June 9, 2011, 10:39 AM

Finding a niche that works

Giggle’s CEO will talk about how specialty retailers can win by offering a unique experience.

Lead Photo

There’s a simple way that niche merchants can succeed against the competition—offering consumers a unique customer experience, says Ali Wing, CEO of baby gear multichannel retailer Giggle.

Wing will detail how Giggle achieved success by positioning itself as a trusted source for busy parents next week at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2011 in San Diego during the session,  "Staying in the race: How a small retailer maintains its pace against big competitors."

Giggle’s web site underscores its value proposition with features such as Giggle Criteria, a rating system that evaluates products in 10 categories; for example, whether they are made of allergy-free or non-toxic materials. It also offers several blogs written by parenting experts and its store staff, as well as a community forum where parents can share tips such as which coffee shops are best for stroller parking near Giggle stores.

To compete it's critical for niche retailers to have an appropriate strategy for their brand, says Wing. They also have to understand how customers use both online and offline channels, while also deciding how to compete amid the discount-oriented, comparison shopping ways that many shop online.

"Bottom line is that you need to have a reason for being, and to be able to deliver your value proposition in every channel," she says. "Regardless of whether you're online, in stores or distributing a catalog your brand strategy has never been more important."

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