Small businesses a great fit for the new nimble marketplace

By Rajesh Subramaniam

Consumer behavior and the way people shop are changing. Over the last several years, e-commerce has risen and there’s no longer a clear-cut distinction between bricks (store) and clicks (online shopping). It’s all just shopping. There’s increasingly an omni-channel approach to purchasing. More and more, consumers are opting for “click and get,” especially around the holidays. There’s even movement within the online category of shopping. According to Google, 85 percent of online shoppers start their purchase process on one device and finish it on another. Consumers are looking for a seamless shopping experience whether it’s online or in-store, as well as reliable and speedy delivery to locations around the world. In fact, social media platforms like Facebook have become useful sources of product endorsements. We are now almost as likely to buy a product because of an online review or recommendation from someone within our social media circle as we are after seeing a TV ad.

Of course, it’s not just big companies with large teams of experts that prosper in this new world. Small- to medium-size enterprises (SMEs) are increasingly successful because they’re nimble, quick to adapt and generally speak to customers in a more personal voice. They’re also more open to taking risks and to trying new things — all must-have attributes for any company that wants to harness the power of the new consumer environment and grow its business.