How to Remain Competitive in Crowded eCommerce Markets
21st May 2020
Even before the coronavirus hit, many ecommerce markets were very crowded spaces. Now, with social restrictions in place, a lot of business will be trying to boost their sales through online retail, even if they have not operated online previously. With the possibility of a recession on the horizon and people being more cautious about their expenses, it is crucial for your business to remain competitive in crowded ecommerce markets. In this article we will examine different ways of keeping your online business competitive from an online marketing and business point of view.
Get the Basics Right
It might sound obvious but you would be surprised how many business do not get the basics right. Do you ever come across ecommerce websites that don’t load properly on mobile devices? Have you experienced difficulty in finding the product or page you need? These are common problems that customers encounter on daily basis. Getting your basics right is absolutely essential in this crowded ecommerce space. In recent years customer loyalty has been declining, while speed and ease are highly important to consumers. People are busier than ever and they don’t have the time or patience to wait for your website to load. The reason why Amazon is so successful is because they absolutely mastered the basics and they made purchasing as easy for customers as possible. To stand a chance at competing with other websites, you need to do the same.
If you are selling t-shirts, for example, you’ll know that there are hundreds of other businesses doing the same thing. You need to rethink your strategy for standing out in the crowd. Nike is a fantastic example of a business doing just that. Nike considers itself to be a part of something bigger. If you look at their advertising, their messaging is simple and it designed appeal to your emotions. They want you to feel you as a part of something bigger, too. If you can find an emotional connection with your customers through tailored communication and exceptional marketing, your business is more likely to succeed.
Be Customer Obsessed
If you have ever listened to Jeff Bezos you’ll know that he attributes the success of Amazon to customer obsession. This means doing everything in your power to keep customers happy, and always looking at your digital presence from their point of view. For example, if your website is slow, it’s fairly obvious that you need to speed it up. However, there are more subtle problems that you might not be able to pick up unless you talk to your customers. Don’t be scared of customer surveys. You need to be able pick up and resolve any issues quickly, and some of them may not immediately present themselves to you without a little digging.
Keep an Eye on Your Competition
In a very crowded ecommerce space, you need to be on the top of what your competitors are doing and watch market trends. A useful tool that you could use to monitor activity on the market is Google Trends. This tool allows you to see how often specific search phrases appear on Google.
If you are adverting on Google Ads, then you will compete with your bids to appear in Google search results. There are two metrics that you should use, which will tell you a lot about activity of your competitors on Google Ads. The first is Impression Share (IS). This is a percentage value that shows you how often your ads are displayed on Google. If your IS is low, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are doing something wrong. It means that your competitors are spending more to advertise on Google. Depending on your business objectives it is rarely the best idea to optimise your campaigns to increase your search impression share.
There is also a useful tool on Google called Competitor Insight. It shows your actual competitors and their impression share. This is very precious information because if you know who your competitors are on Google you can check them up online and make more informed marketing decisions influenced by their activity.
Be Agile and Bold
You should not only follow your competitors and market trends, but you should also be agile and adaptable to change. If you think that your company would do well on TikTok why not give it a try? Even if it doesn’t work out for you it at least you will be able to learn from your mistakes. But remember that any decision you make, such as trying out a new social media platform or other technology, should be informed by your marketing goals and target personas – if it’s not the right fit for your business, it’s not a bandwagon you need to jump on.
Increase Brand Awareness
Whether you are just getting started with your retail business or you’re trying to increase awareness during lockdown, you should think about branding. People need to know who you are and how you can solve their problems. In the marketing funnel branding is usually at the top and can be classified as awareness.
One way to check your brand awareness is to check your brand keywords on Google Ads and organically. If you are getting many brand related clicks it means that you have some brand recognition already. If not it would be good idea to promote your brand. There are many ways you can do this, such as through social media campaigns or by creating rich informational or educational content to help your potential customers.
Invest in a Marketing Feed
A marketing feed is a file that that includes data about your products so that they can be advertised on Google Shopping. If you are a retailer and you use Google Ads, it is crucial to take advantage of your marketing feed and create Google Shopping Ads. Not all retailers have a feed, so if you invest some time into creating one you will already stand out from the crowd.
This is a snapshot of what a Google feed looks like when searching for “iPhone”:
If you provide Google with the right information about product price, availability, category and a product photo, you will be able to display your products on Google as well. The tricky thing about feed is that it needs to be synchronised with your CRM data.
If you want to further stand out, you can spend some time optimising your elements of your feed such as product photos and descriptions.
If you are on a tight budget, using audiences in Google Ads can help you get more for your money. Some keywords can be very expensive to advertise, but if you know your customers you can easily use Google Audiences to target specific people who may be interested in your products.
In this article we covered some top-level tips on how to stand out of the competition. Now it’s up to you to make a move! But you don’t have to tackle this alone - let’s discuss how we can help you to achieve your goals. Contact us online now.