How the Underdog Has the Advantage in E-commerce


E-commerce seems to be dominated by the big boys lately. The giant known as Amazon set a new standard by delivering billions of items for merchants and doubling their numbers from the year before. It may seem like Amazon could dominate all e-commerce sooner than later, but as vendors start to shift to fulfillment by Amazon or FBA, there is a great opportunity for the little guys.

I’m sure you’ve heard it before. Being a small indie company is good for getting customers. It makes you unique and easy to remember. It makes people like you. Now it is possible to have all of that and more, like a super-fast delivery system just like Amazon and others have. Having a personal feel and appearance to your business AND super-fast delivery service makes you the powerful underdog.

Here is a story that proves my point: A while back I purchased a cool shirt from a nice clothing outlet, a men’s apparel company in North Carolina named Buffalo Jackson. This company knows how to run a business. They have durable clothing that is attractive and have a cool and catchy mission statement that sticks. It talks about the owner and how he strayed from the path he was raised to follow to create a fashion brand, marketed his company by word of mouth because he didn’t have a spare dollar to spend, and proved that the underdog can be successful in business. It ends with a great call-to-action offering you the ability to become a part of what he created. It reads, “This is our story of how we began. We sure would love to have you part of it.”

They have an indie appeal like no other.

Their great and attractive site is an example of what consumers want from an e-commerce website. Its modern, dark background with every model contained in a white block—in combination with their mission statement—really bring out the unique personality offered by this company. This, however, is not the reason I keep ordering from them. At the end of the day, there are plenty of businesses offering the same appeal.

What really keeps me wanting to come back is the short amount of time it takes for my order to arrive at my home. They have never messed up an order or sent the wrong item and, if I don’t like something, I can simply return it and get a timely refund. They have all the great features that Amazon offers.

So, what is the secret? They have wisely chosen their fulfillment and order vendor to ensure consumers get the best experience possible. The best delivery vendors get your product to the customer faster, if not as fast, as Amazon can, and with great accuracy, too! For a small business looking to get their first orders, a compelling story won’t be enough to get the repeat buyers needed for a successful business model. You must back up what you say and do it with super-fast, efficient, and reliable service.

Never forget that small businesses always have some advantage over the big boys—and everyone loves the underdog.


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