As we head into 2016, the world of eCommerce is changing a great deal. Today, the act of buying a product online is mundane, and that means there is so much more competition, and so many challenges for online retailers. How can one retailer set themselves apart from the competition, especially when there is competition in the form of behemoths such as Amazon and eBay?
Price Isn’t Everything
Some consumers are incredibly price conscious. And for those, if you’re looking at products that can easily be purchased sight unseen, you will never win them over by trying to compete on price. The margins are so slim that larger competitors will simply be able to undercut you. Ignore those price-conscious customers, and look for other ways in which to appeal to people.
Big data is now accessible to everyone, so take advantage of it to reach as many people as you can, and market to them in a personal way. Use the data that you collect to offer a personalised shopping experience. Recommend products in which people are interested; remind them about items that they left in their carts; and offer discounts that people really will want to take advantage of. That is how you will attract, and retain, the most valuable type of customer.
Refocus on Mobile
Mobilegeddon encouraged a lot of webmasters to re-skin their sites so that they would be mobile friendly, but simply changing the skin is not enough. If you really want to reach mobile customers, you need to look at making mobile apps, and generally becoming as mobile-friendly as you can. Do you have a loyalty app? Is your mailing list as mobile-friendly as the rest of your site? Fix those things if you want to remain competitive.
Sell With Stories
Another approach that is becoming increasingly important is multi-channel marketing that tells a story. Simply throwing up a banner ad won’t be enough. Use video marketing, social media, and text marketing so that you can create memorable connections in the minds of your customers.
Try to find a niche in which you will be able to compete, something that you know well and where you can offer better service, better recommendations, and a better selection. Those are the things that will pull customers back to your website time and time again, even if you are not the cheapest, or the fastest at shipping.