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  • Writer's pictureJacob Curtis

How to Compete with the BIG Shops

Updated: Dec 23, 2022

As a small quilt shop owner, have you ever wondered how to compete against the bigger businesses?

We’re talking large stores that are just down the road, in the next town, or even across the country. It may seem that the big shops have their work cut out for them, and customers just flock over, ignoring what you can offer. While it seems tough, there are many ways for small businesses to gain advantage over their competition.

Creating a digital footprint to reach the online consumer

The first step to getting customers through your door is to get yourself noticed. This means to make your brand visible and available everywhere. Building an online presence using digital tools nowadays can put your business on the map.

If the pandemic taught us anything, it is that eCommerce can continue to keep businesses alive, in a time where brick-and-mortar retail is limited. Start off with using an eCommerce platform to form a marketplace where customers can purchase goods online.

If you’re not sure how to, there are many affordable and accessible tools online nowadays that can help. With social media tools like Instagram for Business, it is now possible to integrate your online store with your social media channels, making it easier for customers to shop directly from your page.

The next step is to utilize marketing and social media to get the word out about your business. This doesn’t just mean plaster promotion and advertisements everywhere and anywhere. Digital marketing allows businesses to leverage branding and messaging to attract your target customers. A solid marketing plan can reach the right audience, in the right place, and at the right time.

Having the right marketing strategy is crucial for your business as it sets an action plan for the type of promotional activities and tactics you need. Because quilt stores usually focus on a niche market, you have to be specific with your outreach efforts. Focus on your unique selling propositions, whether it is convenience, price, or products, and find the right messages to get this point across.

The great thing about creating an online presence is that you’re now available and accessible anywhere, regardless of your customer’s geographical location. The modern consumer is a mobile one. They’re seeing and buying new products and services on their mobile devices – phones, tablets, and laptops. On the flip side, an offline quilt store can only serve a physical location and the customers within it.

Small businesses are not just competing with other small businesses. They’re also fighting for foot traffic with the larger name-brand stores. While it seems like an uphill battle, it is not entirely impossible. That is, when it is done right.

One thing to note is that at any point of the marketing funnel, it is important to stay close to brand messaging. Whether this is the way you communicate with your customers in the store or posting on social media, it is vital to uphold a consistent message. Customers need to associate your brand with the value it can bring.

So, what makes a successful business?

These days, marketing is not a one-size-fits-all. There are many ways to go about it. Because quilt shops are so diverse and offer a range of products or services, some strategies may work better for some than the rest. The bottom line is that you need to make yourself accessible and noticeable.

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