In recent years big players in the online world have staked a claim at the retail table overpowering the top dogs and creating giant ravines in what were once stable foundations. Through this local competition is slowly decreasing in being seen as rivals for small business owners - it is the rapid rise of giant overseas international online stores that are able to provide and offer better prices, delivery options, range of products, and accessibility.
In this day and age where the main draw and attraction for many would-be customers is how a online stores' products correlate with the enriching of their own experiences in the real world and more so how it will be perceived by their peers if they do decide to show it off on social media this situation creates challenges and opportunity abound for the many small local and online business.
Online customers and consumers still want that personalised service that comes in many forms; their experience still valuable and local businesses do try to maintain that relationship. Global players have the resources and manpower to be able to provide gifts to people all over the world which immediately puts every local retailer at risk of being overshadowed resulting in loss of monetary local resources which could be poured back into the local community.
A big part of a customers experience is knowing where their money is going towards - whether it be fundraising for a local sports club to be able to afford uniforms and equipment, recycling frozen assets to be used in community initiatives, or building a local business; being able to see in detail or in person what sort of change their patronage is going towards can sometimes be the deciding factor for a purchase.
One area in particular where this issue has had serious negative effects is the travel industry. Whereas local online retailers are able to shift markets and audiences (thereby stand a chance) hotel and motels for example are a much bigger challenge. Those that own them are increasingly having to sign-up to services that are able to offer much cheaper rates than they can in hopes of catching potential customers as their own means do not and cannot fight to spread their name far and deep enough into their target audience.
Competition and Resources
Out-competed and out-resourced local business owners are forced to change their approach, product, and/or target audience in order to survive. Several niche markets have opened up and with it various nifty methods of gaining traction with audience have come forth; this doesn't change the fact that squirelling around for opportunities is something that will become normal for some. A side-effect of this is that it will reveal those that are adaptable and willing to change and take a random stab at something that they have not done before - for good and bad.