Are you contemplating starting an e-commerce business but wonder how you are supposed to compete with Amazon or Walmart? What if I told you that you don’t need to compete?!? Would you think I’m crazy and I don’t know what I am talking about?
Why You Don’t Need to Compete as a Small Business VS a Big Business
True story: I have a love/hate relationship with Amazon.
Do I LOVE Prime shipping? My hand is totally raised. When I can’t find something in one of my local stores and I need it fast, you better bet that’s where I head.
But how much do I HATE the way they make people who are starting an e-commerce business feel? How much doubt they put in their minds? Oh my heck, it’s so, so, SO much!
I get asked A LOT about why people would buy a product from a small business owner online when they could go to Amazon (or Walmart, for that matter) to get basically the same thing. I can almost hear the discouragement they’re feeling when they message me and ask me how in the world they can compete with Amazon.
And it makes me mad. So stinkin’ mad.
Here’s the thing: Amazon started offering Prime in 2005. Guess when I started rolling out my online e-commerce businesses? AFTER 2005.
Let that sink in.
Prime was already a thing and big box stores everywhere you looked (and had an online presence) when I decided to sell a few sheets of vinyl and some wooden blocks. They were around when I started selling clothing and cutting boards and toys and décor.
And yet I sold millions of dollars in merchandise.
Logically that might not make sense. But in reality, it absolutely does.
You Don’t Need to Compete Because You are Selling an Experience
Think about the last time that you got a package delivered from Amazon. It was probably the product slammed into an oversized box with those air-filled pillows around it, right? Or maybe a clear bag with your purchase was just shoved into a mailer?
You wanna know why people bought from me instead of Amazon or Walmart?
I gave them a surprise addition to their package…most of the time it was candy, but it helped build memorable experience. Their package came with a bit of sugar and then it became a family experience. When packages would come there would be a rush to get the packages to see who could get the candy the fastest.
I made it fun. They would post on social media about it.
I made buyers get excited to share and made others look forward to seeing what was on my website every day.
It made them a part of something.
Amazon is a Goliath. I was a David. And we all know how that one turned out, right?
If you’re thinking about starting an e-commerce business, you’ve got to remember that you’re not competing with the Amazons or Walmarts of the world. They’re competing with YOU.
They might be bigger, but you can deliver an experience they never will. You can engage with your customers. You can add personality and have fun with how you interact with them. In short, you deliver VALUE.
Ready to find out more about building your e-commerce business? You’ve come to the right place.