If you are ever immobilized by the comparison between yourself and Amazon—don’t worry. There is not only hope, but quite a bit of promise.
Rule # 1: Forget about Amazon
I was reading an article on the Exclusive Concepts blog earlier. It said that the main problem for new businesses is not that they can’t market, but that they spend too much time worrying about what their biggest competitor is and isn’t doing.
Rule # 2: Get to know your Customers
Rely on your familiarity with the product and your personal reasons for wanting to sell it. Pictures of you with your merchandise can go a long way. If you are a clothing store, for example, you can upload pictures of you and your friends wearing your merchandise. I know a fitness instructor who has an enormously successful online store that sells fitness wear and gym bags. Her items sell because of the personal connection she forged with her customers. She loves and wears what she sells, which serves as the foundation of trust in the transaction.
Rule #3 Build a Community (Forums, Chat Rooms, etc.)
Small online stores sell especially well when there is a community attached to them. My recommendation is that you follow her lead, and get involved with your products. That is what competes with and wins against Amazon.
Rule #4: Do use Social Media
Build your fan page on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and have your customers send in pictures of them using your products. Modcloth does that, and it’s one of the main reasons why I buy from them–besides their adorably unique designs! Each Customer can opt whether or not to leave their body measurements so that others can get a better idea of whether or not it would look good on them.
So, get involved with your customers—talk to them, hear their stores, and share what they’ve shared. If you do that, you will definitely make your Mom & Pop a competitor in it’s own right.
Rule #5: Admire your Handiwork