The idea of competing against the online retail giant Amazon can be a daunting prospect. With 44% of all product searches starting with Amazon, it can be difficult to figure out ways to compete. But don’t give up hope, there are things you can do to put yourself in the best position to tackle Amazon.
What makes Amazon so appealing?
When figuring out how to compete with Amazon it’s important to understand what makes them so effective.
Amazon has massive amounts of stock covering every imaginable category, which positions the platform as the go-to place for more or less every product you might want. They also have their own distribution centers, which are fully staffed, located all over the country, and operational 24/7. Amazon takes care of everything itself, from selling to warehousing, making them a powerful business to compete with.
They collect customer data to inform their marketing strategies. In doing this, Amazon can make individual recommendations for their customers based on what they have previously searched for. Their algorithm essentially tries to predict what you will want next, allowing them to then put these products right in front of you.
Amazon also offers consumers a low price for their products. They couple this with fast, one-day delivery (even sometimes delivering in four hours, depending on locality), and often free delivery which streamlines the purchase process, leading to a better customer experience.
Amazon will almost always have the lowest price for a product. As a smaller business, it isn’t going to be profitable considering trying to match their prices. Amazon can afford to have lower prices because of their high number of sales, but a small business will struggle to do this.
One great way to compete is to offer competitive discounts and hold regular promotions for your customers. You can send discount codes based on the individual behavior of customers: For example, if a customer hasn’t repurchased an item in a certain period of time, you could send over a discount code in the hopes they will return to your brand.
You can combine your discounts/promotions with your email marketing strategy. Building a strong email list will allow you to target customers and bring their attention back to your brand, especially if you’re offering a discount code for an item you know they’re interested in based on previous purchases.
Focus on unique product offerings
If you sell products that are difficult or even impossible to source from anywhere else, then you’re in a great position to conquer the market for that item. Smaller niche businesses are experts in their industry and have unique knowledge that Amazon cannot compete with due to the sheer quantity of products they carry.
Tailoring products and experiences to the customer and placing importance on customization can make your brand more appealing. One person’s perfect product will differ from the next, so having ways for consumers to customize their product will help you reach more potential customers.
Work on your ecommerce SEO strategy
Focusing on aspects of your brand like the user experience, blog posts, category and product descriptions, and keyword research is crucial to being seen by consumers. Optimizing these things will help you rank highly in SERPs for the relevant keywords associated with your products.
Having a dedicated page for each of your products will help increase traffic from search engines and lead people directly to your website. If your products aren’t showing up in SERPs from search queries involving keywords linked to your products, then you’re missing out on a big opportunity to bring in new customers.
Subscription services can improve your customer retention rate. Once a customer has signed up, you can send them products automatically each month, ensuring that they will be repurchasing from you, time and time again.
This service offers convenience for both customers and retailers: For the customer, they save time and effort needed to go through the ordering process repeatedly. Retailers gain a predictable income which enables you to order stock accurately and reduce waste.
You also gain a lot of customer data from these services. Analyzing this data can help you improve and optimize your subscription offering, and tweak your strategy appropriately.
Take advantage of Google Shopping
Google Shopping can be a great platform for increasing your brand awareness and visibility. It can be a crucial channel in helping you get your products in front of the most relevant consumers. Being part of the most used search engine means that your products can be shown to a huge pool of potential customers: 59% of shoppers in a survey use Google as their first point of reference when researching a product.