How Small Businesses Can Compete With Large Ecommerce Websites
In the past it was significantly harder for small business owners to compete with larger corporations. The wholesale quantity and availability of options for larger businesses in an area limited local shops and has caused many to go out of business due to the competition. Mom and pop shops suffered dramatically and it altered the landscape of doing business locally.
Ecommerce for small companies can initially seem to be a challenge when seeing the variety of options, pricing differences, and social media reach of larger companies. After the development of the internet to its current state, mom and pop shops have been able to fight back against larger ecommerce businesses with a combination of intelligent digital marketing and superior product quality.
The options for small businesses to market digitally have dramatically increased with the emerging tools available for understanding and connecting with their target market globally. Small business owners have access to the same tools used by larger companies to plan their marketing strategy and expand their reach. There are a variety of easily researchable strategies and tactics for making ecommerce for small businesses more effective despite the differences in budgets between large and small ecommerce stores.
Make Your Story Your Greatest Asset
The biggest advantage small businesses have over larger businesses is the grassroots story that they tend to possess. It can be possible for larger businesses to fabricate a story, but the problem starts with authenticity. An authentic story comes across more genuine and presents more opportunity to create a deeper connection with potential customers for smaller businesses.
Ensuring your customers and visitors understand your brand and what separates your business from the competition will create a permanent reminder that they are contributing to the growth of an organic business that is run by people like themselves. Brands such as dollar shave club have made an impact otherwise incalculable for establishing themselves as a household name by making their story their greatest weapon.
Taking the time to craft your narrative will make your business one that has a community opposed to a collection of customers.
Maximize Your Free Traffic & Optimize Your Paid Marketing Efforts
Your marketing budget doesn’t have to be as substantial as your competitor to make an impact. Spending the time to understand your traffic using tools such as KissMetrics, Optimizely, and Google Analytics will allow you to intimately understand the flow of your traffic from ad to buying decision.
Depending on your ecommerce platform, you may be able to monitor what is bought, when it was bought and break down each visitor into further details that allow you to find where to spend your budget to bring more sales. Targeting and optimization are the two tactics for making your marketing budget stretch.
Using email marketing, you can convert leads and previous customers into further sales by nurturing them. Sending deals of the day, coupons, or other incentives for connecting with your brand using social media will lead to customers checking your brand daily as a habit.
Personalize The Customer Experience
The advantage of small businesses lies in their flexibility due to low bureaucracy and thus, because their sales and traffic are lower, the opportunities to add extra authentic touches are abundant. Observing the social media habits of larger brands now starting to attempt to add the extra human touch by having 24/7 manned social media pages on twitter and facebook interacting with customers. It shows that the power of interaction and conversation is nothing to shrug at.
Taking the time to personally call or message customers will help establish a deeper connection. The goal for small businesses through their customer service and marketing efforts should be to convert visitors into customers and customers into evangelists for their brand.
Spending an extra hour connecting with previous customers through social media or stimulating a conversation through your social media pages will increase social signals (which is good for search engine optimization) and will contribute to a bustling/busy community sense that makes getting further exposure possible.
Sell Through Every Channel You Can
Finding groups on social media, forums, and marketplaces relevant to your niche can boost sales up to 35%. Taking advantage of websites/market places that have medium to high traffic will allow your business to put yourself cheaply directly in front of your potential customers and increase your brands ability to be recognized.
Connecting with blogs/influencers often leads to inadvertent attention from their followers. Participating in social media with them has the added benefit of potentially opening your company to a conversation and opportunity to be reviewed if your relationship with them is developed. Many companies awkwardly attempt to use blogs, influencers, and reviewers for attention for free, combining a sample of your product with a developed relationship can lead to a positive boost in traffic.
Big commerce vs Magento
Big commerce vs Magento: Which is the better platform?
If you have been trying to decide which platform to use for your ecommerce site, you are probably overwhelmed with the available choices you encounter. The internet is so full of ecommerce platforms that it becomes a challenge to choose one that is perfect for your customers and your line of business.
