Guest Post by Marissa Perez of Businesspop.net
Ecommerce offers opportunities for small businesses that have never existed before. However, it also comes with its challenges, including competition from the giants — such as Amazon, Apple, Walmart, and Target — that seem to soak up all the business out there. While you may not have the capital and other resources to beat these major competitors in sales, you can keep your customers just as happy and effectively grow your customer base. If you’re a small business owner, these tips can help you grow and thrive despite the competition.
Find Your Specialty
While there are many reasons companies like Amazon are so massive, one of the primary reasons is that they offer a wide range of products, meaning that almost anyone in the world can find something they need. Chances are, you don’t have billions (or trillions) of dollars that enables you to do that, but this doesn’t mean you can’t grow your success. Most customers want excellence when they buy a product or service, so if you focus on your niche audience and provide them with a top-notch product or service, they will be satisfied. It doesn’t matter whether you make a specialty clothing item, build a boutique musical instrument, or provide landscaping services — the important thing is to find what you do best and offer that to customers.
Create an Engaging Website
A website is paramount for any business nowadays. However, there are many companies that have lackluster websites, and this doesn’t do anything to help business. Actually, it can really hurt your business. Many customers form a first impression of a company solely by evaluating the company’s website. So, make sure your company has a professional website that engages viewers and runs effectively. As Upwork notes, the best way to go about this is to find a web designer to create a website for you, whether it’s for a contract job or full-time. Of course, you should ensure that the designer you hire is qualified for the job, and he or she should count web fundamentals and a strong grasp of UI design among their skills. The upfront costs of hiring a designer can quickly pay off when you’re impressing visitors and gaining sales.
Offer Top-Notch Customer Services
Customer service is king when it comes to any kind of business you run. Depending on the size of your company and the number of employees you have, providing customer service may look different for your company than it does for others. For instance, you may be able to speak on the phone throughout the day and immediately answer customer questions, or you may utilize social media notifications and automated responses through email. However you work it into your business operations, just be sure to respond to customers’ needs as quickly as you can and with as much useful information as you can. That way, you can retain the customers you have and build a reputation for excellent customer service that grows your customer base.
Tell Your Story Well
One advantage your small business has that no one else has is this: your story. How well you capitalize on this advantage depends on how well you tell the story and use it in your marketing. For instance, a good origin story is enough to win over many customers. It’s even better if you can work in the stories behind each product or service — from where the idea for a product or service came from to how you are helping others by making the product or offering the service.
Also, explain why you package your products the way you do and/or why your service solves problems that a major competitor simply cannot solve. Most customers shop from the ecommerce giants because it’s quick, convenient, and cheaper; however, a lot of customers will jump on the opportunity to be a part of a unique story.
Your small business can grow your success even in the midst of the big guns. Find what you do best, and make that your focal point. Make sure you have a great website that impresses visitors and fulfills their needs and be one step above when it comes to customer service. Lastly, tell your story in a way that compels customers to choose your products or services.
Thank you to Marissa Perez for providing this Guest Post. Marissa has spent the last 10 years honing her marketing skills, and now she wants to share her knowledge with those who have decided to take on entrepreneurship. She is currently the resident marketing specialist at Businesspop.net.
Photo Credit: Unsplash
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