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How to Compete With a Large E-commerce Business as a Small Business
Posted Dec 19, 2018 by Emma Longridge, JivoChat

How to Compete With a Large E-commerce Business as a Small Business

Growing your e-commerce is a challenging task in today’s highly competitive market. Chances are a long-standing, well-established company is already dominating your industry, targeting the same audience, and trying their best to retain momentum.

Many new e-commerce entrepreneurs ask how they can enter saturated markets and still be competitive. Are there any chances? It’s hard to be a small fish in a sea of big business e-commerce sharks. But, actually, you have the upper hand. Here’s why.

Ecwid E-commerce Business Blueprint

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You Can Differentiate Yourself

Just because you are the new guy amidst veterans doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t thrive. One of the advantages small businesses have over larger, more developed businesses is the ability to customize and diversify branding and market strategy quite easily.

Start by observing what your competitors do and discover key aspects of their business that you could improve upon.

iSpionage


iSpionage displays its top organic keywords on Amazon.com, how they rank, the average search volume, and the cost per click

Use iSpionage.com. iSpionage is a spying tool that makes it easy to see how your competitors perform in organic search settings. It has a set of tools that includes SEO competitive research, social monitoring, and keyword for tracking how your competitors gain their audience and how much they spend on SEO efforts.

Additionally, start thinking out of the box. Can you add more features to your product or develop your logistics? Can you offer a fresh, modern approach to solving a customer problem?

Let’s talk about Amazon: undoubtedly the largest e-commerce giant. You know what you should NOT do? Compete with Amazon. You just won’t win. Instead, show your customers how you offer customer service in a personalized way that the big guys can’t:

  • Send clients personalized cards after doing business with them.
  • Get to know your customers by name and reach out to them regularly.
  • Conduct regular feedback sessions with surveys or personal phone calls
  • Hire employees with excellent people-skills and guarantee that every client interaction is positive.
  • Demonstrate appreciation, attention, and provide training for your employees — see how this reflects in their work.

You Can Create a Niche

You don’t need to offer everything in the world that large, online marketplaces such as Amazon do. And, let’s face it: no one can compete with Amazon… so, again, don’t even try!

Instead, focus on your solid product offering. Remember, Amazon started selling books. Take inspiration from this and build a following centered around what you do best. Perhaps this is creating customized handmade jewelry or watches that help people live healthier lives.

No matter what it is, dominate your niche. Focus on your target market and work to build loyalty, brand recognition, and even brand reliance this way. As your business grows, expand your offerings and develop additional work branches to incorporate new products and services.

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You Can Think out of the Box with Marketing Campaigns

Often, large companies can’t be very bold in their marketing techniques: there’s just too much bureaucracy, politics, and “red tape” preventing them from being daring. Be more adventurous than large corporates can be. Take on some unconventional marketing techniques to put your point across.

For example, let’s talk about small business, Death Wish Coffee. Death Wish Coffee uses some alarming language to describe what their product is: “Warning: Highly Addictive” spans their packaging with a skull and crossbones embellishing the front. The packaging makes the coffee appear to be a toxic substance, which makes website visitors curious to learn more.

Alternatively, Influencer marketing is a solid, low-risk option when it comes to advertising your product within your niche. The difference here is that you can more easily relate your small company’s products/services to local, real-world clients.

influencer marketing


More and more companies are investing into influencer marketing. Perhaps you should too!

Reach out to influencers, but, be mindful when choosing the face of your brand: look for people that have both a strong social media presence and also agree with your company values.

You Can Use Your Top Team Members as Speakerheads

To build trust within your industry, put your most popular people in front of the public eye. This is easier than you may think. Sometimes, a few different team members are so invested in your team’s niche, that they are actually known figureheads in your space and already have an organic social media following to build off of.

Use their outward passion to strengthen your branding techniques. Get them in front of podcasts, interviews, and other channels to increase your brand evangelism. Employ their names and quotes in your social media campaigns and marketing material to gain traction with your target audience.

You Can Use Tools Made for Small Business Success

It’s challenging to get a start and make an established name for yourself. Thankfully, you don’t have to lose your mind thinking of ways to stand out in your market: there are plenty of tools out there to help you grow.

For example, let’s take Ecwid. Ecwid is engineered to make small e-commerce businesses successful. With Ecwid you have access to a complete e-commerce platform that is ideal for small and medium-sized companies:

  • You can sell on your website, social media, marketplaces, in mobile apps, in-person, or everywhere at once from a single Control panel — perfect for busy solopreneurs or small teams.
  • Automated Google and Facebook advertising is easy to use and effective, even for absolute beginners in ecommerce marketing.
  • The freemium pricing model and the five-star support team allow to get started on a budget and fast.

Ecwid Facebook store


Use Facebook as more than just a social network. Use it as an advertising platform to get your online business up and running easily.

But that’s just the beginning. Let’s go through some additional apps that you can integrate on your Ecwid store.

  • Xero. Xero is beautiful online accounting software built for small businesses. Save time and money by syncing orders with Xero and give yourself a full and accurate financial view of how your business is performing.
  • ShipStation. ShipStation helps online sellers with shipping services to their customers. ShipStation supports USPS, FedEx, UPS, DHL, Canada Post, & FBA, so that everyone has the option to send and receive business materials.
  • Printful. Branding is important, whether the business is large or small. Creating retail items with custom labeling could be an advantage in showcasing your team. Printful sells custom t-shirts, posters, and more on-demand, with no upfront fees to help your business’s branding initiatives.
  • JivoChat. Excellent customer service is absolutely critical to your e-commerce success. When it comes to assisting your website visitors, there is no better way than an omnichannel online chat platform.

    With JivoChat, you’ll be able to create proactive invitations to reach your visitors before they need to message you. Also, assist your customers and address their questions in real time using a professional platform that combines convenience and quality to impact customer satisfaction.

Jivochat


JivoChat helps you stand out and provide quick, personalized customer service, putting you ahead of your competition.

You’re Small but Mighty

You have your strong suits, show them!

Through the use of existing growth tools as well as determining your niche and designing innovative marketing campaigns and product offerings, your small business will meet all the requirements to compete with large e-commerce companies in your market.

We hope this article gave you a few ideas and improved your confidence in becoming competitive within your industry.

If you’re ready to get ahead of the curve now, check out what JivoChat’s business messenger solution specifically made for small businesses.

Images: Visual Capitalist.com, iSpionage.com.

About the author
Emma is the US Content Manager at business communication manager, JivoChat. She enjoys discussing technology and how it can help improve the lives of others.