Every industry, including yours, is facing competition online. In some industries this may be more pronounced than others, but every single independent retailer deals with competitors selling competing products on the internet. We call these companies ecommerce companies. The odd thing is, many retailers stick their head in the sand, and fail to realize the full extent of the growing threat to their business. In this article we will be taking a peak at the crowded marketplace of retail in order to better understand the ways that big box retailers are stealing your customers!
Big Boxes and E-Retailers Dominate the SERPs
Open up Google, or your preferred search engine, and search for the type of products that you sell. What were the results? Was your business listed in the first three results? Was your business clearly visible and easy to find for the products you sell? We sure hope so because 89% of consumers use search engines to make buying decisions. If you are not part of the research, you can’t be part of the purchase.
Look what happens when I search “Pet Store Near Me”
Not only do you have to compete with the other organic results, but search engines have made it even more difficult due to paid results. Sometimes the organic results do not even appear without the user needing to scroll down on a search engine results page.
Now try searching for your number one selling product in your store. Do you come up at all? If you’re answering no to these questions, it is time to evaluate your business visibility in search engines. You wouldn’t build your store in the middle of nowhere would you? Don’t let your website stand in the middle of nowhere. Contact a professional in SEO or SEM to help ward off the threat of e-retailers stealing customers in your local area just because they’re more visible in Google.
Big Brands Dominate Social
How often do you post on social media? Every day? Every other day? On how many different platforms? Do you post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and SnapChat? If you post every day on every one of these platforms, you are looking at a huge workload in order to continue connecting with your customers on an ongoing basis. But guess what? This is exactly what the big brands are doing every single day, because they have full time people responsible for fulfilling these rolls.
(Almost 3 million Likes and Very Responsive according to Facebook)
Not only that, but the big brands engage in something called remarketing- this means that if a customer visits their website, that customer will begin to see the big brand’s ads on Facebook. This helps the big brands to target their potential customers and stay top of mind on a consistent basis.
How can you compete? Invest in agency level management of your social media accounts. You are past the point of having a local high school intern being able to keep you relevant. The social media marketing industry is dynamic and constantly changing. Be sure that your brand is just as relevant.
Know Thy Competitor
Do you know the deals that your competitor is offering? Take Chewy.com for instance. If you own a pet store, they are competing in your market already, are you familiar with what they are offering? Not only do they have dirt cheap prices, but they are also offering incredible convenience to your customers. This ecommerce company offers free shipping on orders over $49.00. Unfortunately, there is more, they also offer 1-2 day shipping, for Free! That means that the convenience of owning a physical brick and mortar location in your town is not necessarily enough of an advantage to keep customers buying from you.
What can you offer to stay ahead? Local delivery perhaps? Would you deliver pet food for free in your local area, same day perhaps? Should your customers be able to complete this order on your website?
It is decisions like these that will help your business stay competitive now and into the future with new threats occurring online from ecommerce retailers and big box retailers alike.