When we started our company, we had to be different. We were going up against seed companies that were over 150 years old. They had a catalog - we had a cause. We reinvented retail and retired the aged seed rack with our innovative seed kits. And we concluded that our story could be told best by independent retailers. That's when we pulled the plug on Amazon.
We got on Amazon because it is where everyone shops online and its super easy to do. Half of online sales go through Amazon. That equates to 5% of US retail sales in 2018. But what is emerging are distinct battle lines in retail. Large retail is fighting Amazon. Medium-sized to small retailers have to compete with the Big Box and Amazon. Tiny specialty retailers have to compete with all of them.
The independent retailer must offer differentiated products and experience and products that the Big Box or Amazon can't. But that differentiation is instantly lost once their shelves have the exact same products as the big guys. Independents must offer new products that customers love that can’t be found in big box stores or on Amazon.
So, we were selling through on Amazon but that created some questions with our small, independently owned retailers. We had to figure out what matters most. While Amazon is a great place for people to find the lowest price product, it is not a great place for social enterprises. There is nobody to tell your story. Amazon isn't advocating for your brand. You are pitted against the biggest companies in your space in a race to the bottom. Amazon is betting on the big brands - which means their site will pitch the same stuff you see in all the other Big Box stores.
So we pivoted once we realized that companies like ours are the model for small and independent retailers to win...
MAURO is the only seed company with a social mission. We need indies to support us. We need indies to tell our customers our story. And indies need need great brands that are unique and cant be found on Amazon. Small makers like us will have to pick a lane or go nowhere. Amazon-or-not will be the new distinction in retail. Makers must choose their fate.
We are all-in with the little guy. Its a synergistic model that benefits both entities. Retail is rapidly evolving. We are putting down our flag and are declaring independence to help small retail compete against the Big Box and Amazon.