Establishing Your Market Niche: Tools and Strategies for Small e-Businesses

The e-commerce retail business is more competitive than ever and continues to get more competitive over time. Technology has made it possible for nearly anyone to set up a website and go into business, while behemoth retailers like Amazon have set the bar very high for smaller players. That’s why it’s so important to provide a satisfying shopping experience and a website shoppers enjoy revisiting.

Display your prices

Letting customers see your prices, especially when they’re better than your competitors, is a good way to attract shoppers. People who like to comparison shop won’t fail to notice when your prices are better, and it’s a good way of drawing in customers who always look for the lowest price. It’s also an opportunity to show off the products you have to offer and impress new customers with your website.


Incorporate feedback

You can’t go wrong by giving customers what they want and letting them know that their wishes, ideas and feedback matter. Instead of going through the motions with complaints, solicit customer input by incentivizing people—for example, with free shipping or discounted merchandise—to fill out an email survey or brief online questionnaire. Keep your survey questions brief and easy to understand, and make it as convenient as possible to respond. Your aim should be to come up with new ways to generate sales, so solicit information that tells you how to provide a better, more convenient shopping experience.


Utilize dropshipping

Small e-businesses that struggle to keep pace with larger competitors need some type of advantage. Dropshipping is an efficient, low-risk option because you have minimal or no overhead costs to worry about. And there is no need to maintain an expensive inventory, since no stock is needed until the purchase has been made. Use data from your own site to determine what kinds of products your customers most want. Dropshipping these products can make it easier to compete with businesses that have deeper pockets than yours.


Create a website that works

An appealing and easy-to-navigate website is indispensable to any online retail business. It should be eye-catching—you don’t have long to make an impression—and provide plenty of information, product images, and a seamless payment process. Your best bet is to hire a professional free lance web designer, who, according to Upwork, should have experience with web basics, front-end development, user interfaces, and client communication.


Make it easy to buy

Abandoned transactions lower your conversion rate and cut into profitability, so pay particular attention to your payment process. Customers are apt to drop transactions in mid-purchase if your system is difficult or time-consuming, or if this part of your site doesn’t function properly. Make sure any deals or promotional offers you’re offering are easy to apply. You’ll only embitter a customer who thinks he’s getting a discount, only to find that it doesn’t work.

People who shop online do so because they’re busy and don’t have time for slow or confusing websites. Keeping everything fast and easy, from finding products to checking out, will make it easier to retain customers and draw in new ones.


Maintain responsive customer support

Spending money online is, to some degree, a matter of trust. As a customer, you trust that a site you buy from is secure and will be willing to help if something goes wrong. It’s a lonely feeling to buy from an online store, not get what you paid for, and have trouble contacting someone who can help resolve the problem. Always respond to a customer complaint or request within 24 hours. Failing in this trust means you risk losing customers and gaining a bad reputation. 

It can be difficult to differentiate your online business from others these days, as well as cope with innovative competitors like Amazon. Tailor and dropship your product offerings to establish a popular brand niche that big competitors lack. Additionally, providing an efficient shopping and payment process can help you earn a good reputation for customer service.

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