The Competitive Advantage of Making it Easy

By: Joe Calloway, Principal with The Disruption Lab

“And the future of Amazon is about selling things without the customer having to log on and buy them.”

Amazon realized that having to touch one button to reorder printer cartridges or coffee filters required far too much effort, so now they’re letting your devices keep you resupplied automatically.

“Making it easy” is the strategy that has led Amazon to be the dominant force in the retail marketplace today. Next up for the company may be making access to healthcare easier. Beyond that it might be banking, legal work, financial services, or virtually any other business imaginable.

In my book, The Leadership Mindset, I write about the power of being easy to do business with:

Would it be a powerful competitive advantage if we were considered the easiest to do business with in our market?

Allow me to answer. “Yes!” Being the easiest to do business with is the mother lode in terms of being a decisive differentiator to today’s buyer of absolutely anything – from buying accounting services or concert tickets to buying cars, shoe repairs, banking, haircuts, or commercial aircraft. When you reduce the effort required by a customer you automatically add value.

Consider companies often cited as disruptors; companies that everyone is talking about. What makes them so popular?

* Uber/Lyft: make it easier to catch a ride.

* Amazon: makes it incredibly easy to buy anything.

* Apple: products that are easy to use.

* Google: makes it easier to use the internet.

* Zappos: makes ordering, returns, and customer service extremely easy.

* Almost all of your favorite apps on your smartphone make something easier to access, buy, or use.

In this article in FastCompany, Mark Wilson looks at how Amazon is doing away with Dash buttons as it moves towards automatic reordering of thousands of products, all in the interest of making it easier to do business (which makes them more money!).

Joe Calloway is a nationally acclaimed keynote speaker, consultant and author of Be the Best at What Matters Most and six other ground-breaking business books including Becoming A Category of One: How Extraordinary Companies Transcend Commodity And Defy Comparison, which received rave reviews from The New York TimesRetailing TodayPublishers Weekly and many others. He consults and advises leadership teams of global organizations with ideas and strategies on leadership, innovation and customer experience. You can connect with or ask Joe a question through The Disruption Lab community at


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