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When Small Is Beautiful: Why Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Avis

The eCommerce world is large, complex and fraught with both danger and the opportunity to open new markets and increase sales. The stakes are high, and companies want to make sure they are making all the right choices along the way. Those are some of the reasons why retailers choose to work with the industry’s largest vendors. They are also some of the very same reasons why many select smaller partners to accomplish their goals.

In the world of online retail, bigger isn’t always better.

Large vendors and technology providers often tout their global footprint, number of employees and financial size in their corporate profiles. All of these are potentially good things, but not necessarily relevant to delivering the best solution to a customer.

Etailinsights recently offered some food for thought on why bigger isn’t always better. We think they’re right on the mark and have a few more ideas to add to the discussion.

Innovation. Many smaller technology vendors can spot a product opportunity or a common customer issue and design solutions far more quickly and with less bureaucracy than their larger counterparts. They can adapt to changing market conditions rapidly, and aren’t left trying to sell last decade’s solution in 2013.

Specialization. Smaller partners don’t have to try to be all things to all people. In many cases, they have a niche – a certain specialty product or a specific market type or size they service best. All of their focus goes into providing the best possible customer solutions for those audiences

Attention. As Etailinsights points out, there’s little doubt that smaller vendors often excel when it comes to personal service and attention.  Resources can be quickly shifted to address clients’ needs.

Cost Effectiveness. The smaller vendor usually does not need to support a global sales force or multiple offices around the world. Product development, sales and management are often under one roof, which not only translates into less cost to the end user, but also sparks greater innovation (see above).

When it comes to search technology for today’s eCommerce retailer, we like to think EasyAsk delivers the best of both worlds. We’re innovators in the field of natural language search, allowing users to simply ask questions in plain English and receive highly tuned results. That specialty focus and unique technology have helped drive some of the highest conversion rates in the industry. Yet our mainstream approach means we integrate seamlessly with eCommerce sites from some of the biggest names in the industry, including Magento and Netsuite.

Those of us of a certain age may remember a tag line which Avis Rental Cars famously launched in the 1960s. It not only gave Avis a memorable brand promise, it also it summarizes in a nutshell why it’s often a smart move to take a look at the smaller vendor: “We Try Harder.”

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