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The Core Advantage Local Businesses Have Over Big Box Stores When It Comes To Selling Online

advantage local businesses selling online

Big box stores have had an enormous impact on the way people shop, particularly in Canada. But are they really a better deal for customers than shopping at local businesses? 

Local retailers who also sell products online have the edge over the big guys in some crucial ways. One core advantage is they’re better equipped to leverage insights into their customers. Smart WSI Marketing is an Edmonton website design company that can help you create an eCommerce web design that accurately reflects what your customers are looking for. Contact us today.

eCommerce Website Design for Local Businesses 

While big-box shopping has its benefits, especially when a local retailer doesn’t offer a big-ticket product someone is looking for, a local business selling products online can take advantage something that most larger retailers just can’t deliver on – curbside pick up.  

A big box retailer may even offer a certain product at a lower price, but that comes with the inconvenience of having to wait for your order, rather than pick it up today. Their lower prices are also often offset by shipping fees, driving up the price of the item. While some big box retailers (like grocery stores) are getting on board with same-day curbside pick up, it is still largely reserved for local retailers. 

In today’s socially distanced society, curbside pick up is not only preferred, but expected by shoppers.  A local eCommerce retailer can meet rigorous consumer expectations and encourage repeat business by providing a convenient online shopping experience, where customers can order a product online, and go pick it up, often within hours or even minutes.  

How successful your eCommerce efforts are depends a lot on your business’ website design which, along with being secure, needs to be: 

  • Easy to use and navigate.
  • Optimized for mobile browsing and shopping.
  • Populated with good product descriptions and high-quality images.
  • Set up for easy checkout.  
  • Clear pick up or delivery options 

Other Benefits to Good eCommerce Web Design 

When you own a physical store you’re typically limited by the geographical area where it’s located. When your website design includes eCommerce, literally the whole world can benefit from what you offer. Other plusses to good local eCommerce web design include: 

More personalized customer service. Beyond the products you offer, the shopping experience for customers can be highly personalized in a way the big box stores can’t match. For local customers, you can make in-store returns and exchanges a simple process.  

“Word of mouth” referrals. Online reviews of your business are an effective way to increase traffic to your website. Customers will notice when you personally respond to reviews, even negative ones, and appreciate your effort to satisfy your local audience. 

Reduced costs. Your business’ web design can work to make your digital marketing campaigns more effective. Organic search engine traffic, PPC ads, and social media marketing efforts are cost-efficient ways to drive traffic to your site and gain new customers. 

Finally, one area where you can truly outshine larger retailers is in the helpful information you provide your customers. Where big box stores often offer generic content, you have the opportunity to supply your local audience with highly personalized blog posts, FAQs, and articles that reflect your knowledge of their needs and wants. 

Website Design That Gives You the Advantage 

Smart WSI Marketing is an Edmonton website design company with years of experience and expertise in building eCommerce websites that give local businesses an advantage and make their customers feel valued. Reach out to us today to learn more about all the digital marketing services we offer.

Lynne team member
Lynne Motkoski, Marketing Strategist
Specialty: Online Marketing Strategies
Education: MA Communications & Technology, BComm [U Alberta]
Author: The Online Marketing Handbook for Busy Entrepreneurs (coming soon)

Lynne is known for her strategic approach to marketing communications, technologies, and lead generation. She has a passion for education, keeping up with current marketing trends and practices, and helping clients keep ahead of their competition.


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