you have to be as quick and willing as Amazon to adapt.

Here’s how you can position yourself to outdo the competition here in 2018:

1. Your Brick-and-Mortar Stores Need an Experience that Reinvents Convenience

One retail consultant entered a Bonobos store. They could have just tossed a few discounts his way and called it a day. But obviously, that’s not a sustainable business model.

Instead, an engaging salesperson helped him quickly find the right size of clothing for him to try on. They already had their floor space set up as a showroom so you could quickly and easily see what to choose from.

Two days later, the products this consultant wanted show up at his door. Attached is a friendly and personalized note from the salesperson.

And then Bonobos made it simple to go online and make follow-up purchases.

Now that’s a different, and highly personal, experience.

And it’s what you need to recreate to offer customers a reason to shop at your store instead of buying from Amazon.

2. Why Costco, T.J. Maxx, West Elm, Lululemon and Ulta Can’t Slow Sales Down

These stores have bottom lines that still rock. Going up and to the right on their charts is an expectation, not a miraculous event.

Why?

Clearly, they focus on value pricing.

But they also make it easy to discover new products. It’s difficult to replicate this experience online.

Costco offers a marketplace-like experience because it has such a large and spacious interior. On Saturdays, they also have employees handing out food samples, which enhance the marketplace atmosphere even further.

3. All Your Sales Channels Must Work Together

We won’t name the company, but suffice to say it is a nationally known retailer. And in fact, a similar experience happens at another one.

Their website loads slow. Sometimes the product pages don’t load at all. The checkout process frequently gives you multiple frustrating errors, which it makes it a pain to purchase.

Now, those are just the basics of online sales. And some of the largest retailers in the nation have trouble with that.

Today, consumers expect you to have a similar sales experience across every channel you sell on. Retailers have known this for some time, but few do it well.

So, when your customers order online, what do they experience?

Have you tried shopping and browsing your own website yourself? Have you tried going across multiple sales channels to see how it feels?

If you don’t understand precisely how this works, it’s time to figure it out. Conduct user experience testing. Take feedback seriously. And make sure you have a team whose sole job it is to constantly research and implement this across all your sales channels.

You may not have the technological capabilities Amazon does. But that doesn’t mean you can’t compete and increase your market share here in 2018.

Companies who take these tips seriously will find their stock charts quickly growing.

3 Ways You Can Use the Internet of Things to Improve Your Retail Operations

Confused by the true value the internet of things could drive for you?

You’re not alone. Retailers know about and believe in IoT as an idea, but they aren’t sure of the actual value and results it will drive for them.

Here’s some ideas to help you clarify what the Internet of Things could do for you:

1. Track Your Customer’s Behavior with Greater Precision than Ever Before

With IoT, you can track the number of people who walk past your store, the number who come through the front door, and whether or not they went in immediately. You could also learn if the way you set up your storefront convinced them to enter. You could also find out how many customers went up to the second floor, and the precise foot traffic to other sections of your store.

Armed with all this customer information, you can make all kinds of more intelligent decisions about the layout of your store. And you could easily win more sales per square foot as a result.

2. Create a More Personalized Experience, Which Leads to More Sales

No one can argue about personalization’s ability to drive more sales. It’s one thing you can use to compete against Amazon.

For example, you could make digital signs that offer messaging based on up-to-the-second market data gathered via IoT. Sensors on shelves could relay to your customers that you have low stock, which increases their urgency to buy. Your customers should feel like your store almost reads their minds.

3. Don’t Forget Your Loss Prevention Efforts

You can do more to thwart theft with IoT too. For example, you can equip jewelry cases with sensors that tell your employees they left the case open. Sensors can be motion-activated so your loss prevention team knows when a certain hot spot in your store has traffic and would be susceptible to theft.

What Do You Need IoT To Do?

The Internet of Things can be used to do nearly anything in your entire retail operation – ranging from anywhere in your supply chain to the point-of-sale. So the most sensible way to approach the matter would be to figure out your company’s biggest pain points. Then, learn how IoT could be used to solve those.

And remember, if you think you need help making a decision, you can always hire a consultant to help you out.

Why You Can Trust (And Love) Berry Global Products

Berry Global is a Fortune 500 manufacturer that specializes in plastic packaging products – and dozens of others. They have 18 different brand names they manufacture under.

