E-commerce demand may be higher than ever before in 2021, but soaring popularity can lead to even greater market competition. In 2021, it’s no longer enough to produce average products with a mediocre website. E-commerce brands must desire to be market leaders to prevent being dominated by their competitors.
A saturated market can easily intimidate smaller brands who attempt to rival well-known, large businesses. However, post-COVID-19 has seen a shift in consumer behaviour, with many now open to trying new experiences. This change in consumer loyalty creates an opportunity for smaller e-commerce brands to capture attention when implementing the right strategies.
This article covers what e-commerce businesses can do to stand out from their competitors in 2021.
Observe your competition
To beat your competition, first, you must know your competition. Observing your competitor’s website and noting what they do well and what they lack will help you to go one step further in your business. Some critical areas of observation:
- Do they offer a greater variety of products?
- Is their website easier to navigate?
- Are they more active on social media?
- Are their prices more affordable?
- Do they offer any deals or loyalty discounts?
Assessing this information will allow you to see if your existing developments are up to standard and what new additions you could incorporate to help elevate your business.
Invest in top quality suppliers
Having an excellent website is incredibly important in e-commerce, but inefficient operations will undoubtedly lead to dissatisfied customers. Your business must invest in reliable suppliers, from manufacturers to order fulfilment providers, to prevent bottlenecks in your supply chain. One error in the supply chain can lead to an array of issues:
- Delays in production
- Delays in customer deliveries
- Incorrect items sent to customers
- Damaged products
All of the above errors ultimately lead to negative customer experiences. Ensuring that all your company operations are top quality will increase the likelihood of repeat business and customer recommendations.
Improve your customer service
A typical customer complaint regarding large businesses is that their customer service is often impersonal. This trait is a particular aspect that small businesses can leverage to surpass their competitors. Ways in which small businesses can enhance their customer service strategy:
- Ensure all communication channels are visible on the website
- Provide prompt yet detailed responses to customer queries
- Offer rewards to loyal customers
- Maintain an efficient returns and refunds policy
It’s easy for customers to feel ignored when businesses attempt to resolve their queries with generic automated responses. Small e-commerce businesses have the chance to create a more personalised customer experience, which will help set them apart from the crowd.
Offer better incentives
Creating offers not provided by your competitors is an opportunity for your business to add greater value to customers. Small businesses are likely to see repeat customers if there is an incentive to buy from you specifically. Some reasons why customers are more likely to choose your business:
- A discount on their next purchase
- Free products and samples
- Loyalty points
- Free gift-wrapping service
Offering incentives not provided by your competitor, make your business much more attractive to customers. It makes consumers feel good when they are rewarded, increasing the likelihood that you will be favoured over your competitors.
Delight customers on social media
Consumers often use social proof as a way to validate e-commerce brands. A strong social media presence can help businesses:
- Improve customer communication
- Widen their reach
- Conduct market research
A savvier social media strategy than your competitors is an opportunity to drive customer engagement. Brands can use social media as a tool to separate themselves from the competition through consistent communication and unique content. Social media users love content that is humorous, informative and visually appealing. Creating stand-out content can be a powerful way to promote your brand whilst also providing value to your audience.
The need for e-commerce businesses to stand out from the competition has become even more challenging in 2021. Thankfully, there are many strategies that can help brands achieve this by providing additional value to their customers.
If you feel your business could benefit from an improved order fulfilment strategy, perhaps it’s time to consider outsourcing to a third-party logistics (3PL) company.
At Pointbid, we have over 50 years experience in order fulfilment and can help find the perfect solution to suit your business. To discover more, please give us a call on 0121 326 7368.
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