Two tips for niche retailers looking to compete with the big boys

Industry News

When it comes to online shopping, everyone looks to Amazon as the model to follow. However, the eCommerce giant isn't necessarily the perfect specimen, despite the company's tremendous financial success – there are a number of drawbacks shopping on Amazon, and niche retailers can take advantage of this to carve out their own target audience.

1. Specialize
One area where Amazon lacks is in specialization. Although Amazon has a tremendous inventory of hundreds of thousands of items, it's casting an extremely broad net.

Just because retailers are competing with Amazon on the same channel, that doesn’t mean they have to outdo Amazon at its own game.

If you specialize in a unique niche, you may have items that Amazon may gloss over, and that could be a critical tool that can help you attract customers.

Econsultancy brings up the example of niche retailer MySecuritySign. When customers look up "no trespassing signs" on Amazon, they are greeted by a sparse selection. However, MySecuritySign offers sign customization, free PDF downloads and other perks that Amazon can't match.

2. Become a person
Amazon is a massive multi-billion dollar company. But if you ask shoppers who the president of Amazon is, few would be able to tell you. People often like the story of "supporting the little guy," and entrepreneurs can play this up by ensuring they are very present throughout eCommerce operations.

"Smaller sales departments can foster relationships with customers, send them free samples, spark a dialogue, and make and take suggestions," Econsultancy suggests. "It's simply not the experience a customer could have calling the 800 number for a larger retailer."

Just because retailers are competing with Amazon on the same channel, that doesn't mean they have to outdo Amazon at its own game. Niche retailers can specify and personalize to win new sales.

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