Anyone can be anything online. Here are 4 things you can do to compete with major retailers
When you think of business success stories, do you think of Amazon? If you do, you’re not alone. A small online business that Jeff Bezos started in his garage is now one of the biggest names in retail, which can leave small business owners wondering how to compete. If you own a small business, however, there are several tools and strategies you can use to hold your own against Amazon and help your business survive in an endless sea of major online retailers. Here are a few ideas to help you and your business stay afloat.
Create an Attractive, Efficient Website
Look for Free Online Marketing
Amazon barely needs to spend money on marketing. If you own a small business, however, you need to market your goods and services to potential customers, but you don’t have to spend a lot on your efforts either. By building a sleek, functional website, you have already taken the first step in accessing free online marketing opportunities for your business. Companies like MailChimp offer free versions of their online marketing products, which can help small businesses get a start to building a strong online presence. You can also use the power of social media to push your small business. When used wisely, Facebook can be a powerful marketing tool that you can use to effectively promote your business.
Really Invest in Your Customers
If there’s one area where small businesses can outshine Amazon with minimal effort, it’s in creating trusting customer relationships. By simply asking your customers how they are doing or asking them what needs are not being met, you are going above and beyond the customer service provided by major retailers. You can also use social media networking to really connect and get to know your target customers. With social media, you have a priceless tool for listening to your customers’ wants and needs. Social media can also help you network with other businesses, which can connect you with even more customers. Of course, no online customer service model can hope to compete with Amazon without offering free shipping, so make sure you find cost-effective ways to get your products into your customer’s hands quickly.
Work on Better Business Branding
When you are a small business attempting to compete with Amazon, the last thing you want to do is compare yourself to the retail giant. Instead of focusing on ways that your business may be similar to Amazon (including free shipping), try focusing on ways to set your business apart. You have to take some time to identify what qualities make your business unique from major retailers and then market yourself based on those qualities. Those elements are also crucial to creating your brand, which can also establish yourself with customers who are not wholly committed to shopping with Amazon. Branding on a budget can be just as effective as using a professional consultant as long as you create a solid plan.
It can be a challenge to compete with business behemoths like Amazon, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. If you own a small business and you want to set it apart from major online retailers and other corporate giants, you have to create marketing and operating standards that will carefully craft a brand that customers can relate to. That’s what really helps small businesses stay afloat among major competitors, both big and small.
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