Ways Your Small Business Can Compete Against Big Retailers

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compete against big retailers

Let’s face it, Bath and Body Works, Mrs. Field’s Cookies, Radio Shack and a zillion other retailers have already primed their marketing engines and are ready to push out million dollar advertising blitzes to attract customers, get them to buy – and wow them.

According to eCommerce company Volusion, mobile commerce will explode in 2014 and the Holiday buying season is shorter. If you’re nervous about bix box retailers, below are a few things Volusion suggests you can do.

Tap Into Existing Customers Now

Market to them via email and encourage the use of loyalty programs. Repeat customers are the easiest to convert. So placing your small business in their consideration sooner rather than later will help prevent your shoppers from flocking to Amazon.

Leverage Your Current Customers to Recruit New Ones

Extending sharable coupons or simply encouraging and incentivizing existing customers to tell their friends about your business is a cost-effective method to attracting first-time shoppers to your small business website.

Work to Increase Average Order Value and Number of Items Per Order

The primary reason online shoppers use Amazon and other large websites is for cost savings. Meaning that if a small retailer is forced to reduce prices or offer other promotions like free shipping, they need to increase the average amount of sales per customer to stay in the black.

To do so, smaller merchants are encouraged to offer personalized product recommendations, bundle related products, and find other upselling opportunities.

Encourage Account Registration for Shoppers Visiting Your Site

This is helpful for two reasons:

  • 1) It allows you to further market to these customers.
  • 2) It allows shoppers with accounts to save cart items that were previously abandoned. Adobe reports that 55% of shoppers want to save their cart for later purchase.

Here 4 things we suggest you do:

  • Speak with a marketing consultant to get ideas and help execute on your sales strategy for 2014.
  • Make sure you have an updated list of customers who have already bought from you. Hopefully, your database shows what they bought from you as well.
  • Get very clear on what your target market is, so you can smartly reach new customers.
  • Implement a CRM system that can help you manage the entire sales process from lead capture, to education, to sales, to order fulfillment, to wowing that customer after they bought – and lastly, asking them for a referral.

There’s a lot more you need to. But the big steps are knowing your existing customers and knowing the profile of your potential ones.

Radio Shack Photo via Shutterstock

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Small Biz Technology SmallBizTechnology.com is part of the Small Business Trends Publisher Channel, and is all about helping “regular” small business owners – those who are not technically savvy – know what technology they need to boost productivity, save time, save money, increase revenue and boost customer service in their business.

9 Reactions
  1. Concerning the marketing consultant, most likely this will cost you money (you get what you pay for) and if you find the right consultant it will be worth much more than you paid.

  2. Good tips! Knowing the market and identifying customers can really help small retailers increase their customer base! @robert, I agree with your comment there that consulting a marketing consultant would cost a small business some bucks, but a professional advise is better than carrying out things your own way.

  3. I have been hearing a lot about CRM systems, but don’t know much about them and just being a small company was wondering if it would be worth it because I know they can be quite expensive. Is there any specific system that you would suggest?

  4. Most new small businesses will not be able to afford a marketing consultant.

  5. Thanks indeed, for me I prefer to start a business step by step. just start out small and scale it up.