Founded in Evansville, Indiana in 1967 (and still headquartered there today) it has grown into a company with more than 23,000 employees and $7.1 billion in revenue in 2017. As you can probably guess, this hasn’t happened by accident.

Jack Berry completed over 40 acquisitions, which began in 1988. And the company started trading on the stock exchange as of 2012.

What’s driven Berry Global’s success? And why do we happily recommend their products today?

1. A Relentless Focus on Growth

By “growth,” Berry Global doesn’t just mean financial growth. Sure, that’s a part of growth.

But growth really begins with employees. They receive constant training and development so they can help all customers grow, which frequently involves the design of custom solutions.

That in turn leads to product innovations, customer growth, and ultimately, Berry Global’s growth.

2. Excellence

What company would be as successful as Berry Global without an intense dedication to excellence?

Berry constantly refines and optimizes its processes and sustainability initiatives so it provides the highest quality products and services. And it does this by forming strong partnerships with every customer.

3. Product Example: Versalite

What’s “Versalite?” you ask. It’s one of many innovations that has its roots at Berry Global.

You know styrofoam cups. We’ve had them for decades. However, Berry Global wanted to figure out how to create a cup with similar insulation characteristics, but also superior performance (not breaking like styrofoam), and environmental sensitivity.

Using its experience in polypropylene, Berry Plastics developers created Versalite technology. Versalite is 100% tested by end market users and has been found to be fully recyclable. At the same time, it resists the punctures and cracking that plague styrofoam cups. And it insulates and keeps your drink warm too.

But that’s not all. You can also print any graphical design on the cup, which could of course include your own unique branding.

So when you have Pollock recommend products from Berry Global, you can feel fully safe and secure that you’re getting amazing value for every dollar you spend.

Pollock Turns 100

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 1, 2018, Grand Prairie, Texas

This year, Pollock celebrates the 100th year anniversary from the company’s founding in 1918 when Lawrence S. Pollock, only 26 at the time, organized the Pollock-Burt Paper Box Company.

By the time of its 50th anniversary in 1968, Pollock Paper was an established leader in the packaging industry, with offices and plants from coast to coast.  Over the years, Pollock’s distribution and packaging operations have continued to grow, and the company added an online office supply portal in 2012 known as PollockDirect.com. The company has seen many changes in names and products over the last century, and in recognition of all of the various paper, packaging, equipment, sanitary maintenance and office supplies it now provides to its customers, it changed its moniker to simply Pollock, as it’s known today.

Lawrence S. Pollock, III, current President/CEO of Pollock, commented on this important milestone by saying, “We are so excited and proud to celebrate our 100th year in business, servicing and supplying our customer’s requirements.  This means a lot to our family and our associates, as well as me, because of our rich history and a great foundation that was built over the years by serving our customers. I know our founder, and my grandfather, Lawrence Pollock, would be very proud to see that we have continued the tradition he began in 1918, and more importantly, are well positioned to take great care of our customers and family of associates for the next 100 years.”

As a kick-off to its year-long celebration, Pollock held its annual sales meeting on January 25-26, 2018, where it shared its expansive history and stories with its associates, old and new.  Also, at this meeting, Lonnie, III announced a huge birthday party to take place September 29th to celebrate Pollock’s centennial, inviting every associate to come together and take part of this once-in-a-lifetime historic event, along with a few other special promotions throughout the year.

To learn more about Pollock’s rich 100-year history, CLICK HERE.


ABOUT POLLOCK:  Since our founding in 1918, we’ve dedicated ourselves to a strong customer service culture which offers tailored one-on-one consulting, solutions and supplies for every corner of the workplace, from facilities cleaning and management to packaging resources and office solutions. Solutions that can increase efficiency, minimize cost, reduce dependence on manual labor and improve customer satisfaction.

For more information, visit www.Pollock.com or call 855-239-4153.

Marketing Contact:  Krystina Williams, krystina.williams@pollock.com, 972-337-3634

3 Tips for Online Commerce Success in 2018 And Beyond

While Amazon certainly plays a role in the struggles of other retailers, much of the latter’s loss of market share can also be attributed to failing to adapt to market changes. Leading retailers who have filed bankruptcy, or who have experienced significant loss in market share, would absolutely benefit from figuring out what the market wants while shopping online, and serving it to them.

