It’s been argued that the world of Internet retailing is increasingly becoming a mirror image of the scene witnessed in towns and cities throughout the land.
When visiting town centres, visitors bemoan the fact that so many look incredibly similar. The same major chain stores always seem to be present and there’s a depressing lack of variation. The Internet once offered a hope that things would be different.
If you look to do a lot of shopping online, then you’ll know that some big brands seem to be selling an increasing number of products. Indeed, it can sometimes seem that there’s little point looking beyond what’s available at Amazon online.
The implications for small retailers
The above describes the scene from the point of view of consumers. What’s clear, however, is that this also sends a message out to small business owners. We can identify a trend here, with more and more money being spent with the same small group of super-retailers.
In this context, it’s fair to ask whether there is any real hope of small business owners coming up with a strategy that allows them to compete. With a limited budget available, it’s certainly more difficult to create an innovative website, or to spend enough money on advertising. But things aren’t quite as bleak as they seem.
One point to note is that large organisations tend to change course slowly. This means that they often follow trends, rather than make them. There’s a clear advantage here for a small business. You’re in a position to identify a niche and make your move, before those larger companies are starting to act.
But how is this possible if you don’t have a lot of money available to you? The key here is spending that money wisely. When you’re investing in SEO, for example, you need to be sure that you’re targeting the right set of keywords.
A common mistake that is made by many small business owners is the targeting of keywords that are far too broad. In reality, you will certainly struggle to dominate on a broad, nationwide basis. Once again, you need to be thinking about niche areas.
The most successful smaller businesses tend to show an awareness of location. They look to generate sales from within the local area and are able to gain from the fact that many consumers are keen to support local businesses.
Alternatively, they may look to sell products or services that aren’t being sold by larger businesses. The advantage of bringing a product to market at an early stage should certainly not be overlooked.
Being small does not have to be a disadvantage. In fact, the best way to make progress is often to turn things around and to use the flexibility that you have at your disposal as a real advantage. Move fast when it comes to online marketing and the choice of products. By doing so, you can put your business on the map.