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

3 minute read

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  • Stay ahead of the tech curve: Outdated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:
    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.