As most of you know by now, Amazon is setting up in Australia, and a lot of small businesses are worried about competition from the online giant. But in fact you have a big advantage as a small business competing against the giant.
As small business owners, it is next to impossible to compete with large corporations when it comes to the range of products and pricing. As a result, it is important to look for some other differentiating factor – we have to offer something that the large corporations simply cannot.
Normally, this means offering a level of personalized service or expertise that the big guys are simply not capable of. Take a look at Amazon, for example. It has a base of around 304 million clients and sells in the region of 3 billion products a month. (If you want to learn more interesting Amazon stats, read through the infographic below.)
Now, we’d all love to have a client base that size, wouldn’t we? But could it actually be a disadvantage too? Think about it for a minute here – how much personalized service does each client receive?
Much of Amazon’s processes, from the initial ordering through to even the packaging of the order are automated. When an order is processed from an Amazon warehouse, it is dealt with almost entirely by robots. They compensate for this by offering all kinds of deals and Amazon discounts to their shoppers, but as a small business, you have a much different advantage – the ability to offer your customers a personalized experience.
You can get to know your clients, understand what they like and what their exact needs are, and then you can wow them with your service.
Whether it’s including a personal note, a small thank you gift for the order, or even a sample selection based on what you think they would like, packing the order is a great opportunity to help you stand out.
And, in today’s society, it is that personalized touch that can make all the difference. People are tired of being treated as faceless account numbers. They want good deals, for sure, and they want a nice range of choices, but they also crave for personal attention.
They like supporting the little guy over the faceless corporation nine times out of ten, even if that means that they pay a little more, or need to wait a little longer. If you can treat them like family, family that you like, that is, they will be more than willing to help you grow your business.
Offer them sterling service, and you can turn them into brand ambassadors – they’ll recommend your business to anyone they can. When was the last time that you saw someone actually posting on social media that we should all buy from Amazon because its service was awesome?
How much more often do you see people doing that for local businesses instead? Why? Because the small businesses offer that one-on-one contact that is so lacking at big companies. Because the employees or owners of small businesses go out of their way to make more of an effort.
And because people understand that small businesses need more help in this area. If they like you and what you do, they’ll want to help you out. Who thinks that Amazon needs this kind of help?
Smaller businesses will always have this huge advantage over the larger ones. And, if you are a savvy business owner, it is one that you can exploit. So enjoy your big advantage as a small business and make the most of it!
Image courtesy 16Best.net