We already know that small businesses will have opportunities to adapt, grow, and thrive when large, traditional retailers falter, but what does that process look like for small businesses? Since adding a digital component is so important for small business success in today’s environment, it only makes sense that many will need some help getting up to speed with the requirements of online retail. However, it can seem like an uphill battle. Bigger retailers already have a robust online presence and seemingly endless amounts of cash to run them. However, those same online mega-retailers that are pushing traditional retailers out of the market may actually be a source of help for small businesses looking to make their mark in online retail.
Logistics, Fulfillment, and Warehousing Support
Small retailers can get some logistics, fulfillment and warehousing help from mega-retailers like Amazon, which are some of the biggest hurdles to small businesses. So rather than trying to compete, why not join forces? The best small businesses offer products and services that even online mega-retailers have trouble matching, so working together has potential benefits for everyone involved.
If you’ve ever placed an order and waited “patiently” for a package from Amazon to arrive, you know that the product arriving on time and as advertised plays a big role in your satisfaction with the transaction. Online mega-retailers like Amazon are very good at handling the logistics and fulfillment of huge numbers of transactions, which is part of the reason why they’re able to put so much pressure on traditional retailers.
The ability to handle transactions efficiently, effectively, and securely is a must for any small business looking to thrive online. Having the support of large online retailers with experience handling those details is good news for your business, and your customers. As part of the fulfillment process, large business can also provide warehousing space for small businesses who wish to expand online. Reaching a wider audience will often mean keeping a larger inventory, and it may be more affordable to work with a larger business rather than investing in a whole warehouse of your own.
The idea is not that your small business would become part of a large retailer, but rather that you’d work together to form mutually beneficial relationships. Online retailers can provide support for so many of the critical details, so that you can focus on the products, services, and customer experience that ultimately define your business.
Increasing Visibility and Improving the Customer Experience
An improved customer experience can take many forms, but offering fast, personalized service with quick, reliable fulfillment is a great place to start. Customers like convenience, so the ability to find your business online, learn more about what you have to offer, and purchase products from the comfort of their own home leads to a better experience for your customers.
By marketing your business online and offering an eCommerce component, you can also reach a significantly larger audience than you ever could offline. This is a big deal, because it means that the products and services that lead to success with your local audience can be made available to customers from around the world. It can be a bit intimidating to open your business to such a wide audience, which is another reason why the support of online mega-retailers is invaluable.
No matter what industry you’re in, there are challenges in adapting to the modern retail environment. Working with the same online mega-retailers that are putting traditional big-box stores out of business has major benefits for your small business, and for the mega-retailers who provide logistical support… if you manage it closely, effectively and leverage what you do best and keep that at the front of the equation.