Amazon is expanding its home delivery grocery service to Los Angeles after six years of operation in Seattle. This expansion, the first of many expected to come, marks a significant step forward for online shopping. We’ve already discussed how the growth of home delivery services like this can save people time and money while reducing emissions and greening the economy. But there’s another crucial benefit: When big companies like Amazon lead service delivery innovation, they create openings for entrepreneurs. The WSJ reports on how small businesses have piggybacked on Amazon’s success:
Chris Porter, owner of A La Mode Pies in Seattle, said he was selling more Mexican chocolate mousse and strawberry rhubarb confections thanks to an AmazonFresh program offering delivery of prepared foods from restaurants, bakeries and other small businesses. “It’s been great for my business,” said Mr. Porter, 40, adding that he was considering opening another storefront in the Seattle area.
It’s commonly assumed that big business always crowds out small business. Big grocery stores drive out mom and pop corner stores; Borders and Barnes & Noble drive out small bookstores. But this is only half the story. A La Mode Pies shows that in the new service economy big and small business can work together symbiotically.
This is particularly true when it comes to the tech industry. Smart small businesses offering boutique services will be able to use the platforms like Amazon’s to sell their wares to a wider customer base.
This is doubly important because the future of American economy will see a significant increase in the number of service jobs. We are reaching a point where fewer and fewer people are needed to provide us with our basic necessities; the jobs that will be most valuable in the future are those that provide people with experiences they desire after basic needs are met. Both big and small businesses will play an important role in this transition.