When you shop for products on most web sites you’ll have one of two experiences.
You’ll go to a slick web site like Staples or hundreds of other large retails and be given hints on what to buy and other digital assistance. OR you’ll end up on the web site of a small business owner who has a bare bones e-commerce web site (often powered by PayPal).
The difference in sales is NOT just because the larger retailer spent more money on marketing, it’s because the larger retailer spent money on e-commerce features (such as up-selling tools) to increase sales.
Yahoo, and I’m sure other companies, are adding more features to their e-commerce platforms to help small businesses sell more.
Another reason for the boost in sales is that smaller businesses are getting more savvy about how they market their businesses.
The NY Times writes The retailer of quirky home goods, RealmDekor.com, has experienced occasional sales increases not because of catalog shipments or television commercials, but because it formed relationships with bloggers and posted its products on new “social shopping sites” like ThisNext.com and StyleHive.com.
“People started posting about my goods and it snowballed from there,” said Lisa Mathisen, RealmDekor’s owner. “I know people think these sites are new and underground, but they’re becoming more mainstream. Even my mother checks them out to find gifts.”