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Saturday, April 13, 2024

4 Tips On How Small Online Shops Can Compete With Tech Giants

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[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hen you shop for an item online, it can often feel like there are endless choices for shopping, but most people head for the same few tech giants as they offer free delivery, fast dispatch and often offer the lowest prices. However, there are ways that even smaller retailers can grow their brands, offering a more personal and specialized service that bigger businesses simply can’t provide. Here are some tips for boosting sales.

Have great product knowledge

Most larger selling platforms sell products across a huge number of categories. At one count, Amazon carries about 12 million products, while if you factor in their marketplace products, there are over 300 million things you can buy on the site. While choice is a nice thing to have, it can also make for a frustrating experience. Sometimes, customers just want to read a well-crafted product description or hop onto live chat and ask a quick question of an expert. If you focus on niche products and know a lot about them, people are more likely to come to you.

Offer better shipping options

It’s hard to compete with tech giants who can offer next day, free shipping, but again, personalizing your service is key here. You could offer free shipping if people are willing to wait longer, or premium services at a cost. Tech giants often use couriers who are cheap and handle high volumes, but there have been many online complaints about couriers mishandling packages. Use a good shipping company who’ll look after packages and many customers will be happy to pay the extra cost. If you mainly deal with local customers, consider offering a same day service.

Ensure you’re visible in search engines

Some people use larger online retailers because they don’t think they can get certain products anywhere else. Therefore, it’s important for smaller retailers to focus on Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, to put them at the top of search results. With the right strategy in place such as backlinks and optimizing your content in such a way that works with the Google algorithm, you could see yourself ranking highly on the first page of Google However, ranking #1 without off-page SEO is possible, too, and something that you should highly consider. While the tech giants often spend a lot of money on paid advertising, it’s often easy to beat them in organic SEO rankings with the right strategy in place that focuses on off-page SEO.

Give the best customer service

If you’ve ever made a purchase through a large online store, you’ll know that when things go wrong, it’s incredibly frustrating to deal with them. Not only do they often hide their contact details deep in the FAQ section, once you get through to the call center, you often have automated menus and a great deal of hassle to go through.

One way you can distinguish yourself is to build an amazing reputation for customer service. Put your customer service contact details at the header or footer of every page and avoid having people queue on the phone. Give people multiple ways to contact you, either by the phone, e-mail or live chat. All these things will make you an attractive prospect compared to retail giants. Engage with people on social media too, not just giving generic responses, but providing genuine advice and trying to put things right.

In an online marketplace where the big platforms dominate, it can be difficult to get your store noticed. However, by offering a great standard of service and product knowledge, and simply caring about what you do, you’ll already have a big advantage over the giants.

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