Weekly Loop 06: Competing with Giants


Weekly Loop #06


In what’s been a recurring theme in our posts lately, our links this week include a number of posts on the problems Amazon poses for independent niche brands and retailers (defined as those under $5 million in annual sales).

See comments above each link for quick thoughts on each article.

Recommended Links

Each week, we read and watch articles, blog posts, videos, infographics, books and more related to ecommerce. We share some of our favorites links on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

In our weekly updates, we pare the links down to our favorite seven links from the past week.

Have a suggestion of something to include? Get in touch.

— As we’ve written, Amazon is not your friend if you operate a niche retailer or brand. Here’s more on why to be afraid. 

“Amazon is taking over—and if you’re running a small business, you should be afraid”

Compete with Amazon? Why Small/Medium Retailers Should be Afraid of Amazon Coming for Them
Elise Dopson Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog

“What’s even harsher is the fact it’s true—Amazon is threatening to kill 10 major industries, and small businesses who’re trying to breakeven could bear the brunt of their power.Businesses in the:ElectronicsConsumablesDepartment storeHigh-End RetailFood deliveryBookstoreGroceryHealthcarePharmacyDelivery & Logistics…industries are most at-risk of Amazon’s global domination. Why? Well, because Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, wants his website to be an “everything store”.And, by partnering with (or outright acquiring) other large businesses in each industry to offer even better products for their customers, you wouldn’t be alone if you’re fearing the power of Amazon’s joint ventures will impact your revenue.”1

— Speaking of Amazon, be weary of uploading the same product catalog to Amazon as your own site. Naturally, only one will rank first for each product query and typically, Amazon will crush small sites in search results. 

“So you upload your products to the Amazon Marketplace and then… Amazon is outranking for all your product queries.”

Google Implies Uploading Your Products To Amazon’s Marketplace Can Impact Your Rankings
Barry Schwartz seroundtable.com

“He said “What do you expect to happen in search? What would you expect as a user?” He offered these options (a) I love seeing double, (b) I prefer diverse answers or (c) I would like a cold beer.
That is John saying – Google can only rank one web site in the first position.”2

—  Another decentralized marketplace aims to replace the centralized ecommerce powers, such as Amazon. 

“GAMB is intended to decentralize online retail by creating a digital marketplace powered by the merchants themselves.”

Gambio’s GAMB is a decentralized online ecommerce marketplace
Stewart Rogers@TheRealSJR July 28, 2018 9:30 AM VentureBeat

“Merchants selling through GAMB are able to join a “merchants alliance.” While Gambio merchants have always had full control over ownership of their retail space, this gives them the opportunity to grow their digital footprint in a retail community, while making them less reliant on a single dominant marketplace.
“The GAMB ICO is launched to build the first blockchain-based marketplace,” Krug said. “It will be the marketplace owned by a merchant alliance. Any merchant will be able to participate in the alliance if [they hold] GMB tokens. The tokens will be used to allow the merchant to vote on marketplace issues, and thus we will enable the fully decentralized marketplace, by merchants for merchants.””3

— Etsy has expanded to India. With thousands of India-based sellers already on the marketplace, this will likely bring even more. 

“The India team, based in Delhi, aims to help local entrepreneurs sell their unique and handcrafted goods with across the world.”

US-based ecommerce player Etsy launches in India
athira.nair@yourstory.com (Athira A Nair) Yourstory.com

“Indian sellers have been using Etsy for a long time, with about 650,000 items listed on Etsy from them. With its latest development, the company has planned a series of activities to recruit and assist new sellers (online and offline), including offering free listings incentives to all new sellers in India on the platform. This is similar to how Amazon, another US-based ecommerce giant, entered India in 2013.Founded in 20005, Etsy serves globally, and claims to have connected two million creative entrepreneurs, out of whom 87 percent are women, with around 35 million customers around the globe. Etsy has raised close to $100 million from multiple investors before and after its IPO in 2015.”4

— Influencer marketing is a hot topic in online marketing. It’s not just open to big brands. Read more about crafting campaigns for niche retailers and brands of all sizes. 

“Here’s how to put together and execute an influencer marketing campaign that will yield the best possible results”

Macro vs. Micro Influencer Deals and How to Negotiate Them
Billy Bones Shopify Blog – Company

“Paid advertising and search engine optimization (SEO) can be useful for getting your brand in front of your target audience. But if you want to convince people to give your brand a try, you need to gain their trust.
One way to do that, whether you’re an upstart or an established business, is with an influencer marketing campaign: partnering with high-profile individuals to share audiences.
Maybe you’ve hesitated with influencer marketing because working with a celebrity seems unrealistic or too expensive, or because you’re unsure of how you can identify the best micro-influencer for your brand.”5

— WhatsApp has introduced it’s first revenue model. They will charge businesses to reply to messages after 24 hours. 

Businesses will be able to reply “free for up to 24 hours, but will charge them a fixed rate by country per message sent after that.”

WhatsApp finally earns money by charging businesses for slow replies
Josh Constine eCommerce – TechCrunch

“Only charging for slow replies after 24 hours since a user’s last message is a genius way to create a growth feedback loop. If users get quick answers via WhatsApp, they’ll prefer it to other channels. Once businesses and their customers get addicted to it, WhatsApp could eventually charge for all replies or any that exceed a volume threshold, or cut down the free window. Meanwhile, businesses might be too optimistic about their response times and end up paying more often than they expect, especially when messages come in on weekends or holidays.”6

  1. https://www.referralcandy.com/blog/compete-with-amazon/
  2. https://www.seroundtable.com/google-amazon-marketplace-impact-seo-26133.html
  3. https://venturebeat.com/2018/07/28/gambios-gamb-is-a-decentralized-online-ecommerce-marketplace/
  4. https://yourstory.com/2018/07/us-based-ecommerce-player-etsy-launches-india/
  5. https://www.shopify.com/blogs/blog/macro-micro-influencer-marketing
  6. https://techcrunch.com/2018/08/01/whatsapp-business-api/

Andrew @ EcomLoop
Are you looking to start or grow a standalone ecommerce shop? I help independent businesses achieve success on the Shopify and WooCommerce platforms. As the owner of multiple ecommerce businesses, I've had the opportunity to get experience with nearly every aspect of the ecommerce industry. I started EcomLoop to help other quality independent businesses using my knowledge and experience. To stay on top of new ecommerce developments, I publish The EcomLoop Weekly Loop, a blog and email newsletter with original thoughts and curated links to help independent businesses improve their businesses.