eCommerce has changed the face of business. If you have an eCommerce business, you need to know your weapons. You need to nourish it properly to reap the benefits. And for that, you need a competitive strategy in eCommerce.
Anything sells on the internet but you do need to make sure that you are promoting your brand or business in the right way. There is so much competition that businesses with zero marketing will not make the cut.
You have to be aggressive and you have to be ahead of others. Even if you have a fancy eCommerce website design in which you poured a lot of money, it will not do any good if you cannot generate traffic for your website. For generating traffic, you need to know the ins and outs of the eCommerce industry and make a plan accordingly.
Strategies for Competitive Advantages in eCommerce
You need to apply strategies for competitive advantages in eCommerce so that your business gets popular.
- Pick a specific niche & target audience
- Personalize your website
- Prepare the right content
- Go beyond your website – Use different channels to showcase your brand
- Create new partnerships
- Interact with your customers
- Use social media as your weapon
You need to build strategies if you want your business to thrive. Here are a few strategies which you can try;
1. Pick a specific niche & target audience
People are becoming more and more dependent on technology and exploring more possibilities of the internet. As a result, they are getting used to online shopping instead of physically getting up and going to a shop.
This made their life easier as it should have, especially for people who tend to be busy with their jobs and household chores. This includes people who have a 9 to 5 job, moms, double shifters, startup entrepreneurs, and elderly people who don’t feel like going out for small things. And also, teenagers are already into doing things online.
As you can see, the demographic is huge and so is your potential customer. So, it’s natural to expect people of all ages, races, religions, and locations to be your customer. This is where many eCommerce store owners make their mistakes – at least the ones who fail.
There are several advantages of targeting a specific group of people or sticking with a specific niche and that’s why we have listed it in the list of eCommerce competitive strategies.
First of all, advertising gets easy. When you don’t have a specific niche or an audience, you’ll have no idea how to run the marketing campaign. You won’t know what words to use on the advertisements, what features to highlight, what price range to aim for, how many units sales to expect along with other factors.
That’s why keeping a small group of people in mind and a specific product line in consideration helps set the campaigns.
Secondly, you get more product ideas when you have a specific audience in mind. You know what features you should add and what should be modified. If you tried to direct your products to everyone, you’ll have to listen to everyone’s opinions and feedback, which is impossible, mainly because different ages or gender of people will have different preferences. That’s why it’s important to pick a specific niche and a specific audience.
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2. Personalize your website
Next in line for a competitive eCommerce strategy is personalization. It’s time to personalize your website based on your niche and your target audience.
Design your website in a way that your target audience finds value every time they visit. So, put content on the webpage only if it is relevant. Use images where necessary but don’t overdo it. Remember that they came to your website for information about your products, not for stock images.
You must ensure navigating through your site is easy. If your visitors can’t find the information that they came here for, there’s no reason for having a website.
This ease of use also comes with device compatibility. If a website is not compatible with a certain device that your visitor is accessing your website with, the person might not find the contents in places where you’d want them to find them. That’s why it is important that your website is compatible with all devices including mobile, PC, tablet, etc.
Another thing that you should consider is storing your customers buying and payment habits.
Your customers’ habits tell a lot about your performance and how you should approach from here.
Let’s say you are selling all kinds of gadgets including phones, tablets, camera gears, etc. on your site and you have stored data of your customers over the first two quarters of the year. Now, in the first 2 quarters, you see a significant rise of tablet sales and most of the buyers are from 18 to 22 years of age and the tablets they are buying are between $800 to $1200.
This data tells you exactly what to do next. As the popularity among your customers between 18 and 22 years are increasing and their preferred price range is $800 to $1200, the safe bet is to feature more tablets within the price range while keeping the necessary features for this demographic in mind. This data will tell you at this rate how many units will you sell. For example, if the tablets between the given price range are 70% of total tablet sales, you know how many units you should be selling the upcoming quarters, assuming other market factors are constant.
Use data like this to create a personalized experience for each customer. And don’t worry, there are plenty of tools that let you integrate this information into your site and help you create a personalized experience for each individual visiting your page.