With that in mind, these are the top things to strategize for in 2018 and the following years:

  1. Mobile Commerce Accounts for More Revenue Than Ever

    Just how much will consumers spend online? We won’t know until early 2019 after the data gets crunched. However, Forrester projects smartphone and tablet users could account for as much as $500 billion in sales. “Mobile commerce” means much more than having a website which looks nice on mobile devices. Rather, you must create a consistent user experience across all channels. Mobile users need to know everything about a product that they would otherwise learn in the store (including difficult-to-learn information like texture and size). And they need the extreme convenience they get with Amazon. You may not be able to duplicate Amazon’s convenience. But, the closer you can get, the better.
  2. Accommodate Digital Wallets

    Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay, Paypal, and Amazon Pay are the leading digital wallets. They make the checkout process fast, easy, and secure. Think this isn’t a huge deal? These 37 cart abandonment studies (done from 2006-2017) have found a cart abandonment rate of 55 – 78%. Wow! Many companies lose ¾ of their online sales after consumers put items in their cart. And to top it off, 78%, the highest statistic, was actually recently found in January of 2017. Not only should you accommodate digital wallets, but you need strategies for recovering those customers who add items but don’t purchase.
  3. Dedicate a Team to Understanding Online Customer Behavior

    For the most part, companies do not understand how their customers think and act online. They’re still stuck on the in-store experience. There’s nothing wrong with working on your in-store sales, but you’ve got to work at understanding your online shoppers too.

A/B testing, customer path analysis, surveys, usability studies, and customer feedback need constant analysis. You shouldn’t just do this once annually or once every few years when you redesign your website. It’s a constant, on-going process that requires a specialized team to execute.

Keeping up with your market isn’t easy, but if you don’t, you’ll find yourself in a world of trouble like many long-established retailers. It’s simply the next logical step to take.

4 Ways Leading Retailers Will Innovate to Recapture Market Share in 2018

More than a dozen American retailers will close the doors on hundreds of locations in the next 2-3 years.

Shifts like this happen. And because of technology, they happen faster than ever before.

We’ve covered online retail changes in-depth up to this point. So, let’s take a look at some other changes leading retailers have decided to embark upon to strengthen their market positions:

1. Abercrombie & Fitch

They’ve long had a focus on a highly sexualized brand that appeals to the “cool” kids in school. However, perhaps the market has grown too accustomed to this positioning. Going forward, the company has decided to focus on customer engagement, rather than image. So, they’re testing out a store in Columbus that allows customers to adjust the lighting in fitting rooms to see how they would look at the beach or in a club. The store also has more than 40 mannequins showing off clothing styles to help customers make decisions.

2. JC Penney Aims Its Sights at Sears and Home Depot

JC Penney successfully tested expanding its stores to include home appliance showrooms. It’s also going to begin offering home services like bathroom remodeling and blind installation. Everyone thinks of JC Penney as a fashion retailer. But since they successfully tested this out at a few stores already, they’re going to roll these changes out to hundreds more. Will this change rejuvenate their sales? Only one way to find out!

3. Lowe’s Will Use the “LoweBot”

Lowe’s actually hasn’t been hurting for sales one bit. They’ve grown nicely over the past several years. However, they definitely have no fear of risk-taking innovation. They’ve made the “LoweBot,” an in-store robot designed to help customers. But, it’s not just a gimmick designed to attract attention. Instead, it’s intended to take care of low-level tasks, like helping customers find items. Employees would then have their time freed up to help customers make more complex decisions, like coordinating a new item with their home’s design.

4. Macy’s Will Include More In-Store Shops

Macy’s has now strategically positioned itself to include more in-store shops. These include the practical LensCrafters, Backstage, which is Macy’s own discount store, and Blue Mercury, a beauty chain it purchased.

Other retailers, like Costco, use this model successfully to grow their own revenues. We’ll see how it plays out for Macy’s.

Innovating to win more market share is a necessity. And whether you find yourself in a rough position, or a strong one, it makes sense. Amazon had many great internal failures, and at one point lost 95% of its market capitalization. But, if you maintain a rigid commitment to innovation, you’ll find your path to success just like they did.

Why You’ll Love Impact’s Products

Every great company focuses on more than just making money. And that’s what helps Impact’s products keep their status in our President’s Club.

Besides making quality products, they aim to have a positive impact with every product, customer, and employee. It’s Impact’s goal to make your job easier, safer, and better. And they’re not just a company broadly focused on the cleaning industry. Rather, they’ve tightened their product selection to cleaning supplies and accessories. And that specific focus is another reason Impact remains a leader in the cleaning supply industry.

