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How Can Small Ecommerce Businesses Compete With the Big Guys?


The COVID-19 pandemic did not break us entrepreneurs, but it taught us things about ourselves that we didn’t know.  Entrepreneurship always requires you to adapt to changing conditions, and local businesses that were able to pivot to ecommerce during the pandemic managed to attract a new clientele while keeping the old one.  Of course, small businesses online and offline face the challenge of competing with mega-corporations that have instant name recognition in addition to offering convenience and affordability.  Plenty of small ecommerce businesses are thriving in the age of Amazon, and yours can, too.  For advice about business agreements that will enable your ecommerce small business to flourish in a global marketplace, contact a Washington, D.C. small business lawyer.

Even Mom and Pop Ecommerce Stores Can Stand on the Shoulders of Giants

The biggest advantage that huge corporations have over small businesses is that it is less expensive to operate at a large scale.  It costs less to order, store, and ship 1,000 units of an item than it does for ten units.  This does not mean that you should buy a bigger house so that you can pile up thousands of units of merchandise in the garage, dining room, and spare bedroom.  Instead, you should participate in one of the platforms designed to enable small businesses to benefit from the large, well-organized warehouses and streamlined third party logistics services that big companies use.  By offering your products through a large, widely recognized ecommerce platform such as Shopify, you automatically get a user-friendly website.  Some ecommerce platforms offer shipping and warehousing services.  Most customers do not want to type their credit card information by hand on a buggy website and then wait for you to walk their order to the post office and ship it to them, even though that was the only way to do ecommerce in 2005.  Using an established ecommerce platform will help you and your customers save time and money.

Keep Your Local Identity While Participating in the National or Global Marketplace

Meanwhile, the biggest advantage that small businesses have over retail giants is their uniqueness.  People visit your ecommerce store to find products that they cannot buy from Walmart or any other huge corporation.  Stick to the products that you do best and do not spread yourself too thin simply for the purpose of diversifying your product line.  If customers love the tea cozy they bought from Crabby Crochet Company, don’t start selling sweaters just so you can sell more stuff to the same customers.  Show your appreciation with seasonal emails so they will remember you at the holidays and buy more tea cozies as Christmas presents for their friends.

Contact Us About Staying Competitive as a Small Business

A business doesn’t have to be huge to be successful.  A Washington, D.C. small business attorney can help your small ecommerce business save on costs while competing in a market dominated by online retail giants.  Contact Tobin, O’Connor & Ewing in Washington, D.C. for help.



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