Online Marketplaces – How Competition Can Be Good (According to TED)
Online marketplaces are continually emerging for everything from cloud technology and taxicabs to vehicle purchases and food delivery, to offer consumers convenience, efficiency, and price points. In fact, the recent coronavirus outbreak is pushing the online marketplace to new limits. Home deliveries have skyrocketed, companies are working remotely via cloud services, and outsourced IT has become essential. This push also creates a certain new competition in the online marketplace for many industries. While it may not seem like a positive position for small and medium-sized businesses, there are many ways to evaluate this ever-increasing competition and respond with intelligence.
The Evolving Online Marketplace
In a TED talk entitled, How online marketplaces can help local economies not hurt them, contributor Amane Dannouni, explains the online marketplace as the Internet arena that simply matches sellers and buyers, merchants and consumers. He states that “online marketplaces create more value for the economy,” and that “better matches result in better value.” He believes that the online marketplace offers more core benefits from the same amount of effort. Many consumers and businesses alike find it economical to rely on online services, enjoying proven benefits. At the same time, some small businesses, local shops, and startups may feel they can’t compete. How can competition be good for my business, you ask?
Time To Think Creatively
While the recent coronavirus pandemic has certainly made each and every person re-evaluate so many aspects of both their personal and professional lives, it has also increased our thought processes and encouraged us to think creatively in terms of our work and careers. There are many work scenarios, some that may allow the repurposing of existing operations, and some that may be able to take advantage of a competitive market. The goal is to turn a negative situation into positive energy that can ultimately improve innovations and increase productivity. This is a doable step toward survival during these uncertain times.
Ways To Win in Online Competition
If you or your company have experienced a hit either because of the state of the economy or because you have met with serious competition, there are a number of opportunities to consider that may not only guide you through a difficult time but may also result in improvements for the future of your business. Consider these options in order to win when it comes to online marketplace competition.
- Merge some of your existing services to create one stronger service in order to compete
- Invest in partnerships that can improve your products and services
- Join with other competitors in your own industry and double your productivity and profits
- Consider additional products and services you can offer based on needs and trends
- Develop educational and management consulting opportunities to share with others in your market; become a leader in your industry
- Invest in educational options for staff improvements, especially when time is available
- Seek out business opportunities with the competition to enhance your offering
- Create jobs and find interns and low-cost workers that need positions
- Try outsourcing some of your information technology assets to a third-party managed services provider; outsourced IT is proven to save on operational costs
- Re-evaluate your company goals and priorities—it may be time to change them
- Re-evaluate your client base and your communities to identify updated needs, wants and requirements; learn how those have changed from the past
- Establish disaster preparedness plans and involve your staff
- Connect with a third party for cloud storage and cloud backups in the case of a second wave during a crisis
- Reach out to the competition and agree on some shared services that will ultimately reduce challenges you both may be facing; for example, cloud services and public cloud servers can be shared to save on costs
- Migrate to a cloud platform for IT infrastructure during a slowdown and ready your organization for advancing technologies
As more and more markets move online, competitors will surface. What better time to take advantage of this situation, while you may be going through a transformation. Rather than fear the competition, unite with them for equally promising outcomes.
Downtime Is the Best Planning Period for Uptime
Now may be the best time to plan for uptime in terms of your business. The online marketplace is rich with opportunities for you as a business owner, a professional, or a consumer. Periods of economical and financial uncertainty are often the best times to think creatively and design a new plan. In this era of digital consumerism, online marketplaces are thriving in their efforts to meet consumer requirements at every level. Find a niche, befriend the competition, and start something new. Prepare your environment for the unknown in terms of technology, disaster, innovation and competition. There are real advantages to consider when the competition expands, and today’s downtime (due to recent coronavirus pandemic) may be the best planning period to ensure your business’ uptime. Reach out to RackCo for IT management consulting and IT managed services. Consider this third-party for your IT outsourcing, cloud storage, server space, VoIP and more.