How small businesses compete on Cyber Monday

Blaise Keller
Updated: December 02, 2019 05:58 PM
Created: December 02, 2019 05:48 PM

(ABC 6 News) - Cyber Monday - it's become a term that many of us are familiar with as November ends and December begins. It's one of the, if not the, busiest online shopping day of the year so how to small, local businesses compete with powerhouses like Amazon on Cyber Monday?


One local business owner says it's all about adapting and being flexible with your customer base.

"I'm going to be really blunt and just say... there is no way to compete with Amazon on the scale that they do," says Simple Soaps for Simple Folks owner Shanna McCann. Her business started in Dover about a decade ago after she was gifted two goats.

McCann found herself with too much goat milk, even after using it to cook, and decided to make soap out of it instead of using the normal way which is combining water and lye. She gave her first bars as gifts and from there, her business grew.

After leaving Dover and setting up shop north of Byron, just past Zollman Zoo on County Road 105, McCann began to expand... with new goats being born. She says she used to milk them all by hand, getting about a gallon of milk from each goat a day.

Now she has a machine that helps her milk her goats which number over ten... with a few of them being expected mothers at the start of 2020. She says that while small businesses can't compete with big businesses "on that level", smaller businesses can offer things which makes shopping at them on Cyber Monday and other days important.

"Small businesses provide service, unique products and most often customer service as well."

Though Shanna McCann continues to sell her soaps at Thursdays Downtown in Rochester and farmer's markets, she's grown her business with over 2,000 Likes on Facebook. She's even expanded to bar codes that are recognized nationwide.

So besides using goats milk instead of water to make her soap, what's McCann's secret to staying successful during a time when small businesses are up against big box companies? McCann says adapting as well as listening to her customer base.

"Giving people more room and time frame to shop instead of just having it on Black Friday or on Small Business Saturday, allows them more of a chance to spend money with your business," says McCann.

Days before Black Friday officially began, she let her customer base know that per a code found in the latest newsletter they'd be able to cash in on Black Friday deals all week long. She also says that small businesses, like hers, should "jump on" the marketing bandwagon; Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday, etc. are all keywords, she says, and customers are looking for deals during those particular times of the year and expect to find one where they shop.

Though Small Business Saturday is a way to drive more customers into local businesses, Cyber Monday helps small businesses just as much. Shanna McCann, owner of Simple Soaps for Simple Folks, says that though it may not be physical the money that is spent on Cyber Monday at local businesses stays in the community just like the money that is spent at local businesses any other day. 

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