As a small business, you might not have the same type of resources that a big corporate chain may have. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider moving into eCommerce as a small business. Like with any venture, there are challenges and benefits that you may encounter. Let’s discuss those details below and find a few tips to stand out against big-box chains.
Challenges of Being a Small Business in Ecommerce
- Hard to Be Found: Compared to the retail giants who can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on advertisements, it’s hard to pay for advertising space on search engines as a small business. Using proper SEO techniques can take a while before you’ll see results.
- Security or Online Credit Card Fraud: As a small business, having a cyber-attack or data breach can seriously hurt your company. Plus, if your customers don’t feel like your payment platform is secure, they might choose to forgo buying products from your website.
- High Competition: Hundreds of thousands of products are listed on the internet that might be similar to yours. It can be difficult for a small business to find their niche when they’re just beginning on a digital landscape.
- Shipping Cost: Big retailers like Amazon are able to ship their packages themselves, so they don’t have to charge customers for shipping. Customers love to have free shipping benefits and low prices. Small companies on the other hand, can find shipping costs to be extremely high, unless they use online companies like Ebay or Amazon to sell with.
Benefits of Being a Small Business in Ecommerce
- Cut Down Overhead Costs: Being able to sell digital products will help cut down your inventory and storage costs. Videos, music, or books can be sold digitally instead of being manually printed, which will help save money for your business.
- Reduce Physical Storefronts: Instead of investing in a storefront that incurs costs like rent, maintenance, and utilities, you can instead sell your products online 24/7 without having to hire extra employees. While you’ll still need to pay for costs such as warehouse rental, or delivery costs, this will be less than the cost of running a physical storefront.
- Reach Global Customers: Small businesses have a hard time reaching new customers. However, in a digital landscape, you can reach customers worldwide. Having a more expansive market reach can help to scale and grow your business.
How to Compete Against the Giants
While it might seem like big businesses are the only ones who can stand out in the eCommerce world, small businesses hold a lot of power. There are plenty of ways to adopt strategies and market your online business to attract customers and compete against the retail giants.
- Find Your Niche: Customers love to support small businesses, especially when they have a specific niche. Do you sell clothing that is made sustainably from another country to provide livable wages? Do you sell all-organic products from your farm? Are you a small family business that creates jewelry by hand? Find what makes your business stand out and actively market it to stand apart from your competitors.
- Keep Customers Happy: Find ways to increase your customer satisfaction. Offer free two-day shipping, or keep your customers updated with delivery notices. Offer a discount when they visit your page or include a special note with each order. Keeping your customers happy by finding ways to delight them will increase their loyalty to your brand.
- Build an E-mail list: Once you have a potential customer signed up, you can nurture those leads into future sales. You can send them information about your product, what sets you apart, or coupons to convince your clients to buy.
If you run a small business and want to find your place in the eCommerce world, check out our services at Graffic Traffic. We offer everything from creative services to design and coding. Let us help your brand find its voice in a highly competitive marketplace.