5 Tips to Help Small ECommerce Businesses Compete with Amazon


Roberto Harrison, Negosentro | Have you been thinking of launching an Ecommerce business and you are wondering where and how to start? Or, do you feel intimidated thinking of how large ecommerce sites have already established themselves in the market? If any of this describes your current fears, then you need to fear no more. As a small business owner planning to launch an ecommerce business, you have certain strengths that large ecommerce businesses like Amazon may lack. Do not let the electronic commerce wave leave you behind, launch your ecommerce business by following these simple tips:

Tip #1: Go for a Narrow Niche

You have to give it to Amazon, I mean the ecommerce site is huge and they have sell almost everything. Granted, you cannot compete with Amazon by trying to sell everything. Look at it this way, you are a small brick and mortar retailer trying to outcompete a hypermarket on the inventory side, is that even possible? So, if you cannot beat them by inventory size, look at something that you can beat them on. You need to narrow your ecommerce niche and then make sure that you dominate it through spirited content marketing and email marketing. Amazon is lousy when it comes to content marketing and email marketing. With some effort you can beat Amazon on that front. Perhaps you can use one of many bestseller lists to decide on the niche that you wish to pursue.

Tip #2: Offer Superior Shipping Services

Amazon brags for offering free 2-day shipping to members who have subscribed to Amazon Prime Service. Amazon has completely dominated the area of shipping and in some cases, they also offer same day shipping at a fee. You can compete with them in this area by offering superior shipping and delivery without waiting for your customers to ask for it. For example, you can offer free shipping to any part of the world for orders exceeding a certain amount. Just make sure that your shipping service exceeds your customer’s’ expectations and provides them with satisfaction.

Tip #3: Come Up with a Subscription Service

Amazon makes a lot of money from its subscription services which include:

  • Amazon Prime that charges annual fees.
  • Subscribe and save offer that enables subscribers to save on recurring shipment fees.
  • Amazon Simple Storage Service.

Amazon’s strength at recurring payments birthed the Amazon Payments service through which they help other companies to collect revenues from their customers and subscribers on a recurring basis. You too can come up with a subscription service for your small ecommerce business. This is the smartest way to sell any product because you stand a higher chance of converting a one-time customer into a repeat customer. Just think of any kind of recurring deliverables that you can offer your customers.

Tip #4: Be the Best at Customer Service

Customers are the most important pillars of any business. As a small ecommerce business owner, you need to prioritize customer service. You have a big advantage over big ecommerce businesses like Amazon who cannot offer that personalized human interaction that all customers crave for. Customers come to your business to find a product that will satisfy their needs or solve a problem that they have. Often times, a customer might need to make an enquiry. It would be nice to meet a warm and helpful person at the other end of the line each time a customer calls.

A survey conducted by Super Office found that over 68% of customers stick with sellers who show that they care about their needs. Design your business in such a way that it is customer-centric and each time ensure that you over deliver in customer service.

Tip 5: Build a Serious Fan Base

After ensuring that your customer service is on point, you now need to focus on building your business into a brand that has a serious following. Make sure that your brand message is clear across all your marketing channels and platforms. When your customers identify with your brand message, they will stay committed to you and your business.

As a small ecommerce business owner, you need not to feel intimidated by large ecommerce businesses like Amazon. Follow the tips discussed above and see your business grow.