Amazon is the name that comes to mind for most when asked about their ecommerce experience and exposure. A titan of the industry, Amazon has grown from a bookstore in a garage to the world’s leading ecommerce vendor and seller.
There’s nothing wrong with Amazon, but a major problem emerges when newcomers to the industry consider entering the ecommerce game. With such a giant company like Amazon thriving seemingly to no restraint, how could a new ecommerce company in 2019 possibly compete against Amazon?
The question itself is ripe with misconceptions about ecommerce and the way in which storefronts operate amongst one another. In short, Amazon is not competition if your ecommerce site is designed for customers rather than competition. Here’s how to defend your ecommerce SMB against the big guys.
David vs. Goliath: Find Your Niche
To be honest, there’s very little a new ecommerce company can do to convince people their services are on par with a behemoth like Amazon. But you can defend your business’s ability to survive the growing ecommerce industry by staying true to a few crucial cornerstones of any successful SMB.
First and foremost, every SMB in the ecommerce industry has a niche with which they are carving out their own little slice of the consumer shopping market. This could be with a very specific, underrepresented product. Expertise in a single product or area of products goes a long way. Do you sell ebooks online through Shopify? Consider a niche or genre in which to specialize, such as mystery or true crime.
This can even play into your marketing. By establishing a blog or several social media pages dedicated to the macabre, you can attract a subset of customers that Amazon would envy. Knowing the ins and outs of a particular set of products can allow you the ability to fine tune a customer’s needs and desires into the perfect transaction.
Prioritize Customer Interactions
Amazon is applauded often for its customer service, but that expertise mentioned above can extend itself into how you operate and interact with your shoppers. Using knowledge and awareness of trends in the industry with which you are operating, customers can skip the general knowledge support staff at Amazon that only serve as customer service representatives, and reap the benefits of your dual role.
By being both customer service oriented and an expert in the things you work with, shoppers do not have to save questions for a search engine, and can instead come to you with comments or concerns they may have come across while searching for their product.
In many ways, “mass appeal” simply means “bland.” Your ecommerce SMB has the ability to stand out by getting creative with its appearance and branding. By adding things like vibrant background colors, varying thumbnail previews for product images, or even inserting videos at the top of each individual category of items, you can make your layout more interactive than your competitors.
Try matching your graphic and web design to your brand identity. If you sell gaudy glittery makeup, use design features that help your ecommerce store pop and shine. If you sell black attire for weddings and funerals, keep your website muted and professional.
It’s worth noting that Amazon is going to be one of the first places people look when shopping online for the foreseeable future. Still, you have the power to build something wonderful with your ecommerce site that can defend itself against Amazon and other selling giants by operating under the assumption that user experience is what separates you from the rest. Designs, layouts, and expertise put you ahead of the game, and with a customer first approach, Amazon can keep doing its thing while you excel at yours.