These are three tips to level the playing field for small businesses.
It’s easy to see that small- and medium-sized businesses fight big corporations. Although small businesses are still a large part of our economy (roughly 31 million in the U.S.), significant corporations remain dominant. They have the resources and the technology, and they have had them for an extended period. However, SMBs have traditionally been denied access to robust digital solutions.
That’s changing. There are better slingshots available. Corporate giants, although still powerful, don’t have exclusive access to the innovations and technologies that will drive online success. As the president of a company that assists brands in building their online commerce presence, e-commerce is one of the most powerful tools available to small businesses.
Online behaviors have been accelerated by the pandemic and the shift to remote work, which has fueled e-commerce. According to eMarketer projections, eCommerce will soon be responsible for more than $6 trillion in global sales. Small businesses must have a more extensive, diverse customer base to succeed in today’s market. An online store and presence are crucial for this.
Small-business owners must make the most out of their eCommerce presence. These are three methods to do this.
Prioritize customers and anticipate their needs.
Consumers have become more interested in omnichannel and digital shopping in the last two-plus decades. Retention is still vital in the eCommerce space. We know that customers who return to a store often spend more than those who purchase new products. This means that retaining and building brand loyalty are essential revenue boosters.
An SMB can quickly launch a commerce website and promote it online. However, to stay ahead, it is essential to constantly test each branded channel’s effectiveness and appeal to understand what customers want. You shouldn’t be afraid of failing fast, which will enable your business to pivot faster if it isn’t working.
Your daily checklist should include checking that your social media and SEO strategies are working well when monitoring channel capabilities. You should make sure to adjust your website to consider customer feedback. Also, it would be best if you thought of pushing product promotions based on sales. SMBs can quickly adapt to new data by using the tools available to create an eCommerce site.
To increase brand awareness, create a solid social media presence.
People are constantly on the move, and the world is moving fast. Instead of waiting in lines or taking public transport, time is spent on smartphones. Many small-business owners use that time to run their businesses. It could be used to shop on mobile websites, check out social media, or read online reviews for their customers.
SMBs must be able to reach their customers wherever they are by creating a solid online presence on all fronts. SMBs must have a solid social media presence. Social audits are a great way to determine which channels are most valuable and then optimize them accordingly. Engage customers online and respond to negative and positive reviews.
According to eMarketer, the number of U.S. social customers is likely to rise over the next few years. The company predicts that it will reach 101 million by 2023. Many shoppers are mainly influenced by their friends’ reviews and social posts. Therefore, engaging in social conversations with other SMBs is crucial. The more social media is used to buy, the more it blends with commerce.
It would be best if you were everywhere that your customers shop.
Shoppers are looking for options. SMBs need to consider adopting an Omnichannel Commerce strategy. This will allow them to satisfy their customers’ demands, regardless of whether they are selling on a website or social media channels. McKinsey discovered that 75% of customers tried an alternative shopping method after the pandemic in 2020. This trend will likely continue, in my opinion.
An omnichannel strategy ensures that every customer touchpoint is covered. The SMB can also optimize their ability to determine where and how they should focus their energy based on their customers’ preferences.
There are many tools that you can use to get started. They don’t require any technical knowledge. E-commerce platforms can be a great way to manage your online business. Each platform has its advantages. The most important thing is consistency. External platforms should be used to attract long-term customers that buy directly from the company.
Keep in mind, however, that every seller has different e-commerce requirements. Defaulting to a one size fits all approach overlooks that each business is unique. SMBs need to have a clear plan. They should know where they intend to sell their products, what fees they are willing to pay for platform access, and how competitive it might be to get customers’ attention.
A better slingshot awaits.
Although small businesses may not have the resources and scale of giant corporations, they can be flexible, agile, and resilient. Access to online resources and tools is now available to ignite their entrepreneurial fire. Small businesses can be prepared to compete with the big guys by anticipating customer needs, creating a solid online presence where their customers are, and using omnichannel selling strategies.