How Your Small Business Can Compete with Monsters Like eBay and Amazon
Despite more competition than ever before across all sectors of the internet, consumer behavior regarding products has never been more centralized. More and more people prefer to shop online through mega-retailers like Amazon, eBay and even companies such as Wal-Mart due to being able to find everything they need in one place. This can be discouraging for many smaller businesses that offer a limited array of products, but fret not: there are plenty of ways to compete. Today, we’ll discuss some methods for finding prosperity in these trying times and generating more sales despite these competitors.
Fight Fire with Fire
What are the primary limitations being imposed on your brand by big retailers? If size is the main factor, then why not put that disadvantage to work for you? Many of these mega-retailers allow anybody to sell products – whether they be mass-produced items or custom ones – through their interfaces. Countless small businesses have found ways to make money by selling their items through sites like Amazon, pinging users by the millions with their items in these retailers’ online catalogs. Even if pricing is a major hurdle, you can still generate the occasional sale through these platforms when other vendors are out of stock (or by offering more competitive terms on shipping, for instance).
Build Your Email List
Email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to market products and services. If you’re feeling the pinch of mega retailers, then you’ll want to make sure that you’re getting the most out of every individual sale. Small businesses should be collecting email addresses from every shopper, customer and visitor – this will allow you to remarket products to them, reach out periodically with new sales and promotions, and otherwise increase your loyal following. Most small to mid-size brands owe their long-term success and recurring business to email marketing, so make sure you’re using it.
Be On Point with Shipping
Companies that offer competitive or expedited shipping options can often out-perform bigger competitors, as many people value speed and savings. Whether you decide to go with a free shipping policy on select orders or guaranteed two-day shipping, you can easily make this a selling point in the eyes of shoppers who might be on the fence. By wiggling around the competition and offering more flexible, faster or more affordable shipping options, you’ll grab new customers from all walks of life. For example, you can offer guaranteed two-day shipping for one price and a slower form of shipping for free, thereby catering to those who value speed and savings alike. The more forms of shipping superiority you can offer to people, the more customers you’ll generate.
Ultimately, small businesses have unique selling points and advantages that the bigger companies don’t. If you can combine an awesome customer service strategy and brand personality with competitive shipping solutions, effective marketing and competition on their own turf, then you’ll be pinging users and shoppers with every major benefit they’re looking for from a business. Tell us below what obstacles you’ve encountered as a small business facing off against bigger retailers.