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If you own or are considering opening an online store, then one of the first things you will need to do is market research. However, the one certainty you can assume is that Amazon will be your biggest competitor!
The good news is that there are many thriving e-commerce businesses that are thriving even with Amazon lurking in the background, but if you want to be like them, you will need to learn how to compete with Amazon successfully.
When Jeff Bezos first launched Amazon in 1994, no one imagined it would become the biggest online store in the world with a turnover of more than $200 billion per year. One of the biggest successes is Amazon’s ability to continually offer more options and services, working hard to become the most important retailer in every household across the world.
In terms of business acumen, Amazon has control of 45% of the US e-commerce market with an expectation that it will reach over half of the market share by the end of the year. However, the more the company offers, the more competitors it finds itself up against, and there are some large corporations that are still doing well even in the face of the Amazon Era, and we are about to tell you how they are doing it!
When it comes to understanding the rivalry Amazon faces, you need to break down the type of services that are in direct competition. First, there are online stores – nearly twenty-five million of them! If you are an online store owner, then it is easy to feel like you are on your own, but when you consider the power that you hold as a collective, then it's clear that you are able to compete with the giant.
Next are the number of specialist stores that are fronted by experts in specific areas. These types of stores range from antique books to eco-friendly solutions, and all have a loyal client base that trusts them to provide expert service that Amazon is unable to offer.
Big-name brands are the other key player when it comes to keeping Amazon in its place and include stores such as Walmart, Otto, Rakuten and Alibaba. Each of these companies enjoys billions in profits each year and continue to hold a large and loyal client base, keeping Amazon from overtaking the entire market.
As an e-commerce owner, it is important to stay on top of all the tools available to get your business noticed. To help, we’ve shared some of the best tips to get you started:
One of Amazon’s weaknesses is that they sell items from a range of brands, making it hard for consumers to find items they can trust. This means that you can optimise your business outcomes by investing in unique branding that will get you noticed and build trust.
Like it or not, Search Engine Optimisation is a tool that needs to be utilised effectively so that you can rank higher on results and draw in more clients. Developing an SEO strategy needs to include all your content, including web content, product descriptions and any blogs or link that you use. Doing this will draw organic traffic to your site and result in more sales than any other traffic!
Amazon is a highly successful company, and trying to mimic what they do or what they do or what they sell will not end well as they already have their audience primed for results. Rather than doing this, find the uniqueness of your product and use this as your main selling point, as it will set you apart from the rest.
One of Amazon’s key successes is the fact that they are able to offer expedited shipping. However, smaller e-commerce services will not be able to match this. Rather than hoping for the best, why not invest in a 48-hour turnaround service so that your customers can depend on their deliveries.
Many e-commerce companies fall into the trap of believing that they have to compete with Amazon’s pricing structure to remain competitive, only to find themselves out of business as the cash flow dries up. Be confident in your pricing and understand your system so that you can let customers know why you are worth spending more money on!
You will feel amazing when you make a sale, but imagine how much better you will feel when that same customer comes back time and again. To retain your customers, you will need to think about providing a smooth user experience on your website, offer loyalty discounts at specific times of the year and make sure that you are offering the best prices without damaging your profits.
Another great tool available to e-commerce sellers is marketplaces that will sell your products for you and only charge a minimal fee. Sites like Etsy have grown in popularity, and there are other options, too, such as Wayfair or Not on the Highstreet. Open an account on each and start sharing your wares for a wider audience than ever before.
No one wants to hear that a customer is dissatisfied with a purchase, but returns are to be expected with e-commerce from time to time. Taking the time to make your system for returns as simple as possible will impress your customer and leave them happy with your service and willing to use you again.
Whilst no one can deny the impact Amazon has had on the world, there is still room for other e-commerce businesses to thrive and enjoy success. All you need to do is remember that you are in competition with Amazon, and rather than trying to become your own version of them, take the time to sell your strengths whilst understanding and recognising what they have to offer too. Doing this will help you to maintain your sales for as long as you want your business to stay open!
At Key Business Marketing, we offer a range of services, including content creation, SEO, PPC, and social media management. Get in touch with us today to discuss your marketing needs and unlock your business' potential.