If David could take on Goliath, you can hold your own against the online shopping giant
If online shopping were a person, then it feels like Amazon would be everything except the fingers and toes. For many customers, Amazon is their first port of call when they need to seek out a product online, with low prices, endless listings and fast delivery making the shopping giant difficult to compete with if you are a small business.
However, recently there has been a move towards seeking out alternative online retailers. Whether it’s in effort to support local businesses, or in response to claims that Amazon fails to pay its workers a fair wage, more and more people are looking elsewhere when it comes to shopping online. And there’s no doubt that the events of 2020 have encouraged more people than ever before to purchase via their laptop, tablet or smartphone.
So if you’re a small business operating on the world wide web, now is the time to make your services known. Here are four ways to compete with Amazon when it comes to online shopping.
Make your service as personalised as possible
It can feel almost impossible to compete with Amazon on price or choice. So you have to shine in the areas where the shopping giant is weakest, and that includes offering a personalised service. This is where Amazon’s size goes against it, because it’s impossible to offer one-on-one customised services when you’re dealing with literally millions of customers per day.
As a smaller enterprise, you can take the time to understand your customers and adopt personalisation by greeting them by name, recommending products based on their interests, and following up larger purchases with messages of appreciation. These little touches will help to create a tie between you and your customers, encouraging them to come back and spend again.
Offer a rewards scheme
As we’ve already mentioned, you can’t beat Amazon on straight-up price. However, you can create your own incentives and offers which work to entice customers again and again. Loyalty programs are designed to reward repeat customers so that they feel appreciated. It also means they can enjoy the fact that they’re saving money or receiving freebies.
Create a loyalty program that’s relevant to your business and services. Everyone likes rewards and everyone likes feeling special, so take the time to create something that will really excite your customer base.
Work on your brand
Every business needs a clear-cut brand image. This is how you leave an impression on your customers, and stick in their mind for next time they need an online purchase. Your company needs to go out of its way that this brand image is present in every stage of the buying process, cementing yourself as a viable option for customers’ future online shopping needs.
To create this brand image, start by thinking about what your business does better than others. What unique factors do you have to bring to the table? By highlighting these factors through branding, you can associate your name with a positive buying experience.
Just like price, it’s a significant challenge to say you can beat Amazon on shipping efficiency – especially when Prime members receive free one-day shipping on thousands of items. However, you can develop shipping options which tackle the needs of your customers.
For example, you could provide incentives or discounts for first-time spenders in order to encourage them to convert. You could also offer free shipping on orders over a certain amount, or even include free gifts, discount vouchers or thank you notes within your orders. And don’t forget, if you are producing and selling goods in your local area you are also limiting the air miles and long-haul delivery driving that trouble the modern, environmentally conscious consumer.