As an e-commerce retailer, you are constantly looking for ways to stay one step ahead of your competitors. While taking down the major competitors like Amazon probably isn’t realistic, you can still strive to match what they offer and provide your customers with a wonderful online experience that keeps them coming back.
Business Strategies and Tools to Help You Compete With the Big Dogs
The following are a few strategies and tools you can use to get a leg up on your competition:
Clearly Identify Your Niche
Choosing a niche – the super specific category your product or service falls into – was one of the first steps you took when launching your business. However, in an effort to compete, you may have expanded your niche. Trying to sell everything is a recipe for disaster, and you’ll find that you are much more successful if you focus on one in-demand product.
Make Your Website Shine
Utilize Customer Behavior Data
Your largest competitors are using customer behavior data to increase sales and impress customers, and you should be, too. What are the benefits of using it? It creates a personalized experience for each customer, increases customer retention, drives growth, and sets you apart from other competitors who are behind when it comes to improving the customer experience. Analyzing customer data might sound complex – and it can be – but GetApp put together a great list of analytics tools for entrepreneurs of all skill levels. The site goes on to explain that by tracking both individual and overall behavior and trends, it gives your business the ability to “create tailor-made campaigns and direct them at specific customers, as well as strategize their marketing and sales tactics to the business at large.”
Engage With Customers On Social Media
One of the big perks of a smaller business is that it is easier to build a relationship with customers. Social media makes it even easier to do so via online engagement. Whether you use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or a combination, make personalized responses a priority. Post meaningful photos and content as opposed to stock photos or clichéd quotes. Use social media as a platform to gain new ideas and feedback, as well as a marketing tool by hosting giveaways or competitions.
Improve Your Customer Service
It doesn’t matter how popular your product or service is; if you have poor customer service, you’ll quickly drive your business into the ground. Ramp up your customer service efforts by paying attention to customer feedback that comes in the form of reviews, emails, and/or social media comments. Most importantly, make it your mission to respond in a timely manner, striving for that golden response time of 24 to 48 hours. Be sure you have a standard guideline or policy in place for responding to negative feedback, and use it as an opportunity to improve and regain that customer’s trust. Social media is a great customer service tool, as well, but use it wisely. Responses are expected even faster, and it is important to understand that some comments and questions are better answered privately via email or phone.
Running a business is hard work, and staying ahead of competitors isn’t always an easy task. To stand out from the rest, make sure you have a clearly defined niche with a website to attract customers. Utilize customer behavior data and social media engagement, and take steps to improve your service for happy customers and a competitive edge.