10 Techniques To Challenge Amazon’s Market Dominance
The retail eCommerce industry is in the best shape now, if you have an online store, you cannot afford to make a mistake. As the growth rates are approaching 15% every year, the business of making money through online retail industry is certainly not difficult.
But then Amazon is dominating the market! Amazon had a whooping $75 Million revenue in the last year and also has a 25% annual growth rate. There are high possibilities that Amazon outperformed you in the year 2013.
What can you learn from Amazon? And what can you do for closing the gap?
Here are 10 techniques that your company can implement to achieve growth rates equal to or greater than Amazon:
First, let us have a look at 5 tactics that Amazon uses that you should be using as well.
1. Do Not Provide Recommendations Before Checkout, Provide Them After Checkout
You intend to increase impulse buying in the form of cross sales and upsells. However, if you provide recommendations during the checkout process, all you are doing is making the customers abandon the shopping cart and continue shopping further. Most of the people who do so might not return to checkout, they might wander on your website and leave.
You must keep in mind that customers in checkout are in the ‘buy now’ state of mind. Amazon does not disturb the customers in a checkout process with product recommendations and you should follow this as well.
2. Create Urgency Factor Through ‘Out Of Stock Soon’ Messages
Is your company always proud of having sufficient inventory for satisfying the customer demands? Well yes, you should be….but….
Amazon is not! And the company uses this factor to its complete advantage!
Amazon creates an urgency factor for the people to buy products by incorporating real-time inventory levels into its website. Messages like ‘Only 2 left in stock’ portray that the customer is looking at a popular product.
With this, there can be mo better answer to questions ‘Why buy now?’
3. Use Sessions And Authentication To Your Advantage
Amazon.com uses two authentication layers. The first layer has the customer constantly signed in, this enables the company to deliver personalized recommendations whenever the customer visits any part of the Amazon website.
The second layer needs the customer to re-enter his / her password in order to initiate the checkout process.
Amazon’s method of split authentication achieves the perfect balance between security and convenience. Customers feel safe and they feel respected as well and an overall brilliant shopping experience is delivered. Moreover, Amazon retains the non-purchased products in the shopping cart till the customer remains signed in.
4. Utilize A Data Driven Approach To What Works
Some marketers and website owners get caught in the ‘Algorithmic Arms Race’, where they select a product recommendation on the basis of whoever has the most impressive and coolest sounding algorithms.
Do not be one of them!
The great minds at Amazon have studied an extremely important fact : The best algorithm for the website is ‘Viewed / Also Viewed’. The other algorithms might help in selling technologies, but they are not as efficient as this one for selling products.
5. Take Baby Steps
Amazon and eBay are only two companies IR (Internet Retailer) 500 those have not re-platformed the website.
What is the reason behind this?
Amazon has an understanding of the factors that most of the online retailers still do not. In most of the cases, re-platforming the website or opting for a complete website redesign more than often results in a decline in the online sales.
Now that you know most of Amazon’s secrets, here are 5 crucial tactics that you can implement that Amazon doesn’t:
1. Make Your Website Search Visual
Customers will obviously not purchase what they cannot find. The traditional search-based results are not up to the mark for fulfilling the task of helping the customers find what they want.
Consider the following aspects:
- On some retail websites, approximately 50% of the visitors don’t reach a product detail page.
- Search results often rank some of the website’s top exit pages.
The product catalogue is the heart of every online retail website. Updating the product catalogue with product names, images, prices and other important information is a key advantage for the search results.
2. Think Beyond The Product
Amazon considers the most recent behavior of the customers as the most relevant indicator of what the customers want in the future.
Why this can be a problem?
This can be a problem because throughout the year, customers mostly shop for themselves; whereas, before special occasions like Christmas, they are most likely to shop for others.
You can have impressive online sales if you think beyond the product. Include additional information in the decision-making process like times of the year, whether and more related attributes that depict customer behavior on your website.
3. Emphasize On What Your Customers Care About The Most
It is not just important to recommend products, it is important to recommend the right products as well, and this is not easy! As a mass merchant online retailer, it is a difficult task for Amazon to know what customers want the most at any point of time.
In case you have just started out or if you are not a mass merchant retailer, you can take advantage of limited interests of the customers to buy from your website. consider these important pointers:
- Pay attention to products previously viewed or purchased, including sizes and colors.
- Pay attention to typical purchase frequency or date ranges.
An online gift company might discover that the customers who view chocolates view flowers as well. But this happens only during the Valentine ’s Day and Mother’s day or any such similar occasions.
Here’s the point : Companies serving in a niche market can afford to spend time and resources for mining customer data in an effort to deliver the best possible product recommendations.
4. Turn Valuable Experiences Into Genuine Ones
There is a lot of difference between a valuable experience and a relevant one. Valuable experiences are the ones that express a quantified benefit to the customers, but the most brilliant marketers are moving beyond price-based branding strategies. These strategies are in favor of the authentic strategies derived from an in-depth knowledge of customer’s preferences, behaviors and interests.
Compare for yourself : Amazon has a hypothetical retailer badge that says ‘5% off’ for home theatre systems. Imagine if you have a badge that says ‘Just for you’ for the customer who recently purchased a television from your website.
Which one you think will get the maximum attention?
5. Send Relevant Emails
It is no longer sufficient to trigger emails to the customers who have abandoned their shopping carts. Put some effort in sending personalized email messages to your customers, instead of pre-determined emails with the same content and same template.
Don’t bore your customers! They would stop thinking about your website completely!
You can also think of open-time personalization that enables the marketers to deliver the most genuine online experience possible. In case you are triggering a shopping cart abandonment email saying ‘You Still Have Items In Your Cart’ and if the customer has already purchased those items, then you can modify the content of the message dynamically through new recommendations.
There are many players in the eCommerce market and if you own an online store, it is important for you to know the right things to make your mark. Use this information to the best of your advantage and establish your online store’s brand in the eCommerce industry.
I would love to know your opinions on the pointers mentioned in this article….Please share your experiences as well…….