December 4, 2019 / Marissa Perez - Business POP
It’s easy to think that in the world of online shopping, your small business is at the bottom of the food chain. After all, with gigantic retailers such as Amazon holding court in the world of e-commerce, it can be hard to imagine that you can compete. Contrary to what you might think, it’s actually not unheard of for a small business to steal customers right under the noses of retail leviathans. So, if you would like to beat Amazon (and others) at their own game and achieve e-commerce success, it’s time to up your online game and consider the following strategies.
Use Online Resources
Today, the internet is at the center of modern living. It’s no wonder, then, that e-commerce is growing by leaps and bounds. And in the same way that the internet makes online shopping possible, so, too, does it set you up for success.
Indeed, all the resources you could possibly need can be found online, and it’s definitely in your best interest to take advantage of them. There’s just no dearth of information on the internet, including strategies to strengthen your small business. So, do your due diligence and peruse online wikis and guides on topics like growth hacking, search engine optimization, branding, customer service, and more to be better equipped to compete and succeed.
Get Online Tools
Just like information, tools are also a dime a dozen in the online world. As a matter of fact, it’s fast becoming a standard to start and run an entire business over the internet, such as a small online store. The multitude of online tools available today makes this possible, so it’s almost guaranteed that there’s an app or software that can help you easily perform a variety of business functions, from website design to marketing to payment processing.
One example of a handy tool that you should have in your arsenal is an online voice recorder. Such a tool is a real time- and energy-saver, as it allows you to easily record and download notes, meetings, and dictation as an MP3. There are even services that can transcribe these recordings for a small fee. Afterward, you can then make use of the text output on your website, email, marketing efforts, and more.
Have an Online Brand Personality
It’s been said that a jack of all trades is a master of none. The fact is that Amazon and other large retailers are those jacks of all trades, offering just about every product under the sun and making it difficult to distinguish one brand from the other. On the other hand, your small online business is most likely highly specialized, essentially making you the master of one.
It goes without saying that your edge over Amazon and its ilk all boils down to one thing—authority. This gives you the opportunity to truly create a distinctive brand that’s distinguishable from competitors. You can do this by showcasing your expertise through your content, as well as by creating a social media presence and marketing personality that really relates to your customers. Doing these (and more) not only puts you in a better position for brand recall, but more importantly, it makes it easier for you to establish a connection and ultimately win customer trust and loyalty.
Prioritize the Online User Experience
And speaking of trust, know that having a recognizable brand is not enough to get customers to keep coming back for more. In this regard, it’s a good idea to take a leaf off Amazon’s book and really put a premium on the customer experience to gain trust.
At the most fundamental level, consider shipping. Remember that people turn to online shopping for speed and ease, and while Amazon’s two-day shipping is a tough act to follow, you can offer free or discounted shipping and have a transparent shipping timeline and policy. You can also compete in other ways by streamlining your payment process, providing stellar customer service, implementing an honest review system, adding little “extras,” and more.
Yes, your small business competing with Amazon is a true David-and-Goliath scenario. However, by banking on the all-too-important human element with a few well-aimed strategies, you’re giving your small and humble business the capacity to bring down a giant.
Photo via Unsplash
Marissa Perez is a contributor and resident marketing specialist for BusinessPOP.