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Yesterday was the 2017 Holiday Season’s cut-off for items shipped with standard shipping to arrive in time for Christmas.

Never before has this day held such significance in US retailing, with the incredible growth of Amazon and other online shopping platforms.

Visiting with Santa last week, I assumed that he would be busy with his crushing workload preparing for Christmas Eve. However, he told me that more than ever, the people and technology of Amazon are reducing his elf workshop’s work hours.

Yes, thinking about it, it makes sense: when people make a gift list and check it twice, push the Order button, then simply wait for deliveries through UPS, USPS, FedEx or Amazon themselves, it certainly cuts into Santa’s volume.

Was Amazon trying to replace Santa I asked? Does this help or hurt him?

He was realistic in his reply, like many of my clients this year. He said that having a strategy to work with Amazon is critical to your business growth moving forward. If you haven’t already done so, beginning to work with Amazon can significantly drive incremental revenue and improve your bottom line — however, it can’t be your most significant channel of distribution because you need to own your brand and your customer.

Santa believes that Amazon, like a good elf, can be a fine helper, but everyone still needs to know and communicate with him [because Santa is the brand they know, trust and connect with – Amazon simply provides that brand in an easier way].

Moving into 2018, make sure you have a strategy to have Amazon help, not hurt, your retail business.

Happy Holidays Everyone!