There are two ways you can survive the online marketplace competition, first by building your own brand and second is by taking advantage of the existing brand.
If you are a small online retailer, you have a choice though, but the wisest decision would be rather than taking sides, pick both.
The term that fits here from an online perspective is omnipresence and to survive or in fact, win the battle with large eCommerce giants, you need to shift your focus on creating omnipresence.
Let’s first focus on creating a brand of your business.
The key traits you need to work on are making your online business unique, personable, and accessible. In the digital era, staying relevant to the tech-savvy customers is important and these traits would help businesses create an identity guaranteeing high visibility among consumers.
When it comes to taking advantage of bigger brands, it is the bigger brands that create opportunity, of course with personal motives, but it totally depends on the small ecommerce retailers to use the opportunity for their benefit.
For an example, in a bid to improve trade, eBay has launched a partnership scheme with businesses in Wolverhampton. Under the scheme, eBay offers training to the small retailers, enabling them to improve their digital sales skills.
Recently, the largest online retailer Amazon has also launched various schemes to increase sales. It includes Feedback Five through sellers can remove the negative comments and Amazon Keyword Tool that help e-sellers to find popular trail keywords.
Consolidating all the means of giving tough competition to large eCommerce retailers, the list forms as this.
The competition is obviously tough when your opponents are the pioneers of business, but in the history, you will find many such examples, where debutants have completely overthrown the veterans. Here are 6 ways you can repeat the history and become a champion:
Create Your Own Platform
The problem with the large marketplaces Amazon or Alibaba is that you don’t get your own identity. For the customers, you are not the e-seller rather the platform service provider is. It is the platform where customer journey is created and so they are only going to associate your identity with that platform and not as your own, no matter how much they have liked your product.
There are several ecommerce platforms that you can use to create your own eCommerce website. Choose a platform that will help you extract more business, while also managing which do not require high level IT support.
Invest in Customer Service
Convenience is the key to retaining online customers. It is why they are at your doorstep. Make sure that every action that your customers perform on your platform is smooth. Through your platform, you need to find means through which you can connect with them and create means through which they can connect with you to provide feedback and suggestions, and also complain. Here are 5 things you need to work on:
- Manage inventory efficiently to ensure razor-sharp shipment
- Attend refund request diligently
- Ensure the order fulfilment process is smooth
- Be reluctant to join the herd
- Take feedback and respond to the complaints quickly
Attract Your Customers
According to RJMetrics, there are around 1,80,000 live websites with just the Magento shopping cart. So, if you are a small brand, imagine the competition, even considering that you only serve in your local region.
To stand out, you have to bring your customers to your eCommerce website through attractive marketing campaigns. You can add custom alerts, provide coupons, and other exciting gifts to attract customers.
If you are doing business locally, then you are restraining yourselves to enter into the vast world of online business and if you are shipping globally, then it is expensive. The best option is a partnership with vendors who can support you with order and fulfilment. This way you can expand your reach and meanwhile also explore global options.
Besides, you have to increase your visibility on different online platforms, where customers can easily reach you, such as Facebook, Pinterest, and so on. You can also resort to blogging to increase your SEO and invest a bit in digital marketing activities. The objective is to be available on every touch point where your customers are.
Learn from the Large
When you have a strong opponent, a wise decision is to learn their tactics, rather always creating your own. Always keep a check on what technologies they are using to achieve what objectives. Like ecommerce giants are now focused on creating a seamless customer experience, for which they are investing in digital transformation.
You don’t have a budget like them but also you don’t deal on their scale. It is better if you partner with an ecommerce application development company that can provide you with reliable, quality services and guide you to increase your online presence within your budget.
The key to survival and sustainability is to stay competitive. As a small ecommerce retailer, you have to be prepared on every front, including availability, order fulfilment and delivery, customer experience, and pricing. There is software available through which you can monitor the competitor’s prices and accordingly, you can set your rates. Through the software, you can apply real-time repricing policy to maximize your benefits.
Siya Carla is Business Development Manager at Finoit Technologies, a leading mobile app development company which makes ideas into reality by providing unique web design and custom software development services.