Much of the time, you might not even realize you’re using Impact products. That’s because more than 300 are available via private label.

Why might you choose Impact’s products? Well, here’s a few more reasons we love them:

  1. Value Proposition Customized to Your Company

    Impact doesn’t have cookie-cutter solutions offered to every customer. They discover your most painful problems. They learn your goals. And they deliver you solutions that put an end to your pain and help your company reach new heights.This sounds awfully ambitious for a supplier of cleaning products. But, it’s exactly the way Impact operates.
  2. Impact Helps You Reduce Your Effects on the Environment

    Impact’s phasing in more environmentally-friendly products in their line. They constantly research and strategically source in an effort to help you reduce your carbon footprint and make the world a greener, healthier place.Of course, by doing so, they’re reducing their own carbon footprint too.
  3. Impact Produces Their Products in a Safe Way That Also Protects Their Employees

    DuPont’s award-winning Safety Training Observation Program runs the show at every Impact facility. Employees work in the safest way possible, and produce the products you use in a safe way.

Why should you care?

This means less risk of disruption for your cleaning supplies. It also means costs stay lower because the company doesn’t have to factor in as much for the damage they cost.

The STOP program trains managers, employees, and even includes web-based software that allows Impact to record and analyze safety data to find opportunities for improvement. No aspect of safety goes untouched.

So, whenever you hear us recommend Impact products, now you know why. And you can have full confidence in their quality and ability to drive an almost ridiculous amount of value to your company.

What Makes D&W Fine Pack So Special?

At first glance, you may feel tempted to think D&W Fine Pack is just another aluminum, rigid, and cutlery products manufacturer. But under the direction of new CEO Kevin Andrews, who was hired to his position in December 2015, they decided to make a dramatic shift in a new direction.

They didn’t know what that direction would be at first. So, they decided to make a 90-day commitment to understanding what would make them special for customers just like you.

It turned out that the quality of their products is their key difference maker. D&W Fine Pack measures quality as the number of customer complaints across the number of cases shipped. The initial rate discovered was .0032%. Though already low, their goal is to drive that rate even lower.

…But that was only part of what D&W discovered makes its products so special for its customers.

These 4 Factors Combined Make D&W Fine Pack an Amazing Supplier

After D&W found out what makes them particularly special to their customers, they knew it would work to leverage other existing qualities to create a special package that differentiates them from the competition.

This includes D&W’s:

  • National footprint
  • Custom solutions
  • Desire to be the supplier of choice

And of course, the already-mentioned quality products. Customers are loving the custom solutions. Since D&W is including new tools and systems to improve their service, CEO Kevin Andrews only expects the company to get even better.

In fact, D&W has taken customization so far that they can even customize your customer’s products. That takes your own differentiation to an even higher level. To make it happen, they’ve invested in an additional Innovation Facility. In that facility, they work with customers to take products from Demand Creation to Product Delivery. Yes, they go as far as helping you perform your own innovation. And since they’re happy to allow you to private label, you get all the credit and the repeat sales from greater brand recognition.

D&W’s new approach helps customers like you win more than ever before. And it’s exactly why we happily recommend them to customers like you when they make the perfect fit for your needs.

Why Your Supply Chain Is Your Key to Success

In ancient times, you went to a chaotic open-air market where farmers and craftspeople hauled their goods for sale. About a century ago or so, that model shifted to permanent shops set up near the center of town. That slowly shifted to larger local, and in some cases regional, department stores. Then Walmart came along and created the big-box retail model, and it still rules in-store sales today, with its 2016 revenue rolling in a hefty $482.1 billion. And it all happened because of changes in the supply chain.

Today, however, that’s changing. Small online retailers are popping up everywhere and can compete in their own way. Even though retail has changed dramatically over the millennia, why consumers buy hasn’t changed. Their preferences have always been:

  • Speed
  • Choice
  • Price
  • Convenience

What has clearly changed, though, is the how. But why should you focus on your supply chain as your key driver of growth, rather than something else?

Here’s why:

  1. Logistics Costs Are the #1 Reason for Shopping Cart Abandonment

    The global average shopping cart abandonment rate in 2016 was 77.24%. Could you imagine your reaction if 7-8 people out of every 10 who entered your store left empty-handed? Your jaw would hit the floor in astonishment.Online shoppers don’t purchase for many reasons. But the chief one is additional fees at checkout.And what are those?

