As Amazon and Walmart battle for world domination by competing to deliver the lowest costs and the most efficient online convenience, another retailer has been quietly increasing market share . . . Costco.
Costco is competing well because it adds something to the low cost battle . . . a unique experience that its customers find to be of value.
For many people, a trip to Costco is . . . wait for it . . . fun! While most of us would like to get in and out of a crowded Walmart as fast as we can, or be as expeditious as possible with an Amazon order (that’s the point), check out Costco on any given Saturday morning. The place is packed with shoppers whose carts are loaded to the gills with huge boxes of merchandise and as they roll their carts around they look . . . wait for it . . . happy.
Yes, people are buying the staples, but they are also taking their time checking out the wine selection, which is strong, or the steaks, which are legendary to us grill masters. People are having fun.
Those of us who are selling goods and services can get caught up in the features and benefits, but don’t forget the customer experience, i.e., how we make our customers “feel” during the process.
It can be a real differentiator in a rapidly commoditizing world.