Get Ready for the eCommerce Wars: How to Compete with the Best and Biggest

If you are currently running a small online business, you will know how tricky it is to compete. Whatever you do, it is pretty safe to say there are many and much bigger players doing just the same.
The thing is however, there’s nothing to say that even the smallest e-commerce startups can’t stand shoulder to shoulder with the best and biggest on the web. Or maybe even, take a step ahead of them.

Is all that impossible?

Not at all – but you will need to refine your online strategy accordingly:

Turn Your Focus On Their Weaknesses
When you need to establish your own unique selling points, the key usually lies in identifying your rivals’ weaknesses. For example, Amazon and Expedia are undoubtedly two of the biggest brands in online retail. Nevertheless, they’re specialists in precisely nothing. Which in turn, can give you the opportunity to stand out as a specialist in whatever it is you do.

You won’t be able to compete with the biggest brands as an all-round retailer, so why don’t you focus on what you do best? You will be able to offer the kinds of specialist products and services, and generally target your audience much better. Think of your business less as a retailer, but more as an all-round resource that is uniquely tailored to the specific interests of your audience.

Bring in Long-Tail Search Terms
The more focused you are on one precise area, the more you will be able to capitalise on long-tail search terms. Most of the bigger retailers don’t have this luxury for the very simple reason that they usually have too many products and services on offer. Instead, they need to be largely generic or focus on their best-selling products.

As for your small online business, you could be so much more focused and specific when it comes to replying to the questions your customers are usually asking. Specifically, if you focus on a precise locality, which could really tip the balance in your favour.

Enhanced Personal Service
Due to their complexity, size and the sheer number of clients they have, the biggest online brands are fundamentally unable to provide genuinely personal customer service. Like it or not, people who shop with the big brands need to accept that they are usually little more than statistics. By contrast, the smaller business has every opportunity to take their business to a much higher level when it comes to their customer service.
As you most likely know, the modern customer values personal service over and above product quality and even low prices. This in turn means you don’t always have to compete in price terms if you’re able to deliver the goods customer service-wise.

Be Unique
Lastly, the worst thing a small online business could do is try to emulate what the bigger companies are already doing. There are hundreds of sad attempts to copy the likes of eBay, Amazon, Expedia already doing the rounds. In all instances, the respective owners are largely struggling to stay afloat.

Try to think of it this way – why bother doing business with an eBay replica when you can just as easily do business with eBay? Think of your small business as the local store competing with a big nearby supermarket. To retain customers, you will need to be interesting, unique and in a position to give them something your rival businesses cannot. Suffice to say, that is something you’re not going to achieve by stealing too many ideas from the ones you’re looking to outshine.