You Have a HUGE Competitive Advantage Over Retail!

Last Update: Sep 12, 2022

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As much as I hate the idea (yes, I know hate is a strong word) of people losing their jobs within the offline world, and companies going out of business, I also think that we are living in a world where people are unwilling to work at the same level as my generation, and certainly the generation before me used to work.

The fact that you are here at WA and reading this, means that you are an exception and you are naturally going to be built to be within the top 5% of people, and can create success online as such.

Before I get into my reasoning that you have a true competitive advantage, I want to share a little story with you. This is an experience that I had when shopping yesterday, but it is an experience that I find has become the norm versus the exception.

My Story About a Poor Retail Experience.

Yesterday I went to Canadian Tire, a big retail chain here in Canada which is far more than a tire store. It is more like a department store, meets a Home Depot. They have lots of tools, they sell bikes, camping gear, toys, household items, outdoor furniture, plants, gardening tools/equipment. They are basically a catch all, and actually offer a really great experience.

Well, almost really great. It is great until you have to ask for help to find something.

I was in there yesterday looking for a "submersible pump'.

These are pumps that you use to pump water out of areas. I have some water on top of my swimming pool cover that I was looking to pump out, as my other submersible pumps that I had had met their lifespan (IE, they were dead lol).

I had no idea where to find such a thing, so I asked an associate in the store where to find a submersible pump. First, they had no idea what I was talking about and they took my back to the bike pump section. Then, I told them that wasn't it, and I told them what it was for and they took me to the pool section. Facepalm.

They radioed to another associate, and they indicated that these should be within aisle 5 of the store. So that is where I went, only to find winches and other various tools for trucks.

So... I went to find another associate. This time, the associate told me to go to seasonal as they might be there. So I did. Nothing. Then I went to another completely different associate, and they said they didn't think they carried them. At this point I pulled out my phone, and went to Canadian Tire's website, to see for myself. When they noticed I did this, they said "let me check our computers and see if we carry such a thing". In the meantime I showed them they do in fact carry them.

He then indicated that they were in aisle 29, I went there, and there were 6 different versions of submersible pumps. It certainly was not an obscure "one off" item in their store, rather there was a section of them. I mentioned that they might want to learn what they have available in their store (in a "kind" way obviously) and then moved on and purchased my $179.00 pump.

I put off going to the store for several days because I didn't have time. I not only wasted my time driving to the store, but I also wasted 30 minutes while there, and ultimately had a frustrating experience. I wasn't able to accrue any knowledge at all about any of the pumps, which one was the best for my situation and why, and which one had the best spec/warranty/lifespan.

Instead, I was in a situation where I knew much more about the product than the sales associate. In fact all 3 of them that I spoke with didn't know what a submersible pump was, or that it existed in their store.

This leads me to YOUR competitive advantage and your ability to help customers, like they are not getting help elsewhere.

Your Competitive Advantage Online is Glaring.

When I tell people that they can become an expert at anything, they are baffled. If someone came to me and said they know nothing about submersible pumps, but wanted to make that their niche and become and expert within a few weeks, I would say "go for it!".


Because I know what you are competing with, and I know that you can actually become an expert in the matter of a few weeks time on such a topic. In fact, in my little research I did online I know that I am 100x more equipped to make a recommendation for a pump, than someone working at Canadian Tire or any big box store for that matter.

You are equivalent to a boutique store, but within the online world. Boutiques typically have innate product knowledge and expertise, but it usually comes at a cost as the products are higher priced (because their sales volume is lower).

But the problem is it is harder for these stores to find qualified workers, most boutique stores even lack product knowledge and the employees lack interest in the products/services...they are just there to collect a check. Well those checks are going to continue to disappear as big box stores close down, and people lose their jobs.

And as people like YOU, are building out sites with expertise, that are helpful, that help people make qualified purchasing decisions, and that offer direct and timely support.

And people can shop from the comfort of their homes, no driving, no gas money, no time, and they are going to be able to choose from, in my case, 100's of different options of submersible pumps and get the very best price. Shipping is usually only a few days for ANY product as well, so unless it is urgent, buying online is the way to go.

That is the reality.

Whether you want to become a chocolate expert. Whether you want to be a cat expert. Whether you want to be an expert selling fridges, or wooden toys for babies, or beer coolers, or ANYTHING. You can become the expert, and outshine the offline world be a significant exponent.

The lunch is there to be eaten, retail is dying and companies are going bankrupt for a reason. The online world is continuing to take over and affiliate marketers and online authority. There has never been an opportunity like this.

More retail stores are closing. More online businesses are thriving. More and more people are shifting the majority of their spending online. And the opportunity to build a business online and to be a thriving affiliate marketers has never been so vast!

Have you noticed the same sort of experience as I had? People that are getting paid minimum wage don't have the inclination to help, or become an expert at their craft and this poses the core problem within retail these days. The online experience is a much more informed one, one where you are getting much more in depth and useful product/knowledge, and where you can go to learn how to solve your problems.

I would love to hear about your experiences within the online world in terms of expertise and quality, versus your experience within the online world.

