In 2017, over 20 major retailers filed for bankruptcy. In 2018, there were 11 more. That was pre-pandemic, so there is a big question looming now about how many more we will see in the next few years.
Something we often don’t realize is how much large retailers are grappling with debt and market saturation. They are often fighting for market share with online retailers like Amazon. The same struggles could be applied to your brick-and-mortar or eCommerce quilt shop.
The rise of eCommerce
72% of business owners agree that small businesses face more challenges today than they did five years ago. Those challenges include a rise in the big retailers (like Amazon), increasing costs on materials, rent, and products. Despite all these difficulties, smaller retailers and eCommerce businesses are finding ways to survive, even thrive and grow. Many companies grew exponentially during the pandemic of 2020.
One of the biggest challenges that small business owners face is Amazon. They have their fingertips in basically everything. Amazon owns over 40 different subsidiaries, including Audible, Diapers.com, Goodreads, IMDb, Kiva Systems (now Amazon Robotics), Twitch, and Zappos. That’s a lot to compete with!
Square did a survey and found that 64% said they are more focused on finding lower prices than supporting local businesses. And we all know that lower prices mean Amazon, the big behemoth in eCommerce. They increased their North American sales from 16 million in 2010 to 80 billion in 2016. That is a massive increase in just six years.
Using Technology in Your Quilt Shop
So what’s the solution? How do you fight against Amazon and the other big retailers?
It’s an easy answer. Technology.
79.9% of sellers on the same survey believe that technology has made owning a business more accessible for their small business to compete. Etsy and other smaller eCommerce platforms have allowed them to thrive selling their products in a world where everyone is looking for a lower price.
You need to start selling in more than just your brick-and-mortar store. You need to consider using an eCommerce platform (such as Amazon or Etsy) to sell your products online. It’s essential to have a presence on social media and utilize paid marketing to help get the word out that your business is there.
It’s essential to have a solid omnichannel marketing plan to reach the ever-growing and more demanding group of customers who want to buy online. People are always searching for the best products at the best price, readily available on their mobile devices, tablets, and computers.
Your Target Audience
But before you do any of that, you need to find your niche. Who is your target audience? Who do you make great products for? Then tell them what makes your product and business so unique. Let them know why you are so passionate about what you do. When you understand your target audience to that level, the marketing will become easier.
Implementing technology and an eCommerce plan into your business may be scary. But I promise you the transition will be worth it. Not only for your bank accounts but for your mental health too.