Have you decided to compete with Amazon? Then it’s good news indeed that you feel confident to take on established brands. Here in this article I am going to share few simple tips which you can apply to compete with Amazon successfully and emerge the winner too!
As an E-Commerce owner you can’t deny the immense power of Amazon. It is one of the leading E-Commerce marketplaces worldwide which can entice its customers with unbelievable offers and discounts. As a small business owner surely you can’t enter into a price war with Amazon. However there are few things you can do to compete with Amazon and that too quite easily.
And in case, you want to know why many Amazon sellers decide to start their own eCommerce Store, then you can find the answers here.
So let’s start with my 5 tips about how to compete with Amazon successfully.
Define A Niche – The Very First Step to Compete With Amazon
The Amazon name says it all, that is they sell everything from A to Z. Well in a certain way this sometimes turns into Amazon’s weakness too.
Because someone who is selling everything can’t be good at maintaining quality always. Sometimes there might be limited items on offer, in a particular category.
So as an e-commerce owner who has just started a business you can utilize this situation and target a niche market.
For instance, Amazon sells a wide range of sportswear for women. However, you can narrow your niche to sell women’s clothing for outdoor recreation only. Now, someone looking for skiing outfit is most likely to check out your portal for some exclusive collection, rather than trying Amazon.
As you target specific categories of products to sell, make sure you have done a detailed research to know the market demand. And once you find your niche, try to dominate it every possible way.
The next logical step is to invest time to establish your online presence.
Build Your Brand’s Online Presence By Focusing Extensively On Content Marketing Which Amazon Doesn’t Do Well!
When it comes to paying money for online promotion, you definitely can’t compete with Amazon. They have big budget to plan and run paid advertising campaigns like product displays, sponsored ads, headline search ads, newspaper adverts and so on, to reach potential customers.
But what’s the one thing that Amazon doesn’t do? The answer is content marketing. They don’t focus much on content marketing. Explore the Amazon site beyond product categories, and you won’t find any blog or newsletter section.
As a small business owner, you can definitely leverage your limited resources to strengthen content marketing efforts.
Remember, content marketing is easy, cost-effective and can drive traffic to your e-commerce store, if done properly.
As an E-commerce website owner, here are few content marketing strategies you can adopt to beat Amazon:-
1. Find all the relevant keywords related to your specific niche & start creating different types of content and post them on social media platforms
2. Start own blog and try to rank for your targeted keywords
3. Post YouTube videos about your eCommerce Store products and services.
4. Create infographics and post on different websites that allow Infographic submission.
5. Take part in question and answer forums like Quora.
6. Use live videos to interact and engage with potential customers on Facebook
Make it Personal – One Of The Effective Tips to Compete With Amazon
We all know the name Amazon but do we know a face behind it (Yes, except Jeff Bezos, may be??)
Do we ever inquire precisely which company products are we buying (because we all know that Amazon personally doesn’t sell any product)?
Simply speaking Amazon doesn’t offer personalized services. And this is the point which can work in your favor!
What you can do is design customer services in a thoughtful manner.
There are several things you can do to wow customers and ensure repeat sales:-
1. Send prompt reply to customer queries and solve their issues as early as possible with a personal touch.
2. Send personalized “thank you” messages via email and SMS whenever a customer successfully completes a transaction.
3. Remember to greet them on special occasions like new year, Christmas, birthday, marriage anniversary, etc.
4. Keep them updated about upcoming offers via email and SMS
5. Customize your offers for special customers. For instance, if you notice a customer is buying a specific category of product always, you can plan a package for him/her which includes 10-15 similar items at a lower rate.
If you can excel in customer service then you will be able to retain at least 68% of your existing customers. So, if you seriously want to compete with Amazon then smartly invest in relationship marketing and the results will be clearly visible.
Be Innovative With Your Shipping Strategy
They have almost flawless shipping policy which makes Amazon a trusted name worldwide!
Can you compete with Amazon super-fast delivery model or next-day shipping for a few extra dollars? By the way, they have same-day shipping option too! Sounds almost unbeatable, especially in terms of logistics, right?
You can actually do it, in fact better than Amazon by being transparent about the shipping policy. Use the FAQ section to clearly answer few of these common customer concerns like:-
When will I receive my first shipment?
Do you offer international shipping?
Why is my shipment due next week (or any duration you feel appropriate to mention)?
How much does shipping cost?
But make sure that your products get delivered as per the timeframe mentioned in the FAQ section.
A Transparent Return Policy Can Actually Help Small Business Owners Compete With Amazon!
Amazon has a return policy and that too quite a full-proof one, right?
Take a closer look at their return policy page and you will notice several clauses like Amazon.com return policy, Amazon Global Store Return Policy, Seller Return Policy and more.
Now a naive buyer, not so conversant with these technical terms, may not fully realize the implication of all these clauses, till he/she faces some problem returning the product. As an Amazon seller, you can’t dictate Amazon return policy terms.
However, independent eCommerce website owners enjoy this flexibility to compose a Return Policy that addresses interest of buyers and sellers. And a favorable return policy does help reduce eCommerce return rate.
Offer Membership and Loyalty Programs to Dedicated Buyers
“It’s cheaper to get past customers to purchase again than it is to find new customers. This is true for most businesses, especially in the crowded online ecommerce arena where ad impressions, clicks and conversions always seem to be increasing in cost, making new customers more and more expensive to acquire.” – Richard Lazazzera, Founder of A Better Lemonade Stand.
If first-time buyers are coming back to make a second purchase then make the most of this situation by building a lifetime relationship with them!
Now you must be wondering what about Amazon? Don’t they value repeat customers? Well, you will be amazed to know that they don’t run any loyalty or reward program to build up long-term beneficial relationship. Very recently they have started Amazon Prime Membership Program but with several limitations!
Make the most of this opportunity by offering some loyalty program or subscription based eCommerce model. A subscription program with a flexible payment plan ensures recurring income for your eCommerce business and also keeps customers happy.
It is not at all easy to run an eCommerce business, more so, when you need to compete with heavyweights like Amazon. You should proceed with a thorough planning and perform a continuous analysis of the strategies applied. It might take a few trial-and-error before you come up with a full-proof strategy to run your online business successfully!