By Anzhela Sychyk
You can’t deny that Amazon is immense. In fact, it is considered to be one of the Big Four tech companies on the planet, along with Facebook, Apple, and Google. Today, if a business tried to emulate what this giant does and go for a share of its market, then it would face fierce competition.
There’s simply so much that Amazon can do that a new small enterprise may deem impossible. For instance, Amazon gives discounts that a small business cannot cover; it has a substantial inventory; can ship in only two days for Prime listings, and has even started delivering groceries to homes!
Nowadays, almost everyone is privy to the fact that Amazon has grown tremendously over the years, eclipsing some great names of the past such as J. C. Penney, Barnes & Noble, Sears, and others. Worse still, some of its other competitors have not survived the harsh business world that Amazon has managed to navigate effectively for some time now.
But while it might all seem futile at a glance; it is still possible for an small business to compete against Amazon favorably. There are some limitations to the model of shopping provided by this giant that can be exploited to ensure successful operations. With that said, take a look at seven things a small business can do to give Amazon a run for the money.
1. Offer Personalized Services
No one can contest the fact that Amazon is in a position to offer huge discounts and has massive product inventories. Therefore, competing with them in pricing is simply not up for consideration at this point.
However, a business can bring competition to Amazon’s doors by exploiting something it does not offer – one-on-one customized services. See, being a small enterprise, it is way easier for you to understand your customers. Then, you can adopt personalization by doing things such as:
- Greeting customers by name at physical stores
- Recommending products based on conclusions drawn from past data
- Following up on big sales with personalized appreciation messages
2. Work on the Brand
A business needs to work on how customers view its brand. All the time, the company should go out of its way to ensure that it leaves an impression on customers. This way, it will stay on their minds, making it easy for them to think about the enterprise when they need something that it provides. An excellent method of branding is to determine what you can do way better than others and build your name around it by sharing that information with your customers.
3. Create an Omnichannel Experience
If a business has both an online and physical store, customers today will expect the same level of service from both. Whenever they acquire something online and want to return it, they wish to be allowed to take it back to a physical store and get the type of service that is associated with the company.
Therefore, it is up to the business owner to ensure that his/her employees offer all customers a particular level of service regardless of the channel. Consequently, it means that things such as the attitudes and policies the customers will experience from the business should be shared across all channels it operates on.
4. Invest in Your Mobile Marketing
Would you like to know how big is the mobile market? There are about 5.1 billion unique mobile users on the planet today. That’s about 100 million more than they were in 2018. Globally, there are about 3.9 billion active mobile internet users (52% of the total population). Essentially, these numbers tell you that if you haven’t developed a mobile marketing strategy, you’re losing out on a huge pool of potential customers.
Therefore, invest in mobile app technology that makes shopping more convenient for your mobile customers. For example, if you are running an online clothing store, you can build an app that not only enables shoppers to buy items via their phones but also provides an opportunity to try them out virtually. Customers will be more satisfied with their purchases, and you will have fewer returns. Also, make your mobile website responsive for easy navigation and view on smaller screens. These strategies will help you to expand and retain your customer base.
5. Build Your Online Presence
You may already have profiles on popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. But do you post regularly? Are your followers engaged? Do you have customer reviews on these platforms? Can customers reach you by their favorite messaging app? If you are not paying attention to your social media/online identity, then your business marketing strategy isn’t full proof.
Among the many benefits of social media for businesses are:
- Shows the business’ personality and authenticity
- Encourages engagement
- Grows your audience organically
- Provides an easy way to offer customer support
Grow your online presence. Customers will most likely look you up on social media to learn more about your brand and search for reviews about your products/brand.
6. Streamline Your Logistics
One aspect that Amazon truly excels in is shipping. The company works with USPS directly to ensure fast shipping all around the world. It also has a program known as Amazon Prime, which includes super-fast delivery, free two-day shipping, among other benefits.
While beating Amazon’s shipping plan isn’t realistic for a small business, you can develop shipping options that address the needs of your customers. For example, you could offer first-time customers shipping incentives to encourage them to convert. You can also offer rewards such as discounted shipping for purchases of a particular amount to your return customers.
7. Come Up with a Loyalty Plan
A loyalty program is essentially designed to reward repeat customers. Everyone likes rewards. So, when you award something to customers that shop at your store several times, you make them feel appreciated, and they will become even more loyal to your brand. Just make sure the program is relevant to your business model.
Putting It All Together
To wind up, remember that Amazon is a multi-billion dollar with operations all over the world. Therefore, it will not be easy to beat their prices and shipping options. However, by offering to ship as fast as you can, rewarding your customers frequently, and offering personalized customer experiences, you can grow a loyal customer base for your business. Be bold and take advantage of the areas Amazon doesn’t do as well by performing it better.Featured photo credit: Depositphotos
I think small businesses could and should compete with giants like Amazon. There are plenty of possibilities for local markets, and small businesses should focus on that. Another aspect is improving personalization of the customer experience, if you are a small business it’s much easier to do that.