7 Tips to Help Your Mom and Pop Shop Succeed Against Big Retailers

7 Tips to Help Your Mom and Pop Shop Succeed Against Big Retailers

When you think of mom-and-pop shops, you probably imagine a quaint, family-owned drugstore fixed on the corner of a neighborhood strip mall or a general store located in the downtown quarter of a small town. Although this wouldn’t be inaccurate, mom-and-pop shops have come a long way over the last century.

The term “mom-and-pop” can be applied to various types of small businesses, such as restaurants, bookstores, electronic repair shops, car repair garages, and more. What really distinguishes mom-and-pop shops from other businesses is not their industry but their size. Historically, mom-and-pop businesses were typically owned and run by families. This limited the size and scope of their operations, putting them at a disadvantage to larger businesses with more resources.

Although this is still the case today, the advent of the internet in the early 90s and the rise of e-commerce shortly after led to significant changes in business models. Both small businesses and enterprises alike had to adapt to drastic market changes to survive. Indeed, the challenges introduced by large online retailers (namely, Amazon) to small and medium-sized (SMB) business owners has sent shockwaves through the business landscape.

Specifically, the growing popularity of e-commerce shopping has forced several prominent US retailers to close a number of their brick-and-mortar locations, which has led many to believe that mom-and-pop businesses will suffer a similar fate. While small businesses are by no means unaffected by e-commerce trends, they’ve proven to be more resilient than you might expect.

For example, mom-and-pop bookstores have found ways to thrive amidst the adversity. According to the American Booksellers Association, there has been a 35% increase in the number of independent bookstores between 2009 and 2015. What’s more, some indie bookstores have reported an increase in sales despite the fact that Amazon now has over 100 million prime subscribers.

So, what does this say about mom-and-pop shops? Consumers still crave an in-person shopping experience — so much so that it transcends the convenience of online shopping. It’s safe to say that small businesses are here to stay, and that they are still a vital part of the US economy.

In celebration of Small Business Owners here are seven tips to help you succeed:


Display Products on your website to boost in-store sales. 

7 out of 10 customers research products online before purchasing in-store , so maximize the opportunity by listing your inventory online.


Tip #2

Optimize Your Checkout Line to Keep Customers from Waiting

US shoppers abandon checkout lines after 8 minutes, so use iPads or in-app payment methods to speed up the queue.


Tip #3

Support Shop Local Campaigns to Engage the Community

Take part in events like Small Business Saturday or Independnets Week, since 93% of Americans value supporting small businesses. 


Tip #4

Offer niche products your big box competitors don't have

53% of consumers value quality over price, so invest in higher-quality items your competitiors don't typically carry.


Tip #5

Get to Know Your Customer on a Personal Level.

Learn the names of your regulars, since 75% of shoppers are moreinclined to buy form a business that recognizes them.


Tip #6

Take Advantage of Mobile Offers to Incentivize Shoppers

Offer discounts to shoppers that "check in" on social media , as 77% of shoppers are more likely to shop at a store with a loyalty program.


Tip #7

Train Your Sales Staff to be Customer Service Experts

Ensure your customers' needs are met, since 95% of consumers share poor shopping experiences with other people.




Meredith Wood

Meredith Wood is the founding editor of the Fundera Ledger and a vice president at Fundera. She launched the Fundera Ledger in 2014 and has specialized in financial advice for small business owners for almost a decade. Meredith is frequently sought out for her expertise in small business lending. She is a monthly columnist for AllBusiness, and her advice has appeared in the SBA, SCORE, Yahoo, Amex OPEN Forum, Fox Business, American Banker, Small Business Trends, MyCorporation, Small Biz Daily, StartupNation, and more. Email: meredith@fundera.com.