Wednesday April 01, 2020 |Notes

Local and digital are not enemies

Local businesses and online/digital businesses are too often thought of as enemies. Digital is not necessarily an enemy of local economy and the best local businesses seek to leverage technology, rather than continue to operate with outdated processes and rules.

For years, Walmart was considered the primary enemy of local business. They opened megastores, undercut prices of the local stores, and innovated by offering a massive selection at incredibly low prices via incredible inventory and fulfillment processes. Local business couldn't stop it - and local shoppers couldn't compete directly and those that did soon found themselves out of business.

These days, there's not much talk of Walmart as an enemy as the talk has shifted to online retailers, and specifically Amazon. Amazon has innovated by offering an ever larger selection, optimizing delivery, and continually offering customers a better experience.

There's no sense fighting Amazon directly. That battle will be lost. Instead it's better to consider how the digital economy can enhance the local economy and offer new experience that Amazon can't possibly offer. Local and digital aren't enemies.

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