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How will e-commerce be the death of small business?

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In the age of convenience and social media, e-commerce is quickly taking over local markets. How did this happen? And what does it mean for the future of small business? Let’s take a look at how e-commerce took over and how it will change the way you shop forever!

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Online stores have already been cutting into brick-and-mortar sales
In 2017, digital sales accounted for 8.4 percent of all retail spending, which means that about $298 billion went toward online purchases. With these numbers trending in a favorable direction, it’s unlikely online retailers can keep up their growth in 2018—but smaller businesses may not like what they see. The combination of cheaper overhead and more reliable delivery options may make e-commerce an even more attractive choice for customers than it already is today.

If you can’t beat them, join them
As consumers, we all want convenience. The local shop is great, but that doesn’t mean it’s better than Amazon or eBay. If a local store can’t keep up with its online counterparts, it may have to go out of business. It’s true that some big retailers—like Best Buy and Toys R Us—are having a hard time adapting to changing consumer behavior.

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We’re getting pretty comfortable with buying most things online
books, clothes, food. But, according to a recent study by UPS and IBM, we’re just getting started: 79% of consumers said they plan to make an online purchase in the next 30 days. How are brick-and-mortar businesses supposed to compete? As it turns out, there are quite a few tricks up their sleeves—they can still compete with e-commerce giants on cost and convenience. Here’s how: 1.

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Changing your mindset and setting up an online store
Setting up an online store is a lot more difficult than it looks, but once you’ve got your head around how to do it, running one is easy. Think about what makes you unique and different from your competitors; for instance, if you’re an art gallery that specializes in modern art or vintage pieces and don’t want to share their sales with Amazon or eBay then setting up an online store might just be worth your time.

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What sets successful online stores apart from their competitors?
In an age where companies can have a loyal following without even having an actual storefront, it’s important for online retailers to consider how they differentiate themselves from competitors. Online shoppers are looking for something new and innovative that brings real value to their lives and that’s why successful online stores implement a rewards system or reward customers with discounts for engaging with their brand on social media channels. This keeps customers engaged and helps turn them into lifelong brand advocates. To stay ahead of your competition, consider adopting these strategies!

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What are some of the biggest opportunities in e-commerce right now?
Many people are worried that Amazon and other e-commerce juggernauts are going to take over their local economy. Here’s how you can use these opportunities to grow your business.

The struggle between going big and staying small
In some sectors and regions, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for local businesses to compete with big box stores. Online retailers like Amazon have made it easier than ever for customers to buy products from afar, eliminating geographical barriers and putting mom-and-pop shops out of business in record numbers. Local businesses have been clambering to stay afloat by selling online as well but they still have only a fraction of their counterparts’ bargaining power and influence.

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What Does This Mean For Small Businesses In The Future?
Technological innovation is inherently disruptive, and that goes for e-commerce and retail just as much as it does for things like AI and driverless cars. But before you go off muttering about nerd tax or insist that Amazon must have some sort of evil plan to take over the world, try to put yourself in your local retailer’s shoes.

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Clington, an editor at C’Magazine covering updates and more scoops.

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