With competitive pricing, attractive delivery options and a seemingly infinite array of products to browse and purchase, it would be a difficult job for most retail brands across the globe to match Amazon’s business and financial success.
In fact, while many brick-and-mortar stores were forced to lay off employees and shut up shop when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, Amazon grew in popularity, to the extent that they hired more than 400,000 workers and amassed a staggering profit (and its second consecutive record profit) of $6.3 billion in last year’s third quarter.
While it would be an impossible feat for the majority of online stores to mirror this achievement in monetary terms, it is very possible – and doable – to compete with a mega-retailer such as Amazon, by adopting a number of strategies to improve your offering across the board.
1. If you’re going to do it, do it well
Whatever your online business might be, whether you sell luxury lingerie or contemporary accessories, the mark of a well-made, high-quality product is seen in the amount of sales you rack up. Targeting a specific demographic with your reputable goods and offering them exactly what they’re looking for is a sure-fire recipe for success.
By narrowing your audience and condensing the number of products you have on sale, you can ensure the products you do have on offer are carefully selected and of good quality, while taking care not to overwhelm (and lose) your audience by offering too much choice across too wide a range of categories.
Studies show that after poor customer service, the second biggest turnoff for a customer – and the reason they’ll ditch your brand in the long run – is dissatisfaction with the product they have bought. In a nutshell, get the product right and everything else will follow.
2. The customer is always right
This may not be true in every sense, but it’s certainly the case when it comes to customer service. Your customers are right to expect the best from the service you offer and if they don’t get this, they’ll find someone else to replace you.
Taking additional steps like making an effort to respond quickly to customer queries, offering discounts through subscription sign-up and even presenting a user-friendly website are all ways to hold a browser’s interest and hopefully, guarantee a return visit.
At ParcelPlanet, we go that extra mile when it comes to the customer experience. We build long standing relationships with our clients and their customers by aiming for 100% accuracy at all times and by responding to any and all queries promptly.
3. Offer more efficient or lower-cost shipping
Speaking of customer service, a study of 2,000 people carried out in Australia in 2020, found that one of the biggest bugbears for online customers is delayed or costly shipping. By outsourcing your order fulfilment to a business like ParcelPlanet, you can provide your customers with perks like same-day and next-day delivery, late order cut-offs, efficient order tracking, great returns policies and customer delivery notifications.
Integrating with a service like this couldn’t be easier, and by delegating this side of the business elsewhere, you can place your focus on sales, marketing and product development.
4. Build up good reviews
One of the key benefits of partnering with an order fulfilment company is that you maintain customer satisfaction with your brand, which in turn leads to good reviews. Encourage your customers to submit reviews of their overall experience.
The good reviews will act as a glowing recommendation to encourage further sales, while the negative ones will give you invaluable feedback on the areas where your business potentially needs improvement.
5. Access your customers through multiple touchpoints
While your customers’ experience on your website is paramount, you also need to entice them to connect with you elsewhere to ensure you remain memorable and accessible at all times. Share enticing, attractive content and images across your social media channels and encourage your audience to engage through competitions and discounts.
Working on your email marketing can be another successful way to retain your customer base, always keeping them in the loop and prompting them to buy with sale announcements and special discount events. Remember to maintain the same tone of voice throughout all touchpoints. A confused customer is unlikely to be a repeat one.
If you can’t beat them, join them
This is simply a starting point and there are many other ways in which you can attempt to compete with giants such as Amazon when it comes to realising your vision of success in terms of customers and revenue. But as the saying goes, “if you can’t beat them, join them”. If the above advice doesn’t work for you, why not look into the possibility of omnichannel selling?
Whether opting for Amazon or another high-profile online marketplace, there are many advantages to becoming an omnichannel retailer. While the prospect may seem daunting, with many small business owners unsure of where to start, there are routes you can take that will eliminate any stress and uncertainty that go hand-in-hand with making such a big business decision.
As part of our order fulfilment service, we offer seamless software integrations that could make a real difference to your business. We provide the option of marketplace integration with a wide array of mega-retailers, such as Amazon, Ebay, Groupon and Etsy, to name just a few, and create tailored fulfilment solutions for each individual business that will allow you to focus on your brand and deliver excellent customer service.
At ParcelPlanet, our aim is to give online retailers access to as many sales channels and courier services as possible to provide you with flexibility and a service to be proud of. Our system integrations also offer you complete access to tracking for all of your orders across the entire process, from the warehouse to its final destination, so that you and your customers will be able to track your order’s progress to and from anywhere in the world.
With convenience, efficiency and hassle-free shopping being a must in today’s demanding society, it’s important that all retailers – not just the Amazons of the world – step up to the mark and deliver. Preferably on time!