They’re the retail giant that keeps on growing. Many retailers want to be them, but none will surpass them. So why bother?
Amazon is a retail behemoth. You know it and I know it, but it’s always fascinating to break down the actual numbers behind Amazon’s success to see how well they’re doing:
- Amazon accounted for 43% of US online retail sales in 2016
- Amazon shares hit a high of $1000 in early 2017, with stocks up 40% from 2016
- Their market value is currently $478 billion
- 52% of consumers (in the U.S) go directly to Amazon when they shop online
- One quarter of all office space in Seattle is Amazon’s
- Amazon ranks 83rd on Forbes’ Global 2000 list of the world’s biggest and most powerful public companies
All of this success is an indicator that digital is going strong, a good sign for retailers and brands – but only those who are willing to innovate.
However, we run constantly into the problem of brands and retailers who try to emulate/imitate Amazon in some way in order to remain competitive. Copy cat-ing Amazon won’t catapult your business!
Are you running fool’s errands to compete against Amazon?
Don’t get it twisted. You CAN 100% be successful online in the shadow of eCommerce giants like Amazon.
What we don’t recommend retailers do is copy-cat Amazon and try to DIRECTLY compete against them
Instead of running fool’s errands to remain competitive take into account the following insights and tactics to catapult your business forward online alongside Amazon, and other eCommerce giants.
1. Complex Products and Orders
If your products have customizations, or you offer specializations that add complexity to a sale, then a marketplace like Amazon isn’t going to be a concern for you at all.
The B2B eCommerce customer experience in particular requires a great deal of complexity, and is far too challenging for Amazon to replicate well at all.
2. Zero Branding
Amazon isn’t pretty. Pretty doesn’t equate to conversions, but Amazon is bulky, and hard to navigate. Amazon doesn’t want, or have to change, but you can!
What retailers and brands can provide consumers on their own websites is a great user-experience tied to strong branding to entice them to convert.
This is our tried and true method for competing against Amazon, because they’re horrible at it. There’s too much stuff on Amazon, and it’s all so overwhelming, with zero inspiration. I don’t go to Amazon to find inspiringly beautiful home decor products, or to buy high end clothing labels…
As our CEO, Matt Bertulli, states, “You don’t need to be the everything store, that already exists”. Be the place that customers go to for inspiration. Check out his post on the topic by clicking here.
4. Rank First
Getting your business to rank higher on Google than similar, non-branded, products being sold on Amazon can go a loooong way to getting consumers to convert. Build trust and authority by creating great content to get your product page to rank first in search results.
Here’s a good video resource from our partners at Shopify on how Google ranks your website, and why you should care.
5. Customer Service
Your customer service; it needs to be exceptional, and it is essential. Great customer service increases acquisition and retention to help you compete against the biggest online businesses in the world.
When you shop on Amazon you are likely to receive the bear minimum in customer service – if any at all – so this is your chance to standout.
Here’s a great article from Yotpo on leveraging user-generated content (like positive customer reviews) to boost growth.
Amazon drives the conversation and ideals behind free-shipping online. Unfortunately you aren’t Amazon, and therefore will need to set a minimum order threshold. Bummer.
You probably aren’t going to be able to offer free shipping, but you can make the shipping experience exceptional for your customers.
7. Give Consumers a Story
This goes back to my previous point about Amazon’s lack of branding and bloated look. What you can do to differentiate your product/services is go beyond brand, and exceptional experiences, to provide consumers a story.
This is another tactic straight from the Demac playbook, and our CEO Matt Bertulli wrote a great post about creating customer stories in retail here. Remember:
You can Succeed Against Amazon!
All of these insights and tactics, are in the end ways that we you need to differentiate your business to stand out online. These are basic necessities to not only compete against Amazon, but grow your digital business.