When you think of e-commerce, you probably think of industry giants like Amazon. Companies that have the funding to spend millions on advertising, marketing and offer prices that drastically undercut smaller upstart retailers. These huge companies are dominating nearly every industry they enter with no one to challenge them.
In this sort of business atmosphere, it may not seem like the best idea to open up an e-commerce store. However, a recent study found that big players, like Amazon, don’t have everything that customers want. Which goes to show that there is room in the market for your small business — assuming you understand your evolving role and make the right moves at the right times.
Somebody once said that “two heads are better than one,” which is biologically incorrect and probably dangerous. However, in the context of a new business, less is not more. When you’re competing against the biggest brands in the world, you’re going to want every bit of ammunition you can muster in order to gain the advantage.
Look for businesses that offer products that complement your inventory. For example, if you are a clothing store for women, consider reaching out to jewelry stores. You could add the items to your site recommendations, or even directly on your product pages (“if you liked this item, you might pair it with this item from our partner.”)
Building successful partnerships takes time and effort. You may find that some partners were not being partners and will have to part ways, while others may become beneficial to the success of your business.
Higher Quality, Higher Price
While many retailers seem to be racing to the bottom, when it comes to pricing (Walmart is notorious for this act) — you should be looking the opposite direction. Big-box retailers are looking to provide as many products in as many markets as possible, which can mean lower quality for lower cost.
Enterprise e-commerce is most successful when you find your niche market that doesn’t mind paying a little more for an item they deem worth the cost. This, of course, means that you will have to supply a high-quality or niche product. Knowing your market will give you a leg up in reaching your desired audience.
Develop Multiple Sources of Traffic
When it comes to traffic, there is no “one size fits all” answer, so you need to branch out to different options. The basic modes of traffic are pretty simple: social media, organic search, paid search, display advertising and advertising on affiliate pages. However, this doesn’t cover the full list of ways you can bring in traffic. Check for websites that may be “off the beaten path,” like forums or subreddits where your niche audience exists online. Building a presence in a place like this will not only supplant you as an expert in the field, but will supply a steady stream of traffic from those who will speak highly and personably about your organization.
Having an array of different traffic sources is important for all websites, but particularly important for small e-commerce websites. These different streams of traffic can dry up quickly and without warning, so maintaining a good mix is beneficial to your success. There are quite a few web tools available to help you track where most of your traffic is coming in from, most prominent of them is Google Analytics.
The best approach to competing with the big-name brands isn’t going to be found in any one of these or other strategies; it’s going to be a combination of these strategies along with your own entrepreneurial instincts that will find you the success you’re chasing.
By Jake Anderson,
Jake is a self-employed professional writer and blogger, and coordinates content marketing campaigns for a range of clients. Awestruck by Star trek as a kid, Jake Anderson has been relentless in his pursuit for covering the big technological innovations which will shape the future. A self-proclaimed gadget freak, he loves getting his hands on every piece of gadget he can afford.