How Businesses Can Compete With Online Retail Giants
With an online sales share of over 50% and billions of visits every month, you could say that Amazon is the Goliath of online retailers. While Amazon is constantly innovating and advancing, other companies – the Davids of the ecommerce world – are struggling to keep pace.
The gap is further widened by the fact that marketing strategies involve more channels than ever before. For retail giants like Amazon, this is not a problem given the wealth of resources they can channel to understand and manage these channels. Amazon has evolved its e-commerce strategy so much that not even Walmart can keep up: Amazon is expected to have six times more sales than Walmart in 2021.
For businesses struggling to compete with this retail giant, it’s getting harder and harder to navigate the increasingly complicated paths between products and consumers – what we call the anarchy of commerce. Fortunately, there are ways for Davids retailers to compete with Goliath. Developing a centralized, customer-centric approach to e-commerce can help brands overcome commerce anarchy and keep pace with Amazon.
By: Marcel Hollerbach
3 Ways To Compete With The Ecommerce Goliath
In today’s chaotic e-commerce landscape, staying on top of changing trends and emerging platforms is essential. But just as important is delivering great Customer Experiences (CXs) to your buyers and engaging them with relevant, personalized content.
While it may seem impossible to compete with Goliath Ecommerce, there are several initiatives you can take that will help your business overcome the anarchy of commerce and stay competitive.
1) Centralize data for a better customer experience. To retain your customers, you need to create a CX that is simple, engaging, and consistent throughout the buying journey. It means delivering descriptive and accurate content across all channels. If your product data exists in disparate systems or is managed on different platforms, it leads to loss of visibility and a chaotic customer experience. Imagine seeing an Instagram ad that says a sweater you’ve looked at is 20% off, but when you access the brand’s mobile app, it’s not on sale. Situations like this leave customers frustrated, and 32% of customers say they would switch to a competitor after just one bad experience, even if it’s a brand they love. You can avoid this by consolidating your technology stack so that all of your feeds and platforms display the same up-to-date information.
2) Provide personalized benefits. Amazon offers its more than 200 million Prime members benefits like free shipping, access to movie streaming, and even benefits at their partner companies like Zappos. Perks like these have been a big part of Amazon’s success, so consider offering loyalty perks that set your business apart. It is also important to create more personalized relationships with customers. By analyzing past purchases and other customer data, you can find out what your customers really want. Considering that 91% of consumers said they were more likely to buy from a brand that offers relevant offers, leveraging data to personalize your reach is a worthwhile investment.
3) Find your niche. As a generalist retailer, Amazon sells everything from shoes to pet supplies. But if you shop for a specific item, you may have a better experience with a retailer that specializes in that particular product category. Specialty retailers have an advantage: they can commit to their brand identity, become experts on their products, and deliver top-notch CX tailored to their product category.
4) Leave traditional e-commerce practices in the past. To stay competitive you need to embrace the nuances of today’s ecommerce landscape and use modern technologies to develop better CX and brand loyalty. With the constant emergence of new channels, agility and flexibility are essential. Concretely, this means knowing where your customers are and being ready to meet them there. So, you not only need to stay on top of the next big thing, but you also need to react quickly before another trend emerges.
Outsiders can also win
Businesses all over the world are struggling to overcome business anarchy and compete with Amazon, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In the mainstream story, David defeated the much bigger and stronger Goliath with just one slingshot and five stones. To tackle the Retail Goliath, all you need is a strong ecommerce strategy, including initiatives to improve CX and unify data. By allowing you to personalize experiences, maintain consistency of information, and respond flexibly to trends, these enhancements provide the tools you need to beat the competition, even a competitor like Amazon.
Marcel is CIO & Member of the Supervisory Board of Productsup. Productsup, which has offices in Berlin, Munich and San Francisco, is developing a leading SaaS platform for online retailers, used by corporate clients in more than 20 markets. With Productsup, customers can manage their products in marketing channels like Google Shopping or Facebook Dynamic Ads and also optimize images and create dynamic videos based on their inventory.