David and Goliath, a tale where the underdog is victorious against all odds. Or is it? Author Malcolm Gladwell offers all manner of intriguing theories about life, business and success, some highly lauded and others greatly contested. In his book Outliers, he refers to the story of David and Goliath, he highlights how David’s size meant he was nimble and responsive while Goliath’s size hindered him. Essentially, he encourages us to question the conventional rationale of success and definitions of advantage and disadvantage. Our blinkered acceptance that bigger is better means that “we underestimate how much freedom there can be in what looks like a disadvantage.” Malcolm Gladwell.

Follow the leader

The fundamentals of large sites like Amazon are well oiled and effective. Seek to emulate them. Some features for eCommerce sites are non-negotiable, such as easy navigation, mobile friendly design, fast page load times with powerful, intuitive search, KPI tracking, PCI DSS compliance, product reviews and free shipping. Consider your eCommerce and digital marketing strategy, does it move customers all the way through your sales funnel? It’s all very well having an amazing SEO methodology but if your site isn’t correctly optimised to convert users, it’s likely you’ll experience a high bounce rate.

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From cataloging to curating

The very nature of eCommerce is to sell goods or services, cataloguing and curating are two approaches. Those who catalogue aim to offer the greatest choice with the biggest range in the hope of large revenues. Amazon is a perfect example of this. Then there are the curators, they are selective and passionate about the products they sell and the audience they reach. Curators are experts in their industry and want to understand their customers, listening to feedback and offering them the best experience they can. Motivated by product not price and upsells are logic based. Communications with their target market are personal and relevant. To be a curator, use your market expertise and product knowledge to motivate people to buy what you sell.

Tell your story

Your story is one thing that truly sets you apart and is so effective at winning and retaining customers. Social media creates connections and strengthens relationships and engagement. Utilise it to tell your story. Your competitive angle is your story which can be shown to your customers in your marketing. Are you eco-friendly? Community focused? Industry leaders? Customer service driven? Tell us. Why or how did you start your business? Tell us. What makes your product or service stand apart from others? Tell us.

Curate the channels with care, don’t worry about using every platform, focus on the ones that best resonate with your customers. This will build brand awareness and customer engagement alongside driving traffic to your site. Share customer photos of them using your product, this helps potential buyers feel secure in their decision to purchase. In addition, if customers are featured on your website, they’re likely to share this with family and friends across their networks.

Revel in your niche

Pick a niche and own it. Be the expert in your field. Sell items or services that require expert knowledge, then be the expert. Connect with community networking and blog posts.

A blog can be a fantastic SEO provider. Whilst as an SME you cannot outspend a large competitor, you can out-teach them; you can position yourself as a thought-leader.

Reach for the stars

Good reviews and testimonials show how valued and trustworthy you are and can also be highly motivating for your team. Feedback services such as Feefo and Trustpilot are simple to integrate into your site. Receiving negative feedback isn’t easy but there are just as many ways you can learn and grow from it as positive feedback. It can highlight pinch points and clarify changes necessary to succeed.

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