With shoppers around the globe enjoying the fast delivery and product consistency of retail giants like Amazon, Alibaba, eBay and Walmart, how can smaller stores stay competitive?
In 2020, Amazon took in almost 38% of US online sales (the next closest competitors were Walmart with 5.8% and eBay with 4.5%). The percentage is staggering, but small online retailers can ensure their store provides an excellent shopping experience. Here’s how.
1. Establish a solid digital presence
Using social media lets savvy retailers tell the world about their brand without spending large amounts of money on advertising. Ensure you post interesting content that adds value regularly. Don’t forget to interact with followers and other accounts as well. Other social media strategies include connecting with influencers to promote your brand or product and running paid social media ad campaigns.
It’s all too easy for consumers to feel like another number when they shop at large online retailers. While the algorithms spit out products the retailer *thinks” the shopper might like, it’s not a substitute for a true connection with a brand.
Don’t be afraid of telling shoppers exactly why your brand is unique and what makes you different from the competition. You can stand out not only in the products you sell, but your website’s aesthetic, your brand’s ethical standpoint or any other angle you can think of.
3. Excellent customer service
Relationships and experiences are as important as the products you sell. Shoppers consistently say they’d prefer to interact with a human instead of feeling like just another ticket number and being passed from one customer support agent to another.
Personal touches like post-purchase follow-ups, thank you card inserts and appreciating repeat customers can give you an edge over large retailers.
Addressing issues and resolving them promptly is another way smaller shops can stand out. While some large retailers are quite good when it comes to resolving customer issues, others score low.
4. Fast delivery
While you may not have same-day or even next-day delivery as a smaller store owner, it doesn’t mean your customers won’t wait a little bit longer. But not much. Shoppers understand that smaller stores don’t have distribution centers and warehouses, so they can be a little more lenient when it comes to when their purchase arrives.
You should still strive towards the fastest delivery possible to stay competitive. Provide tracking if you can and give regular updates on the status of the order.
5. Optimize your website
Giant retailers have a lot more disposable money to ensure their websites are perfectly designed, SEO optimized and technologically sound. Smaller stores have smaller budgets, but that doesn’t mean your online store can’t have a beautiful aesthetic, seamless UX and important keywords in the content that put you at the top of search results.
Since smaller stores have simpler needs, optimizing them within budget is possible and important.
How Westmount Solutions can help
Whether it’s speed optimization, a loyalty program for repeat customers or a custom delivery solution, we can help! We’ve worked with thousands of merchants to ensure their store looks and functions exactly as they need it to. Now more than ever smaller stores need to stand out against the giant retailers. Get in touch to find out how your store can compete.
How is your customers' journey?
Meet the needs of your customers
and unlock the full potential of your business!