Six Ways Small Businesses Can Compete Against Amazon

July 12th-13th marks the 7th annual ‘Amazon Prime Day’, where the multinational tech giant that dominates the e-commerce sector gives its prime customers two days of non-stop deals. 

In 2021, the Prime Day event yielded about $6.8 billion in revenue.

Whilst Amazon prime has benefited global consumers with the ease of next-day delivery, for small businesses, higher costs, smaller budgets, and limited resources pose barriers, result in a struggle to compete with this in-demand service.

That being said, the experts at Business Name Generator, believe small business owners have a competitive advantage over their large retailer opponents. 

Below, the team shares six ways small businesses can boost sales during this season sale.

Sell unique products Amazon can’t

One key successful trait to a business is having a USP (unique selling point) which differentiates it from is retail giant competitors. 

This comes down to using your brand to personalise the product or service, offering something the likes of Amazon would not. 

Whilst there are certain products that aren’t prohibited to buy or sell on Amazon such as cigarettes, cigars, prescription drugs, for businesses competitng with the products Amazon do sell, adding that extra special quality to the product will be extremely beneficial.

One of the greatest methods that will determine if your product is unique is the story that you tell. Whilst functionality and aesthetics are important, without the power of storytelling, products become monotonous and common.

Offer exclusivity

Funnily enough, some of Amazon’s best-sellers are its exclusive products. This is because people like the idea of having something what you can’t easily access everywhere else. 

Even better so, if you can combine an exclusive product with a real customer experience. Some of Amazon’s best-sellers are its exclusive products, because this demonstrates the value of having a unique product – if it works for large scale companies, it will certainly work for a smaller one.

To help provide extra exclusivity, products can be sold with a discount for a limited time, incentivising customers to purchase before it is too late. 

Provide same-day delivery

The one thing that Amazon doesn’t currently offer its Prime members is a same-day delivery option, therefore this is a huge opportunity for small businesses to retain existing customers as well as attract new ones.

Whilst small business owners might fear that offering this service could rack up higher costs for their businesses, consumers are willing to pay extra for expedited delivery – especially if you prove you can deliver on your same-day promises.

There are three key elements to remember when creating an exclusive product:

  1. Limit the availability- products are only available for a certain amount of time.
  2. Guard the entrance- products are available through membership only.
  3. Making it less than obvious- when a product is not heavily promoted, it makes that product seem exclusive.

Gaining trust and brand loyalty from customers so that they repeat their custom with you is extremely important and it is much more expensive to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones.

Offer in-store pickup 

According to a survey conducted by Consumer Reports, one in ten people have had at least one package stolen from their home in 2021.

Now brick and mortar stores are back and running after a difficult period during the pandemic, many customers prefer physical collection and face-to-face interaction, to ensure they safely receive their parcels. 

This where small business owners can offer an extra element of flexibility for their customer’s convenience.

Whilst there is still that demand of integrated online ordering, by giving your customers an online platform that allows them to accept orders, process payments, and schedule pickups with the advantage of receiving an item on the same day, you are answering all of your customer’s needs.

Deliver excellent customer service

Larger businesses can be much difficult to get in contact with, as not only will they be busier, they also tend to have different departments, meaning it can take customers longer to get to the right point of contact.

Therefore, as a small business owner, you are able to develop a stronger and more personal relationship with your customers.  This has just as much value as the products or services you offer.

If your customers know you provide a relationship that they can’t get with a larger business, they’ll most likely come to you first, even if the cost is a little more.

90% of people also use customer service as a factor when deciding whether to cooperate with a company. Therefore it is important to measure your customer satisfaction rates, to understand the areas you’re excelling in, and where work still needs to be done. 

Take advantage of social media and PR

Big brands such as Greggs, Apple, and of course Amazon, use social media as a way to reach their target audience and gain media publicity, steering attention towards the brand name.

Often, businesses will use the power of public relations to help build brand awareness, and whether you hire someone in-house or an external company to do so, placing your business name in the centre of what people are talking about will instantly boost engagement, and of course sales.

Using the positive feedback, you can share this on your website and social media channels to further entice new customers.

Also, interacting with consumers on social media is an important marketing strategy for small businesses. This will help you build brand awareness, increase your customer base, and connect with current customers.

Sophia Anderson

Sophia Anderson is a blogger and a freelance writer. She is passionate about covering topics on money, business, careers, self-improvement, motivation and others. She believes in the driving force of positive attitude and constant development.