Sometimes, mentioning the word Amazon in a room full of small business owners can make them shudder with fear. It seems like consumers are turning exclusively to the industry giant to buy whatever goods they need. As a small business owner, what can you do to separate yourself and not lose customers to Amazon?
Why is Amazon so successful?
To compete with Amazon, you first have to recognize what makes them so successful. The site's main selling point is convenience. They carry a wide variety of products ranging from clothes to electronics and home decor. It can be a one-stop shop for all your needs.
Another convenience they offer is speedy delivery. With Amazon Prime, consumers can receive packages within two days, or in some cases, within the next or same day. Plus, people don't have to leave the comfort of their homes and go out to buy the products they need. Amazon is easily accessible from any computer or mobile device.
What small businesses have over Amazon
Believe it or not, small businesses do have some significant advantages over Amazon. Hyper targeting your audience is much easier for you because you have a specific group of people to cater to with your products or services. On the other hand, Amazon has the task of managing thousands of businesses at once, and can only use automated targeting based on your previous search history. This type of targeting is effective and helpful but lacks the personal touch of a small business.
Small businesses also can build credibility and relationships with their customers by personalizing their customer journey. You can cultivate one on one relationships with customers in person if you have a physical location or send customers follow-up emails and thank you’s for supporting your business if you're an online business. These small gestures go a long way with customers and make you more memorable. Consumers love feeling a personal connection to a business or brand, and this is something Amazon can't compete with small businesses on.
How to leverage your advantages
Now that you understand some of the advantages you have over Amazon, how do you utilize them to compete with the e-commerce giant?
Build a loyal audience
A smaller customer base means that you can develop relationships with customers. Cultivate your relationships with these customers because it's more effective to keep loyal customers than try to find new ones. The more you focus on customer retention, the more likely your business will flourish.
Provide value beyond the product
Be more than just a business and deliver a feeling to customers. Give customers a reason to come back, using incentives like coupons and promotions. Make sure you also embrace the online world. Connect with your customers via social media