There are quite a few that rise above the rest of them. In choosing which platform is best, it is only natural to choose from those dubbed as the best in the industry. There are plenty of criteria that must be considered in deciding which is best.
Here, we try to compare two giant names in the ecommerce world. Being around in the industry for many years as compared to their rivals, these two have already aced the competition by the number of years they have been in the business.
- Magento is free. Magento has always offered free signup for its users, because it is an open source solution. Its free signup process is what drives its consumers and also what makes it stand out from the crowd of platforms available on the web. Magento provides a great community, and all those platform perks that come without you having to spend a single dime.
- Big Commerce charges $29.95 a month. Yes, they charge you, but the inclusions are very impressive. They offer you unlimited bandwidth and storage, and also features social media buttons for better social media marketing. It is a great startup plan for you are free to post as many products as you want to get on people’s radar as the newest store to love. Its plans are of great value, and you are sure to get what you pay for.
- All of Magento’s plans are free. That sure is a great deal, especially for businesses that are still starting out and struggling on capital. You will also enjoy free nice templates, where you can hopefully find one that works for you.
- Big Commerce has enterprise plans that allows you to have custom pricing and provides more features including SEO management. This is where the value of what you pay for is seen even more. It is very important to invest in a platform where you know you can grow your business when the time is right for expansion. It can be challenging and impractical to sign up where an enterprise cannot be supported, thus requiring you to move your domain somewhere else.
- Magento has a wider array of designs and templates. Since it has been free for all of its available plans, Magento’s templates are all yours for the taking. It has plenty of options for color schemes, designs, and templates—most of which are fully customizable. You can personalize your storefront with the look you want, which makes branding your business such a breeze.
- Big Commerce has better themes and can work for beginners and advanced users. If you are very specific about a design’s feel and quality, you can never go wrong with Big Commerce. Even when Magento provides you hundreds of themes, the 42 paid themes you gain access to upon signing up to any of their available plans are all well worth it. Their themes exude professionalism, as they were designed by advanced users and can also be developed even more as you also gain access to HTML and CSS.
- Big Commerce’s templates are responsive. They are responsive enough that when you use them, they will automatically convert to your brand, and are also available for mobile interface.
- Magento allows you to search for theme templates according to category. This one feature makes it relatively easier for users to look for a template they need, depending on their line of business. Every line of service and product has different vibe, so this one is useful in saving time to find what a business needs. Remember that your design is part of your branding.
STOREFRONT AND FEATURES
- Magento is fully customizable, you can make it look the way you want it to. This Magento feature is what made it a big name in the ecommerce industry. Ecommerce site owners prefer a platform where they can change the feel to make it more appropriate for the service or product they are trying to market and promote. Magento provides that pleasure, and also has several options to choose from in terms of colors, schemes, and themes.
- Big Commerce is also fully customizable, and can work well for both beginners and advanced users. Most advanced users would get restless with only ready-made templates available. They will always prefer to have the liberty to shape a template, with the notion of making one more appropriate for a certain business or brand. It has plenty of add-on features as well, such as payment processors and live chat. You get a built in blog, too. Big Commerce features get plenty of raves about these features, with users saying how much of a value they get from the reasonable fee they have to pay for each plan.
MANAGEMENT AND BACKEND FEATURES
- Magento is easy to use, as long as you have a background in web development and maintenance. Its backend features are powerful, most especially for people with experience in ecommerce. You get unlimited product attributes, and also have an access to customer service modules. It is also very convenient to integrate PayPal.
- Big Commerce is easy for beginners. It is preferred by business startups, most especially those who are just starting out in the ecommerce world. With an interface backend that looks like WordPress, its users are treated to a delight of a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to manage your ecommerce site. They did not skimp on features as well—you are free to customize pricing, titles, etc.
Now that ecommerce has completely changed how we do business, people are treated with several options to choose from when one decides to take the plunge in digital marketing. There are simply plenty of choices, all of which have great features and offer value for money.
It has to be noted that skimping is not at all bad for business. You can still be practical and thrifty, just as long as you know you just skimp on your budget, but never for the quality of the service you are giving your clients.
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