The Grapevine

How Small Retailers Can Beat Bigger Competitors

March 13th, 2013

Small retailers are fighting back against the Amazons of the world. ( and “amazons” more generally.) How do you compete without a staff of dozens or hundreds of engineers, marketers and designers? We’ll humbly submit that working with Grapeseed Marketing is a great start, but here are a few more things you should be thinking about.

  1. Tap into Buy Local campaigns in your area. You can’t keep people from going online, but you can make it easier for people to find you where they’re looking – online – while still offering them the ability to buy local.
  2. Focus On Customer Experience. Forget price. You can’t win that war; there’s always someone willing to cut their margins that much thinner. Focus on what your customers experience when they walk in your door or visit your website or call you on the phone. The unexpected touches will separate you from competitors big and small. Think it’s suicidal to forget price? See #3 …
  3. Move away from commodities. You’re not selling books or CDs or MP3 downloads. What you sell isn’t the same thing your customers can buy down the block or across the country. Emphasize that, and be ready with alternatives to the mass market commodity wines people may ask for by name. A great story behind a better product at a similar price is a fantastic differentiator. You won’t win everyone over, but you will win some, and you will be building a better customer experience and a better brand for your shop.

We’ll focus on these areas in more detail in the next few weeks to give you some hands-on ways to implement these important ideas.