Does Big Money Online Still Exist For SMEs?

One of the most significant adverse impacts of the coronavirus pandemic is how it’s displaced many businesses and forced numerous startups to close down. What’s worse, those enterprises that still had plenty of obligations to meet and weren’t doing well with liquidity were struck with financial ruin and only the stimulus check to cling onto. Overall, the pandemic fallout did a number to the economy globally and spared no mercy to the little guys like the SMEswe’re hanging on by a thread.

However, despite all the downturn of events, some companies were lucky enough gritting their teeth and finding their way to the light at the end of such a terrible year. One of the most prominent players in the business landscape that allowed this opportunity of survival was the shift toward e-commerce, a transition that was already in progress but sped up by the global situation. Now, it begs the question of whether there’s still room for growth for the SMEs or has all big money been taken away by the initial wave?

Yes, There’s Plenty Of Room For Growth

Despite the proliferation of e-commerce and how it may seem oversaturated with almost everything that a person can ask for from an online store, there are still many holes waiting to be plugged in and a lot of opportunities just waiting by the sidelines. New trends are popping left, right, and center, and with all of the newbies on the block, it’s anyone’s game to win. And, if that hasn’t convinced you yet, let’s take a look at some of the ongoing trends right now:

  • The Pandemic Forced Many Consumers To Switch: Look, whether we’d like to admit it or not, our digital world heavily valued physical retail stores before this global pandemic ran amok. However, with everyone stuck at home and no outlet to get what they need, this ushered in millions of new users onto the online platform. Likewise, many online businesses are still trying to manage the increased traffic, which is why now’s the best opportunity.
  • So Much Online Competition: With more users means more online competition, all the more reason to invest and stand out. You see, it’s very naive to say that any single website has mastered the ways of the internet because it’s ever-evolving and changing every second. What we knew even some months ago could be an entirely different playing field in the current day. So, it’s all fair game for everyone, and even the SMEs, to capitalize on emerging trends.

How Do You Maintain A Competitive Advantage?

Of course, with all those reasons defined, how does a small business maintain a competitive advantage in the online world when many giants are present on the same platform? Despite both being engaged in the commerce industry, the platforms are worlds apart, wherein physical stores value discoverability, online stores reap their benefits from customer value. So, let’s explore all the ways you can achieve that:

#1 Make Your Products/Services Unique

With the shift toward e-commerce, more and more people are searching for things that you don’t typically find, like groceries, home essentials, and more. As a result of the pandemic fallout, several new needs are rising from the shadows, all potential opportunities for small businesses to pivot and answer. So, local companies that work in niche financial services like insurance applications or gig economy services like video-editing should make their products unique and stand out. Plus, there’s also the ongoing craze of unboxing videos and influencers that create review-type content, which are excellent methods of marketing your company message.

#2 Customer Service And Support Matters

Another excellent edge you can hone and use against your competition is optimizing customer service and support. Unlike physical retail stores where technical staff were present and ready to help, customers only have online support and messaging systems to turn to when they encounter a problem. If a company fails to create an easy-to-access mode of messaging concerns, this can severely hurt the business image and lower the conversion rate. So, understand that online consumers value customer experience most and want the best service you can offer. As a side note, social media is also an excellent method of connecting with the customer base.

#3 The Permanence Of Ecommerce In The New Normal

Finally, depending on how well the larger majority of people and new consumers adapt to e-commerce, it could lead to online platforms’ permanence as the primary method of purchasing essentials in the new normal and the foreseeable future. Plus, with emerging technology like virtual reality and the rise of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin’s bullish run, all signs point to all-digital. So, the effort you put in right now to establish yourself online will accumulate as the world continues to evolve. Therefore, you might want to start investing in tech that can increase your chances of staying on the side of modernity.

Stand Strong And Ride The Wave

In conclusion, there’s no doubt that e-commerce will continue to experience growth and that this industry is far from reaching its ceiling. So, we strongly recommend that you stand firm and ride the wave as the world economy starts to pick up the pace unless you want to run the risk of being left behind.

Lisa
Lisa Besserman, Founder and CEO of Startup Buenos Aires, has been named as Business Insider’s “Top 100 Most Influential Women in Tech”, and the 2014 “Business Innovator of Latin America” by the Council of the Americas.
Lisa moved to Buenos Aires from New York City to create Startup Buenos Aires, the organization that represents the startup, tech and entrepreneurial community of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Startup Buenos Aires has been one of the main catalysts for strengthening the tech ecosystem in Latin America, by bringing global startup initiatives, development projects and investment opportunities to the region.
Under Lisa’s leadership Startup Buenos Aires has been credited as “Top 3 Growing Startup Cities” by CNBC and “5 Emerging Global Tech Hubs” by Entrepreneur Magazine.

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