It should come as no surprise to any business owner that online commerce continues to grow almost every quarter. While billions are being spent in e-commerce stores every month, many small shops are at a loss of how they can carve out their owner corner of the market when competing with international chains. Creating a successful online store might seem difficult, but it is important to remember that it is not impossible with the right tactics and attitude. Here is a look at five tips that you can use to start competing with the “big boys” of your industry.
5 Tips For Helping Your Ecommerce Site Compete With The Big Boys
1. Research Your Competition
One of the first steps in creating a business plan is to carry out some research on competitors and the industry as a whole. This knowledge will immediately put you at an advantage as you recognize what your competition is doing right, what they are doing wrong, and what you can do differently. All e-commerce website owners need to think about what they are going to do that sets them apart. This could be the price of your products, the quality of your products, customer service, or even a personal touch with every transaction. With this knowledge in hand, you can then create a more effective digital marketing campaign.
2. Create a Flexible Business Model
One of the single biggest advantages that small e-commerce stores have over international corporations is their ability to adapt to a changing market. While larger companies must go through an incredible amount of red tape to get anything done, you most likely have free reign over what you sell and your prices. As consumers move on to a new fad or become unhappy with current pricing, you can easily take a look at your research and start making changes. This can be as simple as emphasizing new products, offering new services, or making minor alterations to your prices.
3. Add a Personal Touch to Everything
One of the biggest complaints that people have about large corporations is that there is no personal touch. Consumers often feel as if their only shot at contacting the company is to move through automated phone systems or send emails to faceless employees that have no stake in the company’s reputation. You can stand apart from the competition by adding a personal touch to everything that you do. It might not be practical to write a handwritten letter with every package that you send, but you can always send a follow-up email to your customers with a phone number that they can call if they are not satisfied.
4. Focus on Communicating and Customer Satisfaction
The goal of every e-commerce business owner should be to have 100 percent customer satisfaction in the first few months. Not every company will achieve this goal, but it is vital that you make a good impression while you are still building the foundation of your company. All complaints and questions should be answered the same day whenever possible and issues with your products and services must be addressed immediately. Starting an e-commerce website off with negative reviews and unsatisfied customers will put you in a hole that you might not be able to dig yourself out of.
5. Find Your Niche
Trying to compete with a company like Best Buy for all retail electronics will not only be expensive, but it is also completely impractical for most small businesses. By specializing in a niche market, you will be able to bypass quite a bit of competition and connect with your clientele in a much more efficient manner. An example of this would be an e-commerce site that buys and sells used books. Instead of selling books of every genre to customers throughout the world, you could stick to children’s books and focus on a single state. This will not only reduce your shipping costs, but it will also make site optimization exponentially easier by competing for geo-specific keywords instead of broad keywords.
Creating an e-commerce website is a great option for small business owners that want to steer clear of the countless expenses of a local brick-and-mortar store. These few tips should help you avoid much of the competition, improve conversion rates, and find a niche that will allow your business to stand out.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who has worked in eCommerce for the last five years. She currently writes for Rakuten Super Logistics and recommends them for all your online order fulfillment needs to further your success.