How to Make Brick-and-Mortar Retailers More Convenient

Amazon.com, Inc. [NASDAQ:AMZN] is an amazing business. When investors think of Amazon, they usually think of the online retail business. But they do so much more, hence the nickname ‘The Everything Store’.

Amazon offers cloud and data storage services. They own online game streaming business Twitch.tv. They even own a commercial spaceship company, Blue Origin.

But now that Amazon is coming to Australia, Aussie investors are running scared from retail. Companies like Myer Holdings Ltd [ASX:MYR] and Wesfarmers Ltd [ASX:WES] have experienced selling pressure due to Amazon scares.

Yet the potential threat of Amazon could be causing a lot more opportunities than you might think.

Will Amazon lose their edge?

If you had to name the edge Amazon has over other retailers, what would it be? I’d say it’s their online presence and low prices. While some retailers can’t compete on price, they can take away Amazon’s online advantage.

Everyone knows it’s a risk going to a brick-and-mortar store to find a specific item you want. They might not have it in the colour or size you want. It might cost more than you originally anticipated. It’s far easier to pay the shipping fee and find exactly what you want online.

But Brauz is looking to change all that. Brauz is a retail start-up that’s connecting shoppers to brands in local brick-and-mortar stores. You don’t necessarily buy the items online. But, on the app, you can select brands or products you’d like to follow.

Then, when you’re out and about, the app will notify you if a store nearby houses one of your selected products/brands.

Brauz CEO Lee Hardham says that, despite the obvious benefit, about 50% of retail stores still don’t have an online presence:

I was sitting in the car after talking to retailers and I realised the advice I was providing to them was setting them up for failure.

Google only has so much effective space, so if you’re not on that first page on Google it’s useless.

I realised that there’s no real online home of our retail stores.

This app likely won’t be the death of Amazon. However, it is making the brick-and-mortar experience more convenient.

Regards,

Härje Ronngard,

Junior Analyst, Money Morning

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