Independent research commissioned by Shutl has found SME retailers to be positive about trading conditions during 2017 and into 2018.
Of the 500 SME business owners surveyed, nearly two thirds felt their business would be in a stronger position by Spring 2018, with a third citing smarter and better delivery options for smaller sellers as key to that success.
73 per cent of those surveyed stated competition from larger online retailers as being the biggest threat to the success of their business in 2017/18, with the might and marketing power of bigger online brands representing a real threat to this group. Just under 3 in 5 (59 per cent) felt the spread of delivery or distribution networks gave larger retailers the biggest competitive edge. But 34 per cent felt smarter ecommerce technology, and better delivery options for SME retailers would help them compete more effectively.
Delivering better value with customer service was key to competing against the larger retailers, with over two thirds (70 per cent) believing the delivery of a more personalised customer service and a unique brand experience (62 per cent) would win out against the larger retailers, whose track record to date may have been poor.
Jason Tavaria, Head of Shutl commented: “The results of this survey point to buoyant SME retailers, who are increasingly using technology and smarter selling options to compete against the bigger retailers with larger budgets. Today delivery is no longer such a big USP. Carriers have become increasingly savvy about the SME group as a compelling audience, and in turn costs have reduced and technology is supporting an infrastructure that is dynamic and cost effective. Thus the continuing technological innovation to support SMEs is making it easier, and more cost effective for this group to compete.”