    Shipping fees. You could also call those “logistics costs.”

    It’s tough to deliver every package to each customer as fast and affordably as they want. But with strategic use of robotics and automation, you can keep your logistics costs down.

  2. New Technologies Are Driving Supply Chain Success

    Investing in your supply chain no doubt carries significant risk. Invest in a new type of data analytics or data science company, and you could find yourself losing all your money in 18 months anyway because it turned out their system wasn’t the most efficient after all. Many leading retailers have considered this, and then failed to adopt, but that too has only put them in an even weaker position.
  3. If You Don’t Innovate, The Worst Could Happen

    Currently, Americans can order (to a certain extent) directly from Asian manufacturers on Alibaba. They can provide lower costs than American manufacturers. But, they can’t match convenience or speed (yet). Customers may not actually get their product. It could take 3 weeks, or longer, to get it. And if it arrives damaged, a distinct possibility since it had to travel thousands of miles, the whole process starts all over again.

But, what if Asian manufacturers eventually innovate to the point where they master speed and convenience? Even Amazon’s not safe if it fails to innovate.

Is your supply chain your key to growth? Likely so. Taking the next right steps to innovate forward rests on you.

4 Reasons Retail Websites Lose Sales

This holiday season will undoubtedly drive your sales far higher. But, are your sales as high as they could be?

Check out these reasons to learn how you could increase your website’s sales even further:

  • Discuss Your Product’s Benefits

Every website nails the features (facts) about a product. Without exception, manufacturers, distributors, and everyone else, nails what the product is, has, or does.

That’s important for consumers to know.

But if you stop there, you bleed sales.

Your customers also need to know why they should buy your product. This means discussing the benefits your products offer.

In simple terms, you focus on discussing the experience your product offers. If you stick to just features, well, many other products have exactly the same features.

So, why should a customer buy yours if they can get the same from someone else now, or at a lower price?

And yes, you need to discuss these even if they’re obvious. Because, customers won’t necessarily think about the benefits your product implies.

Make it real for them so it’s easier for them to decide to buy.

  • Let Customers Give You Their Email for In-Stock or Sale Notifications

How many thousands of customers arrive at your website, find out you’re out of stock and on backorder, and then leave, never to return again?

Simply have your web development team give them a box where they can enter their email address and you can notify them you have their item in-stock.

Don’t be tempted to think a “Wish List” works just the same. That requires your customers to take extra steps, like creating an account, going through a frustrating password creation experience, and then actually adding the item and checking their account for updates.

Every step you make your customers take leads to lose customers and sales.

Make buying ridiculously easy for them instead.

  • Slow Load Times

Websites, even at some of the nation’s leading retailers, don’t offer a good user experience. For example, you may have to wait several seconds before the product page loads.

Unacceptable!

Every page on your website must load in a couple seconds. Or, your visitors get angry and frustrated. Instead of buying, they leave.

  • Free Shipping

You may not be able to offer free second-day shipping. And maybe the idea of offering free shipping of any kind at all scares you.

But somehow, find a way to offer it. Customers would much rather have an option for free shipping, rather than paying the cost.

You may have to attach this to a minimum order amount. It could only come on certain occasions through email promo codes. Or, maybe you ask for a small monthly fee like Amazon.

The point is to find some way to offer it to at least a portion of your customers.

One of the main reasons many retailers can’t compete today is they choose not to meet the demands the market has for their website. Now that you know what your market wants, deliver it to them and watch your sales grow.

5 Easy-to-Implement Valentine’s Day Retail Sales Strategies

Let’s be honest: most men wait until the last minute to do Valentine’s Day shopping for their sweethearts. On a rare occasion, you get one who thinks ahead and takes care of everything in a planned manner. But, that’s not the norm.

So, you have to cater to this procrastinating crowd who wants things simple and easy. Here are some ideas to boost your upcoming Valentine’s Day sales:

  • Create Gift Kits and Bundles

With a bundle, a man can simply go and purchase the bundle, and then get a card. They’re in, they’re out, and their wife stays happy. That’s what they want.

So, create kits and bundles. They also give you the opportunity to wholesale one or more items and increase your margins. And since you’re offering a bit of convenience, you may also be able to boost your margins even further.

