Five Reasons The ‘Retail Apocalypse’ Is Good for E-Commerce SMBs
By Space Coast Daily // April 9, 2018
Retail Apocalypse has been making all sorts of headlines over the past year
The Retail Apocalypse has been making all sorts of headlines over the past year. A string of big-name bankruptcies from traditional names and the growing relevance of e-commerce have contributed to the staying power of this term.
While there will be an inherent need for physical retail for the foreseeable future, the landscape is certainly changing. This means there are going to be winners and losers, depending on who can best capitalize on these shifts in preference. But it’s not exactly a bad thing. Here are five reasons the Retail Apocalypse is good for e-commerce SMBs.
Can Better Define a Niche
What’s one distinct advantage small and medium-sized businesses have over larger ones? They are often better able to define a niche. This might not initially seem advantageous. After all, shouldn’t companies be striving for the largest customer base possible? Yes and no.
For SMBs, it’s typically a better approach to go after a highly specific group of people, rather than a broad audience. This makes marketing easier and more effective. Instead of spending tons of capital trying to entice a general audience, brands can hone in on exactly the customers who will actually spend money at their store. This is important in the world of e-commerce, as there’s no physical presence, other than what’s in front of consumers on screens.
More Authentic Social Media
People are tired of inauthentic brand messaging. Most shoppers know big retailers are only interested in them as a way to meet sales expectations. This attitude doesn’t fly in the e-commerce realm. Online brands need to show that they’re actually passionate about their products—not just profits.
SMBs can exemplify this through superior social media channel maintenance. Smaller businesses can create more personalized social media experiences for loyal customers. This can be done through reposting user-submitted content, or by interacting directly with consumers.
Websites Are Cheaper than Leases
The cost of renting or owning a physical space has traditionally been a huge hindrance for a lot of smaller companies. This is all changing thanks to the rise of e-commerce. Enterprise ecommerce platforms are extremely affordable. The transition to online shopping is massively advantageous for businesses that were previously struggling to pay for retail space. The nature of e-commerce allows a greater number of companies to have access to the tools necessary for success.
E-commerce Is Growing
Right now, e-commerce still only accounts for less than 10 percent of all retail sales in the U.S. However, online sales are increasing at a rate of about 15 percent annually. This is over three times higher than the growth of retail as a whole, which is a bit more than four percent. It’s also important to note that e-commerce included in overall retail growth statistics. This means online sales growth has an even greater proportional advantage.
Ability to Reach More Customers
The development of e-commerce itself is beneficial for SMBs because the nature of the platform allows for greater access to customers. In the past, SMBs would only be able to interact with customers in their immediate area. Now it’s possible for these smaller businesses to sell their goods to consumers across the globe. This is significant because oftentimes proximity doesn’t necessarily equate to interest. For example, an antique dealer based in rural America will be able to court individuals in the big cities, where more people will be interested in acquiring expensive items.
The big names falling with the Retail Apocalypse were unable to sufficiently alter their business models to reflect the changing times. Luckily for SMBs, this evolving landscape is creating unprecedented new opportunities.
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