New Yahoo Small business research highlights opportunities for SMB retailers to better compete against larger online rivals

By | Small Business

Today at IRCE, Yahoo Small Business revealed findings from a recently conducted consumer survey, highlighting new opportunities for SMB retailers to meet the evolving preferences of consumers when it comes to shopping online so they can better keep up with their larger competitors. In a time when consumers can choose from a wide range of online retailers, it’s important that SMBs understand what they need to do to actively compete against larger retailers online.

The good news: a vast majority of shoppers (75 percent of those surveyed) want to shop at and support small businesses. However, 63 percent of consumers feel they get better prices and value at larger retailers. Clearly, consumers appreciate the small business experience, and smaller retailers should flex their muscles on what make them unique, but they also need to ensure they are creating opportunities to provide value in the same way as their larger competitors.

The survey findings also highlight areas for SMBs to focus on as they seek to better compete against larger retailers:

  • Marketing and promotion: Familiarity with retailer was the top factor influencing whether a consumer would shop small (selected by 38 percent of respondents). Regular marketing, together with promotions and discounts, helps smaller retailers not only ensure they remain top of mind for potential customers, but also that they are getting the value they demand.
  • Expertise in their field: Nearly one-third of consumers said they will choose a small retailer over a larger one because of their expertise in their market or their knowledge of the products that they are selling.
  • Human touch: Even on digital platforms, human touch is important – 38 percent of those surveyed feel large retailers lack personal touch, and 37 percent still want to speak to someone directly when shopping online.
  • Payment choice: More than one-third of respondents (38 percent) said it’s very important for them to have a range of payment options to choose from when shopping online.
  • Stay ahead of the tech curve: Outdated and inefficient websites/payment options were identified as a gripe by shoppers twice as often at smaller retailers (26 percent) versus larger ones (13 percent).
  • Keeping customers and their data safe: Security continues to be a top concern for shoppers, whether shopping at large or small retailers – more than one-third of respondents identified this as worry for both large and small retailers.


New Yahoo Small Business services empower SMB retailers

The message is clear: small retailers can compete with larger ones, as long as they have the tools to do so!  

Yahoo Small Business is committed to helping small retailers maximize their online potential and recently launched a range of new features to its ecommerce platform, in addition to new features from its developer partners. These updates are specifically designed to make it easy for small businesses to scale their operations and deliver a customer experience more in line with what they’re used to experiencing with large internet retailers.

Key among these are:

  • More payment options: Seamless integration with PayPal Smart Buttons allows merchants to intelligently customize payment options for their customers. For the first time, this will introduce Venmo as a payment option on the Yahoo Small Business platform. New APIs also allow online merchants to utilize custom payments and work with additional payment processors of their choice.
  • Expanded subscription and promotion services: Enhanced subscription capabilities let customers schedule orders for items they regularly need, with the ability to offer discounts. Additionally, new promotion services let merchants easily offer instant and timer-based discounts, flash sales, buy-one-get-one-free promotions and more, simplifying the creation, scheduling and execution of promotions similar to large online retailers.
  • Improved marketing tools: A new range of customizable designs streamlines the process of building custom, branded HTML email templates for personalized communications throughout the customer journey, for everything from order confirmation and shipping status to gift certificates and sale notifications.
  • Navigating new tax complexities: With new legislation, the onus is now on small retailers to figure out how to collect taxes from some 15,000 different taxing jurisdictions in the U.S. This new feature helps sellers to simplify the process by integrating third party solutions for sales tax management.
  • Expanding reach through other leading retailers’ platforms: A web-based multi-channel order management system helps smaller retailers expand their reach and manage orders across the platforms of leading retailers – including Amazon, Lowe’s, Hayneedle, Home Depot and Walmart.

Yahoo Small Business has also introduced improved security delivered via an end-to-end SSL, advanced order exports for faster delivery of data, and additional developer tools for new ecommerce services.

With these new features, Yahoo Small Business is changing the game for small retailers and committed to helping small businesses compete with their larger competitors like never before. To learn more, please visit Yahoo Small Business.

Methodology: Survey was conducted online among 1,008 consumers in the United States, age 18 and over, between June 10-12, 2019.

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