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How E-Commerce Businesses are Winning in an Amazon World

by Jacob Martinez

Why & How E-Commerce Businesses are Winning in an Amazon World

Almost 50 percent of all online retail sales in the United States happen on Even big brands like Walmart, Macy’s, and Costco struggle to compete with this online giant. With free two-day shipping, a reviews system, and an easy return policy, Amazon makes sense as the leader of online retailers. That being said, a few e-commerce stores have discovered ways to offer products that allow them to compete in the noisy online market.

While the majority of e-commerce businesses cannot (and should not) try to compete with Amazon, they can still be in the game. Millions of people shop online every single day. As a business, all you have to do is stand out from the crowd.

Take a look at the strategies and examples below to learn how companies have discovered the secret to staying ahead in the e-commerce world.

Provide Top Notch Customer Service

Most companies like to believe that they provide excellent customer service. Unfortunately, many do not. Few things are more frustrating than being placed on hold for an extended period or treated like an annoyance by a customer service representative. Most of us can agree on that.

However, what constitutes excellent customer service will depend upon your target demographic. A key element of excellent customer service is understanding what your target customers want. For example, you might have a great team of call center workers when most of your customers prefer an online chat experience.

While you might think you are providing a great experience with your call center staff, you are not offering what your users want. Do your research and spend time impacting the highest-ranked customer service items that your customers desire.If you are a smaller business without customer service staff, check out apps like LiveChat, Salesforce, and Help Scout, all of which can improve your customer service experience.

Firmoo is an online eyeglass shop that is becoming increasingly well-known due to its excellent customer service. Just take a look at the more than 1,800 TrustPilot reviews that rave about the organization’s fantastic customer service. Excellent customer service drives word-of-mouth sales and can help grow your business quickly.

How E-Commerce Businesses are Winning in an Amazon World

Have a Killer Shipping Policy

More than likely, smaller e-commerce businesses like Amazon cannot offer free two-day shipping. That’s OK. You don’t have to compete with Amazon directly, but you do need to provide something. REI, for example, offers free shipping for all orders over $50. Studies show that 48 percent of customers will add items to their carts to qualify for free shipping.

Before you decide on your shipping costs, find a good shipping partner who can help you uncover the best rates for your business. For freight shipments, FreightCenter offers instant online freight rates from top carriers. In addition to freight shipping (oversized shipments or shipments over 70 lbs), FreightCenter offers parcel shipping for packages under 70 lbs.

If you ship mixed-size items for your business, FreightCenter offers an excellent one-stop solution for all your e-commerce shipping needs.

Create Something People can Believe in

People love getting behind something that is in alignment with their core values. Creating a business around a specific idea or cause helps the local community and builds a loyal tribe of followers. When people believe in what your company stands for, they will help spread the word about who you are and what you do.

As Scott Cook, co-founder of Intuit, says, “A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.” Create something positive that people will want to talk about.

Detailing Knights, a mobile auto-detailing company based in Toronto, Ontario, doubles down on this concept. First, they embrace an eco-friendly, waterless car washing process, which reduces water use by 99 percent compared to traditional mobile washes. The company also has a mission to empower young people to succeed as entrepreneurs and business owners.

Founder Ryan Knight created Be the Boss Bootcamp to help workers develop the necessary skills for owning a business. As a result of helping the community, Knight qualified for a program that allows him to offer a better starting hourly rate for his entry-level employees. Doing good for the community can be a very good business decision.

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Effortlessly Create a Custom Experience

E-commerce websites can win by creating a custom experience. Whether it’s allowing site users to customize orders, create a wishlist, or suggest similar items, people love a personalized experience. Another way to create a custom experience is to create content or advertisements based on your existing customer data.

One Arizona-based company, Spearmint LOVE, used Facebook data to create more targeted ads. As a result, the company has seen 991 percent year-over-year growth. Why? They gathered and interpreted data to give consumers and potential customers precisely what they sought.

Utilize a Recurring Revenue Model

Developing a recurring revenue business model is convenient for both customers and businesses. Small business owners can benefit from a steady stream of income each month, while consumers can enjoy a positive and automated shopping experience. Building a recurring revenue model can be a great business decision whether you sell a service or product.

Plum Deluxe offers a tea-of-the-month subscription. Users can rank each type of tea on the site and look forward to trying a new flavor each month. One blogger wrote, “Now I look forward to my new tea blend each month, and brewing a cup of tea each morning has become a comforting ritual that sets me up for an amazing day ahead.”

You Can Win Online, Too

It isn’t impossible to compete in an Amazon world. Consider the points that have worked well for the businesses mentioned above, and create a unique user experience that keeps them returning for more.

As you work to find strategic partners that help you achieve your business goals, ensure your shipping partner offers the best rates and services. If you utilize freight shipments, whether once in a while or regularly, FreightCenter can help. Contact one of our freight shipping experts today at 800-716-7608 to learn more.

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