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Recent Comments


In the UK we have the wonderful and fabulous Marks and Spencer, who look after their staff, offer great benefits and one of the most traditional high quality food and knicker shops on the high street.
They do a lot more than sell knickers but most people in the uk have a pair.

They are such a quality store with killer advertising and when you can find them excellent knowledgable assistants. (Reduced stuff due to cut backs)

Their food whilst being expensive is also the best. And yet sadly they are dying a very slow death.
It’s hard to imagine a town without them, but there it is. The most expensive products (their food) is what is keeping them afloat. If you don’t know M&S food then you probably can’t imagine how this happens.

Last month a long standing (170 year old) travel business folded. Thomas Cook, the directors mismanaged, didn’t keep up with the online world and stayed firmly on the high street as a Travel Agent store, didn’t help with the bosses huge dividends.

Sadly The writing is “writ” large... for today and for the future. Embracing the change is key.

So Kyle thank you for the timely post, it’s good to feel useful and competitive.... great post 👍

Here in the UK retail has just announced the 15th consecutive quarter of decline, where the market is getting worse every quarter.
It looks like the big stores are on the way out, with more independent shops coming in.
Customer service is sadly in decline. They do not realise an unhappy customer is non- returning customer.

Thanks Kyle. First I have learnt a lot on 'niche' especially after becoming a bit confused after the training. Secondly, it is indeed very frustrating when you go to the depots in Kenya we call the 'supermarkets' and there are may attendants but still you start searching for a product.. This is most frustrating if you had spared a few minutes to do it or had an emergency to attend to and you are let down. For many reasons, I have opted to shop for an alternative simply because I am not ready for drama. This is a very important article for me, it has moved my understanding of expertise to another level. Decoding it, I am simply becoming a marketer online for a specific product.

Thanks Kyle

GOOD evening Kyle, my ex-mother-in-law is one of the managers at one of the Home Depot. She always complained about the people that were working there, she would use words like idiots and morons. She said the store was against the wall, and had to hire people that did not have the knowledge that they should have. The reason being, these are the only people that were applying for the jobs. The store does have training, and they do work with someone there for a while when they first start, however, my understanding is it's not nearly enough. And most of these people don't care, they're there for a check and that is the only reason. May you have a blessed night Kyle.

I would like to comment on this particular topic. My background is a mix of careers but probably 25 years of it in retail and so I can speak to both sides. There are a lot of issues involving customers going in to stores as well and their behavior and so on. The main reason for me commenting on this is that instead of focusing or mentioning that the associates are not much help to you when you go in maybe we should focus on the fact that it is up to the store to make sure the associates are trained for the areas they are working in.
When you experienced those less than positive experiences how many times did you ask to speak to the manager and let him or her know of the frustration you ran into so they can address it. They can not fix it if they do not know about it.

I agree with you Gary, if people are not trained properly there is no hope. Perhaps this is an issue of lack of proper training, but I don't think all the blame could go there.

People are also intelligent beings. If someone realized over and over gain the didn't understand where things were in a store and that was a big part of their job, they should take initiative to learn the store. They walk around it the entire day. lol

I for one don't ask to speak to the manager, perhaps I should, but that is not my personal style. I would rather go on about my day than put up a fuss and I think a lot of people are in the same boat. So maybe we are part of the problem.

I find online to be more reliable than in a shop where people yes they don’t even know why they have those jobs.

They forget it’s about customers and not them and giving the best advise but online I have the choice to research take me time then choose wisely.

Thank you great post.

I love this example Kyle!!!

I had never thought about the quality of online vs. offline shopping and knowledge before but I have had more bad store experiences than I can count.

I never ask store employees for anything now because I almost always go through the same frustration you did here. It is always the same thing. They don't know where it is, what you are talking about, how it works or if they have any. Then they read the box if you ask a question...generally if I am asking a question I have already read the box myself so that doesn't help me at all.

I feel bad that I have such a negative attitude but years and years and years of the same experience have taught me to steer clear.

Thanks for tying this all together in my brain as to why online will continue to succeed.

It also inspires me to look at a wider range of potential niches.


Thank you for writing about this. I have had multiple similar experiences at the grocery stores. The employee can't help me and I end up finding the product myself. One time, at Vons I ended up helping a young sales associate find "cream of tartar powder" for another customer. She had never heard of it. I was more than happy to help, and it made my day to be able to teach her something new. It is encouraging to know that we have an advantage over retail. Online shopping is here to stay and the WA family members on the right bus going in the right direction

Well, I love this post. It's so true. I've had a few good experiences in retail offline but it's been a while. Now I almost always buy everything except groceries online. lol. But I have gone into a computer store and told them exactly what I want and the helper doesn't have any idea what I'm talking about. I guess you're right. We do have an edge here. :)


Thank you for the reminder of why I do not like to go
shopping! As a woman, we are supposed to love
shopping WRONG - associates in any store have no
clue about their merchandise.

I think when I decide to start a new website it will be
for a vast majority of subjects on items, such as you
mentioned submersible pumps. At least I know a
little about them and what they are used for!


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