Even though you’re big in numbers, as a small retailer, you must contend with large online marketplaces, sprawling chains, and franchises encroaching on your business. Finding ways to outwit these larger conglomerates gets harder every day as massive inventories, significant resources, and national brands continue to lure customers.

But now, thanks to stronger, faster business internet connections – you can use the power of the internet to stay competitive like never before.

How Local Retailers Can Compete Against National Chains

  1. Treat Your Local Presence as a (Not So) Secret Weapon

    Big-box stores may have name recognition, but did you know when it comes to shopping local vs. online, about 74% of consumers3 prefer shopping with local retailers. Approximately 17% of local consumers4 also consider a store’s involvement in the community a significant factor in their shopping decisions. You just need to make sure people know you’re as hometown as they come.

    One easy way: When you sponsor local events or teams, participate in the big 4th of July parade, or hang the latest seasonal decor, shout it from the social media rooftops. A fast internet connection makes uploads to Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube a breeze, letting you capture the moment, show your involvement with in your community, and stay top-of-mind with customers.

  2. Harness the Power of the Cloud to Reach New Heights

    With faster, reliable internet to connect you to the wide range of cloud-based retail operations and marketing platforms, you’ll avoid the expense and endless hassle of hardware and software maintenance, while also increasing your overall efficiency and customer service in a variety of areas:

    • Operations: About 94% of small business owners5 who use technology report it helps them run more efficiently. From cloud-based systems to track inventory levels in real-time to streamlined employee scheduling to point-of-sale (POS) systems that help you keep lines moving quickly, you can do more, often in less time.
    • Customer Service: Use the same tools as the big stores, including voice and video calling and chatbots, while saving money. Instead of hiring a full-time staff member to book service appointments, cloud-based tools can allow you to create self-service opportunities.
    • E-tailing: Even local shops can display and sell your products globally, whether you have a full-fledged local eCommerce site or use online sales platforms like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Shopify, or social media. Your speedy business internet service also lets you respond quickly, whether online or over the phone.
  3. Embrace Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Show Your Human Side

    It may sound counterintuitive, but AI helps small retailers create opportunities for a more personal connection with their customers:

    • Faster Business Promotion: Use AI-driven tools to create engaging content for your blogs, websites, and social media platforms. These tools can help you generate ideas or even draft complete posts. It’s never been easier to tell everyone about your participation in community events, feature products from local artisans, or tell your unique brand story.
    • Personalized Communication: AI can analyze customer data to help you send out personalized emails and newsletters, making marketing more effective and cost-efficient—and showing your customers that you know what they like, fostering a deeper connection.
    • Social Media Engagement: AI tools can also manage routine social media tasks, like scheduling posts or analyzing engagement trends, so you can focus on other tasks.
    • 24-Hour Service: By implementing AI chatbots on your website or social media, you’re able to provide quick answers to common questions, day or night

    By integrating AI tools, you can manage time-consuming tasks more efficiently and devote more resources to what truly matters—building personal relationships with customers and enriching the local community.

  4. Supercharge Your Local Marketing

    A strong internet connection is the starting point of a solid marketing plan that will help you push that local advantage further. By connecting with the sophisticated marketing tools that were once the domain of the big guys, you can:

    • Go Live from Your Shop: Stream live events, trunk shows, seminars, and workshops directly from your store, inviting both physical and online participation. This not only increases your visibility but also fosters a bond with the community—even with customers around the world.
    • Promote Your WiFi: Customers love connecting to sites and applications without interruption. Let them know your store is the place where they can enjoy high-quality quality content while they shop.
    • Data-Driven Marketing: Quickly adapt to changes and trends in consumer behavior—or local events. This agility allows you to stay ahead of trends and offer more personalized offerings.
    • Enhance Your Mobile Engagement: Implement enhanced mobile engagement strategies like QR codes to engage customers directly on their smartphones with immediate access to deals, product information, and loyalty programs as they shop.
  5. Deliver Exceptional Customer Service and Experiences

    About 90% of consumers6 say customer service is a factor when deciding where to spend their money Sixty percent of customers7 say they bought from a retailer solely based on service and 75% of consumers8 say they will reward good customer service by spending more.9

    Whether it’s faster POS-connected check-out lanes or knowing a recent purchase history to help facilitate returns, friction-free customer service helps keep customers smiling.

    Another smart way to improve customer experience is to have great WiFi that reaches everywhere in the store. Forty-eight percent of consumers say they’re more likely to visit a store with WiFi – and 16% say they’re likely to spend more.10

    In other words, don’t neglect the small things that make life a little easier for your customers.

Winning Strategies for Small Retailers e-book from Kinetic Business

eBook:How Better Hometown Internet Is Changing the Game for Local Merchants

Stronger connections, more successful stores.
Our Winning Strategies for Small Retailers guide will help you understand what worry-free internet can mean for your store by helping you to maximize your technology dollars while staying focused on matters most.


Whether your customers shop in your physical store, use your e-tailing website, or a combination of both, the online tools you need to deliver a great experience begin with better internet connections.

It’s easy to see why.

You need reliable and secure access to online resources, like cloud apps and software, to market your products, stay in touch with your customers, and create exceptional customer experiences.

That means ultra-fast, reliable internet has never been more essential to compete effectively against larger retailers.

If you’re looking for worry-free internet and phone solutions to power your retail business—at a small-business-friendly price—we can help. Contact our team of experts at Kinetic Business to learn more.

  1. Team, C. O. C. (2024, April 12). Small Business Statistics – Chamber of Commerce. Chamber of Commerce. https://www.chamberofcommerce.org/small-business-statistics/
  2. Team, C. (2024, April 11). 51 staggering small business statistics to know in 2024. Cin7. https://www.cin7.com/blog/small-business-statistics/
  3. Shop Local Statistics: Market Report & Data • GitNux. (2024, June 22). GITNUX. https://gitnux.org/shop-local-statistics/
  4. Shopping Local Statistics (2024): Benefits of buying & supporting. (2024, May 1). Capital One Shopping. https://capitaloneshopping.com/research/shopping-local-statistics/
  5. Staff, U. C. (2024, March 8). New study shows technology platforms critical to small business growth. U.S. Chamber of Commerce. https://www.uschamber.com/technology/new-study-shows-technology-platforms-critical-to-small-business-growth
  6. State of the Connected Customer report. (n.d.). Salesforce. https://www.salesforce.com/resources/research-reports/state-of-the-connected-customer/
  7. Unlock the power of intelligent CX. (2024, April 11). CX Trends 2024. https://cxtrends.zendesk.com/
  8. 51 customer service statistics you need to know. (2024, February 13). Zendesk. https://www.zendesk.com/blog/customer-service-statistics/
  9. Adding consumer value and brand loyalty with Wi-Fi® | Wi-Fi Alliance. (n.d.). https://www.wi-fi.org/beacon/kelly-davis-felner/adding-consumer-value-and-brand-loyalty-with-wi-fi
  10. Adding consumer value and brand loyalty with Wi-Fi® | Wi-Fi Alliance. (n.d.-b). https://www.wi-fi.org/beacon/kelly-davis-felner/adding-consumer-value-and-brand-loyalty-with-wi-fi