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Alfalfa Bill will take his business any damn where he pleases... Thank you.
"I could offer other recent examples of the lack of service and foolish business practices of small businesses in Oklahoma but suffice it to say I'm not listening to any more pleas to keep my purchasing local - until local businesses start taking business, and their customers, seriously. "
In this new age where people with access to the internet have many more choices its imperative that local business owners step up to the plate and start recognizing good business practices. As much as I may rant and rave against corporate America I can attest to the fact that many big chain stores at least recognize what it takes to make customers happy. I have had customer service skills drummed into my head and I have noticed that small business owners are severely lacking in what it takes to make customers happy and want to return.
Local merchants have little grounds for complaint when they lose business to the internet. The online shop is always there, always open, you get its undivided attention and it doesn't give you shit about what and how much you buy. It can be intimidating enough walking into a store for the first time, navigating an unfamiliar environment and trying to find what you want without also suffering the indifference or (on some rare occasions) the hostility of the employees working there. Its enough to make you want to just sit at home, fire up the computer and say "f*ck it, I can get it cheaper, without the pressure and without the hassle online".
Small business owners need to recognize that people will shop with them only if they offer what the online merchants cannot, and that's a human being ready and willing to provide the help a person needs to make a good purchase decision. They fail at that and they will vanish.
When you can no longer rely on being the only place within a thousand miles to buy a particular product, as was the case pre-internet, you have to try harder to win your customers. You can't rely on somebody to come through your doors, hold their tongue and plop down their money if they have the option to go elsewhere. And now they can.
Online retailing is changing the way we shop. I have already adapted to having access to virtually anything and everything I might want. This new horizon of options has been a blessing for people outside of major metropolitan centers who have felt isolated for too long. There has been catalog shopping in the past, but the internet experience provides more options for consumers and it gives them more choices of where to shop and when to shop. This is a very good thing.
While we'll still shop for daily items on a grab and go basis, and some things will have to be seen a touched to consider, we'll adopt online shopping for all other purchases and this will mean the face of Main Street America will change yet again.
Dissolve into Evergreens