Over the past few years, there has been a major paradigm shift in the world of retail.
Most people are aware of the massive shift in the way we buy things due to ecommerce. It’s no longer necessary to spend time going between stores in your precious free time. This can be a perfect opportunity for a working mother to get in on the action.
Despite its already massive place in the new economy, eCommerce still has tons of room to grow. In fact, it still only accounts for about nine percent of total sales in the U.S., while growing at an annual rate of around 15 percent. Small and medium-sized businesses are at the front of this surge. In other words, eCommerce SMBs are disrupting the industry. Since eCommerce is growing more than three times faster than retail as a whole, it’s safe to say this innovative way of shopping will only continue to gain influence.
Large ecommerce companies specialize in shipping a broad variety of items at low costs. They don’t, however, do nearly as well when it comes to hyperlocal initiatives. This is one of the big ways SMBs are influencing how people are shopping online. There are a few benefits to operating hyperlocal. Consider the convenience of locally sourced and delivered goods. They can be brought to the customer with an extremely fast turnaround. Using ecommerce this way opens up a lot of opportunities for food and beverage stores. Picking up extra revenue for a business through great turnaround times can be perfect for the mother at home needing some extra income.
More and more, online consumers want to have a shopping experience that’s, well, an experience. There’s nothing particularly engaging about the standardized search-and-scroll layout used by large ecommerce providers. Top-notch user experience is becoming the expectation for online stores.
SMBs are leading the way in this push. Their advantage in this arena comes from being able to focus on a specific niche, where large ecommerce sites need to have mass appeal. SMBs can tailor user experience to their audience. Plus, it’s now possible to build a cloud ecommerce store by selecting from a wide array of designs. This allows SMBs to create beautiful, effective e-stores.
Traditionally, a company’s product has been strictly defined as an item or service. This is gradually changing, thanks to the rise of ecommerce. Many younger people are looking for new, exciting experiences. In fact, expenditures on experiences and events has increased by 70 percent in the U.S. since 1987. Intelligent SMBs are taking advantage of this trend.
Consider companies such as Birchbox and Dollar Shave Club. These companies operate on a subscription delivery model. Customers get personalized packages delivered to their doors on a recurring basis. Getting makeup and shaving supplies doesn’t have to be laborious. With these services, it’s an experience. The great thing is there are nearly unlimited ways for SMBs to tap into this phenomenon. Nearly every portion of life can be intertwined in these types of subscription boxes from self care to fashion accessories.
Social Media Presence
Just about everyone is aware of social media. These days, your grandparents are probably on Facebook. But social media isn’t just a way for individuals to connect. It’s also a way for businesses to interact with their customer base. When SMBs can effectively mobilize their social media strategy, they can find huge success in the ecommerce space. Social media influencers are often a perfect fit for SMBs. Essentially, social media influencers will promote a company’s products to their followers in exchange for payment. This can have a huge payoff if the influencer has a strong overlap with the brand. Additionally, SMBs typically have a more personal feel online than larger companies. Through these deeper relationships, SMBs can further develop customer loyalty.
While people sometimes fail to appreciate the diversity of this landscape. ecommerce SMBs are disrupting the industry and standing out in the online marketplace.
Written by Emily Green for Working Mother and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com.
Featured image provided by Working Mother