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Pitney Bowes | Brand Spotlight Partner What is this?

3 Ways Your Online Business Can Compete With Larger Competitors and Win

Consider these tips, strategies, and resources to make sure your online brand has what it needs to grow and thrive.

One thing’s for sure: Competition in online business is on fire. The deluge of people making their purchases online and their expectations for fast delivery and timely customer service has turned up the heat on smaller companies.

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How are small businesses supposed to compete with larger companies that can offer expedited delivery and have armies of customer service employees? It might seem like an impossible endeavor but it doesn’t have to be. There are proven strategies and resources entrepreneurs can utilize to help their online business not only stand out from the shadow of larger competitors but drive revenue and create loyal customers at the same time.

Assuming you’ve mastered some fundamentals — your website is live, it has an engaging and optimized design, you’ve already started interacting with customers on social media, etc. — then applying the following strategies amplifying your competitive advantage and smart shipping can help take your online business to the next level.

1. Play to your strengths.

Large businesses have something that smaller ones often don’t: Brand recognition. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible for smaller companies to become top-of-mind for online shoppers, too.

One of the best ways is to play to your strengths, highlighting the unique aspects of your business. Does your product offer an uncommon or exclusive solution? Is it a higher-quality product than your competitor’s? Are your products made by hand? Are they made entirely in the U.S.? Are they environmentally friendly? Is your brand “persona” inherently funny or humorous? Is your packaging innovative and engaging?

Answering questions like these can help determine what sets your products apart. Once you have the answer, communicate this prominently in everything you do — on your website, social channels, packaging, in your ads and in your marketing materials. Get the word out about why you’re better/different/more reliable than the competition.

2. Offer standout customer experience.

Customer service is critical for online business. Customers want speedy delivery, to know when their items ship, when they’ll be delivered, and the delivery status, as well as wanting prompt response to their questions and concerns. Larger companies know this and employ teams of people focused specifically on customer service.

To stand out, aim to be personal and delightful with your customer service. This includes being helpful and pleasant and exceeding expectations on delivery, delivery times and communicating status effectively. That’s where SendPro® Online from Pitney Bowes can help. SendPro Online is a single platform that allows businesses to access rates, track shipments, and monitor spend for all shipping activities across carriers and services.

With SendPro Online, you can compare overnight and other services from shipping carriers and select the option which best meets your requirements. And with SendPro Delivery Assurance, if a USPS® Priority Mail package doesn’t arrive on time, you can request a credit for the shipping label charge.

Additionally, SendPro Online enables businesses to send email confirmations to customers with tracking numbers as you process the shipment through the system. You can also set up a delivery notice email to be sent when the package is delivered to the shipping address, automatically letting the customer know that the package has arrived. The more your customers know, the happier they’ll be.

3. Have a mission beyond profit.

These days, many customers purposefully spend their money with companies that are about more than just increasing revenues and pleasing shareholders. Shoppers look for brands that give back to their communities and the world.

This could include donating products or money, volunteering, or participating in another organization’s charitable cause. Incorporating “social good” into your mission right from the start can be easier for smaller brands that are new and nimble, compared to big legacy brands that are slow to enact change.

Giving back to your community is great publicity, too. Getting the word out about your cause or partnering with an existing organization or event can help promote your business alongside your good works. This extra exposure, and the positive things your business can accomplish, can help you acquire loyal customers who otherwise might never have discovered your brand.

From your unique product features, to your surprisingly delightful customer service, and the positive things your business does, the more good things people have to say about your brand, the more people will hear it and (hopefully) give you their business.

Click here to learn more about how SendPro Online can help your online business stand out from the competition and grow.

Pitney Bowes

Brand Spotlight Partner

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur Spotlight partners are their own.