For a number of months I have been thinking how to create an e-commerce solution that competes with Amazon. I came up with an idea that is probably lame, but i'd like to understand why it will not work.
Amazon is great for products that do not perish (11% off when compared to retail), but it is not good for perishable items like milk, eggs, etc. And simple things like nails, light bulbs, band-aids where the convenience of location and not the price is the determining factor for a purchase.
I am thinking an ecommerce solution for all the real-state shops around a city should do the trick. However this would be a community of integrated ecommerce sites that allow the consumer to:
- have their order pre-packaged and ready for pick up at any store. think pre-packaged groceries, so you just go to the market, grab your bags and leave.
- have some guy deliver the items to you (ala food delivery mechanism)
- or have their product shipped to you (ala how ecommerce works today, however you should be able to drop shipping costs since it will originate from a local address)
At the end of the day I believe there is a void in the market, and that is mom & pop shops have ZERO online presence right now. There are disparate ecommerce sites here and there, but they are stand alone systems. And consumers are confused with so many different ecommerce sites for small shops (think the confusion of MySpace profiles and their designs vs. the Facebook profiles and their lack of design but encoragement to engage more)
I think something like this woudld be great for
- bakeries that already deliver their fancy weading or birth-day cakes
- flower shops who do not wish to pay the 20% overhead of flowers.com, etc
- or for consumers that want to find all the shops in their block that has a particular type of light bulb.
A solution like this would also resolve the following issues:
- switch the directionality of the search, so if I want a specific light bulb, this system should tell me which stores have it near me...
- allow collective reviews on a single product to take place. If 10 people review the same light bulb from different mom & pop ecommerce shops, all the reviews will be sharable, so this will allow for crowd-reviews to take place down to the level any product ... be it nails, orange juice, etc.
- among other benefits...
But alas, by now this has become a super long question. If I am missing any negatives or positives please bring them to light. However, I have the eerie feeling that I am not see an 800 pound gorilla here.