For the past ten years, the world of ecommerce has been dominated by one Seattle-based ecommerce and cloud computing company we know as Amazon.com. The rise of Amazon has brought with it a mixed bag of both advantages and disadvantages for online sellers.
Amazon provides stores with access to the world’s largest database of consumers. And because everyone in your market is already on it, Amazon is the perfect place for an online seller to be. Another bonus is Amazon’s order fulfillment service, or FBA (fulfillment by Amazon). Amazon’s FBA centers are located around the world and provide storage space for sellers’ inventory. Amazon FBA also helps sellers manage their inventory online, ship, and track orders.
The downside is that since it’s so hard for a retailer to compete with Amazon, nearly every retailer is on it. Amazon does not give stores that sell on its platform much opportunity for distinguishing themselves from the competition. They can race to the bottom on price, but sellers cannot do much to make their brand stand out and this creates a lack of individuality and a major barrier to customer loyalty. The challenge to avoid being seen as generic is a huge challenge for brands who use Amazon as part of their core online strategy.
How to Stand Out:
Ecommerce stores on can do things to get noticed and differentiate themselves on Amazon by implementing the following three tips:
1) Optimize for Amazon Search
Probably one of the most obvious and controllable things you can do is make sure your store and your products are optimized for Amazon’s search engine. Consumers search Amazon more than they do Google when searching for products, so it’s crucial to focus your efforts on ranking for relevant Amazon searches. The old days of “keyword” stuffing are passées and you will likely get penalized for it. Here’s some things you can do:
- Make sure your images are of high quality
- Do thorough keyword research and include relevant keywords in your copy strategically
- Offer a wide selection
- Compare the prices to those of your competitors to make sure yours are reasonable.
2) Provide Stellar Customer Service
A wise person once said: “People won’t always remember what you said, but they will always remember the way you made them feel.” The products and promotions you offer may not always help you stand out. But by going out of the way to be friendly, helpful, quick to respond to problems, help customers find what they need, and ship orders quickly you will earn the trust and loyalty of your customers. In a sea of generality, nothing helps you stand out as much as providing stellar customer service. Perhaps, because so many brands (particularly larger ones) seem to put such little effort into it, when you provide great customer service, it can pleasantly surprise and delight your customers. By making their experience with you positive and memorable, you ensure that your customers will be more likely to come back and seek you out whenever they are looking for whatever it is you sell.
3) Offer Exceptional Deals & Loyalty Discounts
Offer exceptional deals, such as free shipping, discount coupons, gift cards, VIP cards, contests, and other promotional offers. Make sure your deals are competitive and offer customers great bargains while still being profitable to your business. When you provide amazing deals, your target audience won’t be able to stop themselves from taking advantage. While customer acquisition is important, it’s more costly than doing business with repeat customers, so make sure to provide rewards and incentives for loyal customers that keep them coming back for more.