It’s a win-win.

  • Offer Creative Options

Men want as little difficulty as possible as they choose their gifts. Women love surprises.

So why not take the afore-mentioned bundles and kits and offer creative options with these?

How about an indoor-picnic type gift basket loaded with cheese, olives, crackers, wine, and a bouquet of flowers?

You’ll have to strategize your own gift sets. But, this gets you going in the right direction.

  • Have Your Employees Randomly Nominate Memorable Customers for Special Gifts

Don’t necessarily reward your customer based on what they spend. That doesn’t build strong rapport.

Instead, give your employees the ability to reward customers for a reason they find appropriate. This could be that a certain customer stayed patient as your company made mistakes. Or it could be a customer who was just really exciting to work with. And it could be one going through a hard time.

Make sure your customers know you’re doing this promotion. And then, be doubly sure you promote the stories that result to build interest.

  • Have Your Customers Vote For a Local Charity to Support

You can do this with any holiday, including Valentine’s. Facebook makes it easy to create polls.

So make one with some options for your followers to vote on. Then, as before, make sure you share photos or videos from the event when you actually make the donation. And also share how the donation will be used at the organization.

  • Hold a Customer Appreciation Party

You can take all sorts of creative approaches with your party. If you’re a grocer, offer free food and drinks. After all, isn’t the way to a man’s heart through his stomach?

And of course, share photos and videos of the event so your customers gain interest.

No matter what your store’s sales happen to look like, you’ll send them even higher when you implement these tips.

Why Amazon Isn’t the Reason You’re Losing Sales

Believe it or not, as successful as Amazon has been, and as disruptive as they have been, they’re not the largest reason retailers close their doors.

They certainly play a role. However, even the most generous of estimates of Amazon’s growth don’t account for the overall decline in sales many retailers experience. So, blaming Amazon for lower sales amounts to an excuse rather than a genuine reason for falling behind in the marketplace.

Besides Amazon, what else drives why the marketplace sees so many leading retailers belaboring declining sales, filing bankruptcy, and closing more physical locations?

These factors play a much larger role than Amazon does, according to Brendan Witcher, principal analyst at Forrester:

  • No Knowledge of Customer Pain Points

Customers want to buy what they need at a price that makes sense. They want to be able to return the item without any hassles.

Retailers complicate the real issues customers face. And as a result, their stores don’t offer experiences that solve customer’s problems.

  • Undifferentiated Store Experiences

Strange as it sounds, in-store experiences haven’t really changed for the past century.

A whole century!

If your store is just a building that houses your inventory, why go to it when you can simply order a product online?

Offer samples, smells, sights, sounds, demos, helpful (not pushy or salesy) store associates, or create a marketplace-like atmosphere like you get at the now-Amazon-owned Whole Foods.

That’s the key to winning the in-store shopping game.

  • Use Opinions Instead of Data to Drive Strategy

Because of the internet and mobile technology, customer expectations have shifted quickly. Without data, you have either an opinion or a guess. So whatever you decide to do, make sure you gather data and analyze what it means before you act.

Otherwise, you’re acting foolishly.

  • Focusing on Products, Rather than Experiences

Any consumer knows they can find the exact same thing somewhere else for a similar or lower price. Once you turn your products’ sales into a pricing game, you begin competing with Amazon, Target, and Walmart. In other words, you’re bound to lose.

Even if you’re a small company, focus on giving customers a reason to shop with you. These days, offering products only made in the USA could be a powerful reason for a niche market, for example.

You’ll have to discover this for yourself. But, it’s a key to long-term retail success.

  • You Have Too Much Bureaucracy

Your employees need freedom to make decisions, take risks, and fail. They can’t be faced with limitless rules that basically turn them into order-taking robots.

That keeps your business the same. In America, where innovation reigns supreme, stifling risk is the surest path to mediocrity – or even bankruptcy.

Amazon lost 15% of its stock value 107 different times. It fell from a high of $113 at the end of 1999 to $5.67 in September 2001. And it lost more than 50% of its share value on 3 occasions, including during the 2008 financial crisis.

Risk includes short-term failure. But it also makes your long-term success likely.

Is Amazon a reason for declining sales? Yes. But Brendan Witcher argues that, because of these factors, it’s a symptom, not a cause. Take an honest inventory of how you’re doing business to see if any of these factors may be holding you back.