There shall be no name-dropping. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know the name of the largest online retailer. Years ago, mom-and-pop shops threw their collective arms up in the air when another retail giant opened up locations everywhere and put them out of business. Now, this is happening to online retailers. How do you compete when you’re a tiny entity?
The Underlying Problem
Major retailers suffer at the hands of these big guys, too. Many retailers have felt the online shopping heat for several years, yet they still refuse to jump onto the Information Superhighway. For smaller retailers, the issue is resources. They don’t have the money or time to build competitive online presences, which leaves them in the uncompromising position of racing behind the big guys.
He Who Dies With the Best Website Wins
This is, in a way, an oxymoron because studies show that shoppers prefer to solicit smaller retailers because they offer a more personalized shopping experience. So why do the big guys remain on top? They dominate the marketplace for two key reasons: convenience and impression. Despite a desire to shop at a boutique, people still stay at home and purchase what they need online.
Impression counts, too. Research confirms that “big” draws more people through virtual doors. Small enterprises may have an attractive online presence, but over 2,000 online shoppers were surveyed and 59 percent said they believed larger businesses have better websites. Part of what makes a website great is customer support software, because…
People Still Crave the Personal Touch
The same survey revealed that 71 percent of consumers still want a personalized experience when they shop, and this is how mom-and-pop shops can compete with the online and offline conglomerates. You can give your shoppers a personalized and user-friendly experience online as well as in your store. You just need the right tools to do so.
Build a professional online customer experience that will rival your larger competitors. This includes social media. Keep your current customers happy and draw in new customers with online deals, specials offers, contests and other fun activities. Don’t forget to maintain a strong presence offline as well through local events for a truly personalized experience.
When programmed optimally, customer support software welcomes new visitors on your website and via email. People are visually stimulated, so upload media expressing a warm welcome and explaining what you do. This leaves a fantastic first impression because you’ve already personalized their shopping experience, even if it is virtual.
Get Inside People’s Heads
Behavior plays a huge role in consumer habits. Another study showed 500 shoppers responded better to large business websites because of the 22 features tested, the sites offered better information, interaction, personalization and usability. Larger companies also used colors and patterns to solicit desired reactions, e.g. a green “Buy Now” button converted more clicks than red.
Leverage this information alongside the knowledge that the more power you give your customers the better. Your consumers must feel engaged while they shop, so ask them their opinion. What do they want to see on your brick-and-mortar and virtual store shelves? When you connect with your customers on a personal level, you establish solid footing in your marketplace.