For a small business owner, the thought of competing with the giants in your industry can feel intimidating. It is a challenge all small business owners face, but it’s not a lost cause. With the right strategies and tools, you can meet this challenge head-on and achieve success in spite of the competition.
Make the Web Work for You
Your business could be a tech startup or a local mom and pop shop. Either way, one of the most basic tools any business needs to compete effectively is a stellar website. Designing a quality website is how you make a good first impression because even local customers find and engage with their favorite businesses online. On the flip side, having a poor-quality website is the quickest way to drive potential customers away. The best way to ensure your site looks professional and has all the key features you need is to find a web designer in your price range, someone who has plenty of experience with various platforms, user interfaces, and web-design fundamentals. Since so much of your business’s success relies on it, creating a website that truly meets your needs is worth the investment.
Along with top-quality design, you want your website to be easy to use. If you have online sales, this means having a quick and easy checkout process. The blog Referral Candy recommends giving customers the option to check outas a guest, offering social media login, and making sure the checkout process is just as streamlined on mobile as it is on a PC. Streamlined checkout is actually an area where Amazon leaves something to be desired, whereas simplifying your checkout process is a simple way you can keep customers happy and ensure you don’t lose sales.
Make Sure You’re Mobile
In addition to having a website that’s easy to navigate on all platforms, another great way to stay engaged with customers is by creating a mobile app. Having your own mobile app makes it easier for customers to reach you from any device, and it also gives you ways of keeping people more engaged. For example, Forbes explains how you can use a mobile app to send exclusive offers, and customers can even set preferences so you can tailor offers to their interests. To create your app, you may need to recruit an expert in user interface design such as a UI designer. These professionals can create the visual elements needed for your app, and you can find candidates through job platforms like Upwork.
Do What You Do Best
Big retailers are good at offering a little bit of everything, but as a small business, you can stand out by focusing on a very specific market. If you have a product or service that appeals to a niche population, the best thing you can do is determine who those customers are and how to reach them (and best serve them). Depending on your industry and your own bottom line, it may or may not be smart to compete on price. But you don’t always have to compete on price when you offer quality or meet a need that customers can’t find anywhere else.
Focusing on quality over quantity is a value that customers appreciate. You can also add value to your customers’ lives by providing solutions to their problems. Whatever your niche is, use your website and other channels of communication to deliver new and helpful industry information. Over time, people will come to consider you an expert. This keeps potential customers coming back, and the trust they have in you translates into business earned.
In addition to providing useful content, another key way to keep customers engaged is to create relationships. This can be done the old fashioned way by providing excellent customer service, both in real life and online. More and more, digital communication makes people feel like they’re just a number. Show your customers that you view them as more than a number and actually appreciate their support.
You can also engage customers by using social media to put a personal face to your company. Responding quickly to comments and messages and personalizing your responses ensure that you’re building trust with customers and increasing traffic to your business. Consider giving out rewards by hosting contests on your social media platforms to further engage customers and show them your appreciation.
Even in an age where business transactions feel increasingly impersonal, people still want a good experience when they make a purchase. Using these tools and strategies is your key to giving people an experience they can’t get from bigger companies. Once you reach customers and deliver on quality, this positive experience is what will keep them coming back.
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