With millions of eCommerce websites worldwide, making your business stand out from the crowd can be challenging. It’s completely normal to feel intimidated by the high number of competitors in your industry.
However, note that a crowded niche signals an existing demand, which makes eCommerce an exciting segment to be part of.
To excel in the eCommerce world, you don’t need to beat giants like Amazon, Wal-Mart, or eBay. To scale your eCommerce store and stand out from the rest of the merchants, you only need to find a void in the market and carve your niche according to your target audience.
Here is what you should do to get your store noticed.
Conduct Thorough Market and Competitor Research
We all want to run our eCommerce stores in a unique way, right? Well, no one knows it all, and chances are, some people have been where you are. So, you can learn a lot by checking out what your competitors are doing.
By analyzing the competition, you will be able to:
- Exploit their weak points and take advantage of opportunities
- Learn a lot from their strengths
- Understand the current landscape to help position your brand
- Know your competitors well, so you are fully prepared for any future challenges
To research the market and competitors, you should:
Identify Your Main Competitors
Use Amazon and Google to identify stores whose products and business model is similar to yours.
Gather 5 to 10 competitors and list them on a spreadsheet with basic info, such as their website, store name, strengths, weaknesses, etc.
Analyze Their Websites and Customer Experience
Go through each competitor’s website to get insights into the customer experience they provide. Consider the following aspects:
- Products – What info do their product descriptions contain? What types of photos do they use?
- Blog – Find out how often they post, the type of content and voice
- CTAs – What kind of CTAs do they use, and are they clear and strong?
- Contact – What options do they have for customers to contact them? Do they provide phone or live chat support?
- Email – Can you see an email newsletter sign up form on the website?
Consider the Pricing Strategy
When making a purchasing decision, the price of a product is a priority for more than 60% of online buyers. Thus, look at how your rivals price their products to know what your target market expects and what they can pay.
Buy From Your Rival
Sounds counterproductive, right? Well, it can give you crucial insights into things like delivery and packaging.
So, go ahead and order from your competitor. Maybe not every month but occasionally to get an idea of how long their shipping takes and how they package their products.
Be Creative with Marketing
To create a unique and interesting brand, you need to bring customer engagement into the picture. Start by persuading your customers to share their purchased products on social media. You can also create a hashtag that customers may use to be featured on your site.
This approach does not only gain attention for your store, but it also shows your website visitors that you’ve got happy customers.
You can also stand out from the pack by including a personal note with every purchase. This only works if you aren’t selling tons of products every day, but adding such a personal touch makes your customers feel valued and special.
Make Every Touchpoint with the Customer a Pleasant and Personal Experience
From the time customers visit your website to when they make a purchase, you’ve got an opportunity to leave a memorable impression on them. Each stage of the sales journey is a chance to make customers feel special, thus differentiating you from the competition.
You can start a loyalty program to enhance the customer experience. For example, you can offer discounts to your most loyal customers or those who have ordered a minimum amount of products.
Such a program will make your customers feel special and make you stand out from other eCommerce stores in your niche that don’t offer these privileges to their customers.
You can also consider creating an app to make the shopping experience simple. An app will help you to connect with your audience by providing personalized content, better customer experience, and offers.
You don’t need to hire an in-house IT team to create the app. Outsourcing the app development to an outside specialist means you save money on hiring costs and can redirect the savings into growing your business.
To further impress your consumers, use attractive design, and include a variety of payment methods in the store.
Stand For a Cause Your Customers Can Get Behind
People have a cause they want to stand for. It could be fighting cancer, preserving the environment, helping the less fortunate in the community, and more.
Think of a cause that’s closely associated with your products and business values, and make your customers know that by purchasing from your store, they are contributing to a charitable initiative.
If buying something from you benefits the society in a special way, online customers may prefer to purchase from you rather than another store with similar products.
Create Helpful and Interesting Content
Not everyone visiting your store is ready to make a purchase. All websites are all on a buyer’s journey, which is why it’s important to publish useful content to instill trust in your business.
While you shouldn’t forget to publish product descriptions with clear photos of your products, you should also focus on publishing interesting and useful content.
Write and post how-to blog posts to help your readers solve a specific problem. Publishing such content regularly will drive traffic to your site and also make your audience trust you as an authority in your niche.
Once you gain people’s trust, they can confidently purchase from you.
To create relevant posts, use tools such as Google Alerts, Google Keyword Planner, and BuzzSumo to generate content ideas.
Other than blog posts, strive to use videos to share information about your products. Today’s online users prefer engaging videos, so be sure to leverage the power of this engaging format.
The eCommerce space has fierce competition. Millions of businesses continue to crowd the eCommerce segment, making it difficult for startups to stand out from the competition.
Scaling your startup in such a competitive environment isn’t easy, but you can implement the above strategies to ensure your brand beats other eCommerce stores and brings in more sales.