ADOTAS — E-commerce platform provider Bigcommerce sees 2014 as the year of the small business e-tailer who is poised to give big-box houses and well-known online shops a bit of competition.
Kirsten Knipp, Bigcommerce VP of Product Marketing & Brand, states the moonlighters, mom & pop and budding e-commerce entrepreneurs will drive this trend. Not only does she predict 10% of millennials will have their own online store by 2020, she believes the following trends will set the stage for SMB e-tailers in 2014:
1. Alternative Funding Will Be The New Venture Capital. In 2013, SMBs gained access to alternative funding ‘tools’ like crowdsourcing to activate the masses to fund and support their business growth. Traditional bank lending and venture capital investments will slowly take a back seat as the alternative funding landscape grows beyond the Kickstarters of the world.
2. SMBs Mobile Commerce Adoption Doubles. Easy to use mobile shopping tools will enable SMBs to offer the same or even better customer experiences than shoppers expect from well-known brands. With 50% of smartphone owners using mobile for online shopping, SMBs that don’t adapt will see profit declines—while those who do, will reap the lion’s share and have a leg up competing both online and the local shopping experience.
3. Personal Commerce Makes a Comeback. SMB e-tailers will no longer compete against big-box retailers on price and reach alone by simply going back to what matters: Customer Service. By putting the human element back in the online shopping experience with incentives, loyalty programs and even personalized thank you’s, SMB e-tailers will knock the competition out of the park.