SME retailers positive about trading heading into 2018

SME retailers are positive about current trading conditions, according to a new report.

In a survey by Shutl, nearly two thirds of small business leaders said they feel their companies will be in a better position than they are now come spring 2018.

While 73 per cent of SMEs felt that competition from large companies was a threat, the report found that entrepreneurs feel service can give small firms an edge.

Although 59 per cent think large businesses have an advantage when it comes to the size of their distribution networks, 34 per cent said smarter e-commerce technology and better delivery options for SME retailers would help them compete more effectively.

70 per cent of SMEs said personalised customer service and a unique brand experience were key to luring business away from their larger competitors, while 62 per cent said that providing a unique brand experience is crucial.

“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,” said Jason Tavaria, the head of Shutl.

“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.”

Earlier this year, Sam Jarvis, the founder of HubBox, wrote for SME Magazine about how SME retailers can take on larger rivals and win customers.

“By embracing technology solutions and thinking innovatively, there is plenty of room in the online retail landscape for smaller independents to compete with the Marks & Spencers of the world,” he wrote.

Photo © Charlotta Wasteson (CC BY 2.0). Edited and cropped.