Small businesses in the UK with a number of immediate challenges, including a long slowdown in the consumer spending.
But they also face a battle with major online competitors such as Amazon.
On Small Business Saturday, let’s take a look at what some companies do to their e-commerce game.
“I think there is a great Chance for small companies,” says Northern Irish shop owner Jonathan McCann. “We are punching above our weight.”
He started his business, Jonzara, in 2008 with sister Sarah and mother Heather in Newtownards. You sell women s clothing, and caring for the “older lady,” he says.
The family has worked hard to build up the economy, but Mr McCann said that the competition from online retailers, “a major concern”.
“The people obviously want the best price, and Amazon is working on the price,” he says. “It is a concern for all.”
There used to be in this year’s U.S. press speculation that the giant could face anti-competitive-examination, under the Trump administration.
Amazon tries to disrupt various markets, including fashion, but also the world’s largest e-commerce site says no ticks all the boxes, Mr McCann.
One of the main differences is your personal care, he says.
His “small” team girl” on the shop floor makes a great effort to know your customers and you offer clothing, it harmonizes the. “We offer a personal service. Amazon can’t do that.”
The online giant is “not so attractive” for his demographic, he adds. It dresses were aimed at 16-year-old, together with others, and “you don’t sit together”.Jack be nimble
Mr McCann says that means a faster turnaround of the stock they have clothing lines in small numbers, before many of its competitors, keeping the shop-search – “fresh”.
Jonzara also runs a number of customer events such as fashion nights and builds its own e-commerce business. “Online has really grown for us,” he says.
Your online success led to the opening of a branch in Lisburn, so it could manage the stock more effectively.
Most of his online customers are from outside Northern Ireland – mainly English, but also from Germany and the Netherlands.
“We look at how we can grow very aggressively,” he says.
Jonzara is part of the campaign, the group of Small Business Saturday.Community feel
Helen Harris, the co-owner of York’s shop the owl and the Monkey, and says, with her husband, Matt, when it comes to Amazon: “if you have something different to offer – you can’t compete on price”.
Your shop sells products that you think are practical, but beautiful.
For example, you sell a type of yarn that was made in the UK since the 1800s. They say it is important for your customer, that you know that some of the products are made from “a brilliant man by the name of Ted” in Cumbria.
“Everything that day-to-day-it makes the day feel that much more special.”
They live in the same street as your business, and says that they are trying to give back to the community events for local artists.
“It is an important place for other people in the community, and the [technology and products],” she says.
They began online in 2009, but wanted “a fairy tale-shop” – something that “feels like a continental shop, where everything is beautifully packaged to you”.
“Online, you are a very small voice in a very big pond, and it is difficult to be heard.”
The shop uses social media to connect with customers, “initial service,” says Mrs Harris.
The North-East of England has the lowest concentration of small businesses in the UK, and some of the highest unemployment rates.
Mrs Harris thinks that independent businesses have a big role in the Regeneration of an area.Tailor-Made Butcher
Katie Cullen, and her partner Steven, think of the Block and the bottle in Gateshead, also small enterprises can boost the local economy.
Your shop is a mixture of a butcher and a craft beer store.
They try to source all of their meat products locally in order to try to support the Region. They sell fresh meat, but also sausage, which is proving to be very popular.
“It is tricky, because it is so popular. It will take four weeks and it’s gone in four hours.”
They have an online shop only for the click and collect and also have a presence in the social media. They use Instagram and Twitter as an extension of your store front, and Facebook, in order to realize events.
“It’s great to put out in the situation, what we want, when we want to – you could not with paid ads in a magazine,” says Ms Cullen.
They open late and on Sunday, the “not-so-normal, high in the North,” she says.
Small companies sell through Amazon, but Ms Cullen prefer to support independent companies.
“Amazon is doing a lot of company from other people,” she says.
A company is not advertising in the campaign, was Wined says Here in Norbiton, south west London, that online is becoming an increasingly necessary part of doing business.
Charlotte, Dean, who sold high-end wine and cheese,” says a website is now an expensive necessity. “The price is a Problem, because all run on small margins,” she says.Rural Entrepreneurs
But businessman Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, of the establishment of the “Black farmer” range of food, she says, that Amazon can be used to take of small businesses as a way to the big business.
“The producers come to sell their goods. Amazon is there to facilitate the other producers.”
He says that in his line of work, “major retailers… the big supermarkets have a stranglehold on the food chain, and it is not right.”
“Technology strip, and allow to compete with the smaller guys,” he adds.
The head of the Amazon Marketplace in the UK, Katie McQuaid, says that tens of thousands of British small businesses use Amazon as a platform to support than 74,000 jobs.
“We are delighted to support SMEs in their efforts to export their products abroad at a European or global level, to open up to tens of millions of additional potential customers.”
More than 60% of the British company, the on Amazon export abroad, with a turnover of more than £1.8 bn in 2016.
Amazon Marketplace is also Small Business Saturday.
With a slowdown in the British economy, small and medium-sized enterprises are more important than ever.
And in spite of think, Amazon is “fantastic”, Mr Emmanuel-Jones sounds this warning.
All of the major retailers don’t have to “rules and regulations, so that you have the power to the people”.