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3. Prepare the right content
Whatever your niche may be, one thing that is true for every niche is content really matters.
I won’t have to remind you that content is king. You know that. But one thing you don’t know is apart from the quality of content, relevancy is also important.
If a customer is looking for a Yoga mat, no matter how many good deals for a treadmill you get him, they have no value to your customers. That’s why it is important that your contents are filtered properly before reaching to your visitors.
Also, implementing SEO-friendly keywords is an important competitive strategy in eCommerce. Otherwise, your content won’t be able to bring traffic to your sites. So, remember these three things when producing content for your site.
- SEO optimization
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4. Go beyond your website – Use different channels to showcase your brand
Internet not only brought people closer. It brought everything in your reach so that you don’t miss out on any opportunities.
One of such opportunities that an eCommerce store owner should not miss is utilizing social media and other channels to promote and showcase the brand.
Today, a brand is not confined to the website URL. People interact with companies all the time, through their website, video content on YouTube, social platforms, etc. In fact, the engagement in social platforms for most companies is way more than their engagement on the site. So, it is understandable why brands are getting more and more involved with their target audience outside their website.
These social media and platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and video content sharing platform YouTube, DailyMotion, etc. are also a way to advertise the brands. As a matter of fact, this type of advertisement is way more efficient than traditional paper ads or television ads.
When brands put their advertisements and promotional banners in newspapers or TV, their message reaches the masses in general. But that should not be the goal, the goal should be targeting a very specific group and advertising for them.
The advertisement tools and policies are so matured on these platforms that targeting a specific audience is as easy as opening a soda bottle. You just need the tool and, in this case, the tool is the advertisement models of these platforms.
All you’ll need to do is select the filters that reflect your target audience and the ads will do the rest.
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5. Create new partnerships
If you follow any YouTuber regularly, you’ll notice that they often collaborate with other YouTubers. Do you know why?
A few days ago, I was browsing through my YouTube Dashboard and suddenly saw a video from MKBHD’s Marques featuring Unbox Therapy’s Lew. The video was about the shooting setup and the studio of Unbox Therapy.
Honestly, I didn’t even know about Unbox Therapy until that day. But I was a subscriber and a fan of Marques. But since I’ve been exposed to Unbox Therapy’s video, I am checking both out their videos every day. Now, what does it mean?
It means I enjoy the contents that Unbox Therapy produces and I was missing out on them till now. But since the MKBHD channel exposed Unbox Therapy to me, I can now enjoy both of their contents.
So, the highlight is, no matter how good your content is, in this case, no matter how good your products are, if you can’t reach your audience, there is no use.
That’s why collaboration and partnerships are important in competitive eCommerce strategies. The way how MKBHD’s audience discovered Unbox Therapy video and become loyal to Unbox Therapy, your partner’s target audience will also discover and love you if your collaboration or partnership is done properly. So don’t back out from partnership offers that benefit you at the right time.
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6. Interact with your customers
Your business might be virtual but your customers are real. You might be operating your whole business from a bunch of laptops but your customers are paying real money for it. It is important to hear from your customers. Listen to what they have to say. If they do not like something, improve on it. Give them what they desire or want to buy. Do not just keep on throwing makeup and accessories because your target audience is women. If your niche target is stay-at-home mothers, you might benefit from displaying furniture on your website.
7. Use social media as your weapon
Social media is the most powerful platform today and a crucial part of competitive strategy in eCommerce. Social media helps you to identify all your potential customers by peeking into their personal lives. You will get to see their interests and habits. You should invest a lot in social media. Through social media, you can even direct people from social media directly to your website. Think of Facebook, if one of your posts is appealing to someone, he or she might share it. In this way, your post gets more generic views. Well, that’s the beauty of social media!
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To stay and win in the market you need to build an eCommerce website that appeals to your target group. Your business is nothing without your customers. Invest in their wants and you will surely succeed. By following all the above-mentioned strategies; you will surely see results for your eCommerce business. Success might not come overnight, but eventually, you will get there.