With the development of innovative new technologies, entrepreneurs can set up their own companies for a fraction of the cost, compared to a decade ago — and according to CBInsights, there has never been a better time to launch a consumer goods start-up company. With consumer preference constantly shifting based upon current trends and new technologies, start-ups can use this to their advantage to appeal to a market without breaking the bank.
The rise of e-commerce has created space in the busy commercial market for small consumer goods companies. There is no longer a need to invest in a high-street store. For some sectors, such as fashion, cosmetics and electronics, business is booming online. But that’s not to say other sectors aren’t benefiting from the digital opportunities available.
Digital platforms are now a vital platform in the marketing and sales of a business. The majority of retail companies have made, and started to make, their transition to digital to keep up with the times, and appeal to Generation X to drive sales. The importance of e-commerce is proven when you consider that, in the last twelve months, approximately 87% of UK consumers have bought at least one product online.
Plastic injection moulding specialists, Omega Plastics, shares its advice on how start-ups can get noticed against retail big brands.
Respond to the demand
Ensure that your company, whether you are selling a product or service, answers the demand of your consumers — what do they want? Sell a product that solves a need — after all, why would you sell a product that nobody wants? Test the market. If you do your research, you can establish a gap in the market and fill it. Or, if your product has competition, ensure that there is room for you in the market. Make sure there is demand for your product, and then make it stand out from the others. If you don’t know what makes your product better than anyone else’s, how will your consumers know? And why would they buy it over the products from big branded labels?
Competitive price tags
It is important to stand out against your competitors, and competitive prices is just one way to get sales over your main competitors. If your products are twice as expensive as others on the market, consumers are likely to buy the cheaper alternative. If your products remain similar to others, competitive pricing is your chance to win over consumers.
The market is fierce right now — and well populated! In a recent article, findings from StartUp Britain (a national campaign supported by the government) suggest there are around 80 new businesses launching in the UK every hour, so it’s clear that entrepreneurial competition is fierce.
Competitive pricing is one of the four main pricing strategies, and for start-ups and other competitors to acquire and retain customers, you’ll need to match or beat the cost of the market leader. Many consumers will compare prices before making their purchase. It’s up to you to appeal to consumer needs, and prove you have something new to offer. You need to be the cheapest, or the best — what does your product offer that others on the market don’t?
The future is digital
The digital environment is becoming more and more powerful in the commercial industries — retail especially. You need to be at the forefront of technical innovation to survive — and the beauty of it? It costs a lot less than opening a new store on the high street and employing staff to run it. E-commerce not only saves you money on overhead costs, it has the potential to reach a large audience at once.
Digital platforms are increasingly dominating the sales market with social media influencing consumer trends more than ever before. Smaller start-ups have the opportunity to drive growth and make an impact against big league brands by taking over their market share. The fashion industry in particular has proven that brands can find success through e-commerce only.
Consider e-commerce fashion giant ASOS — an online-only fashion brand that has taken the fashion retail industry by storm proving that there is no longer a need for a high street stores to be successful. The digital brand is currently ranked as number 2 in the clothing shopping category, and had over 73 million visits in August 2017, with more than a quarter of its traffic (25.2%) coming from the UK.
And ASOS isn’t the only one who has experienced huge success and proven you don’t need a physical store to be successful. Other online start-ups, such as Missguided, Pretty Little Thing and Boohoo.com, have all capitalised on the demand for online shopping within the fashion industry.
Fashion isn’t the only e-commerce to take off online. Amazon and eBay, both e-commerce websites, have become a one-stop online shop for consumer goods and once started as just ‘start-ups’. This proves that with digital opportunities, there is no reason why you can’t get a seat at the big-league table.
For start-ups, social media platforms are golden opportunities. Social media allows you to get noticed alongside retail giants without needing a large marketing budget. Social networking allows you to show off your products and services on platforms that allow you to engage with your consumers, and get to know your audience so that you can appeal to their needs.
Be aware that social media is just one piece of a bigger puzzle when it comes to starting up your own company. Whilst social media can be a large contribution to your success, you will need to look at the wider picture for long-term success.