December 7, 2017
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Amazon’s world continues to expand rapidly. The retail giant reportedly sold “hundreds of millions of products” to customers over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend. If this leaves you concerned about your own retail business, you’re not alone.
Adam Morris, the CEO of Magento Solution Partner, Redstage, presented expert insights on Thriving in an Amazon World. Adam Morris culled evidence from hundreds of his clients to determine six successful strategies. Here are the six ways to help boost your business in an Amazon world.
1. Deliver Product Authority and Thought Leadership
A brand that comprehensively understands their products, is one step ahead of Amazon. Amazon is not a product authority, it’s a department store. Gain the competitive edge by helping your shoppers choose products wisely. Make your business and staff easily accessible to customers. Include articles that help customers make the right product choices. And add comparison guides with expert knowledge on product content.
Functional and fashionable brand, S’Well, upgraded their site with comprehensive educational content that allowed customers to dig deeper into product information, and learn while they shop. The results helped increase average time spent on the website by 44 percent.
2. Consider Licensing and Exclusivity
Limit your competition by design. Businesses that become exclusive sellers of a product or master a region, corner the market on that item. When consumers search for these types of exclusive products, your business will king. If you are unable to attain exclusivity or licensing on a certain product, look towards areas where the market is limited or for manufacturers that are only distributing to a certain number of companies.
3. Tackle Subscriptions Services
Recurring sales, are the best sales. With subscriptions services, you can turn one sale into many and build a baseline of recurring sales. Additionally, “subscribe to save” models can help you retain customers over a longer period.
Remember, customer satisfaction is key. Make it easy for customers to postpone their subscriptions, change the frequency, and prevent oversubscribing. Give them a system that they can update so they remain on the subscription, happily
Home textile company, Coyuchi, created a unique subscription service on their digital platform. Through the subscription service, customers are billed monthly and receive new products every six, 12, or 24 months, then they return it when they get their next shipment.
4. Personalize Email Marketing
This is your moment to shine. Sending targeted emails that are tailored to your customers shows appreciation. Start by providing a compelling offer to subscribe to your newsletter list. A compelling offer, such as a discount, increases the chances a customer will answer a few questions about themselves. Once you know this information, you can market to them properly.
When a retailer fails to tailor their email marketing to a customer, they may lose that business. According to Adam Morris, email marketing drives 20-30 percent of site traffic and 300 percent conversion rates for some Redstage customers. Don’t miss out on those clicks because of poor segmentation.
5. Provide Bespoke Products and Customization
Amazon does some basic customization of products, but steers away from more complex customizations. It takes a deeper understanding of your customer to know the types of customizations and bespoke products that they would want.
Tom Dixon digitally transformed their site with added customization options. Through their digital platform, customers can create their own products online, including tables, upholstery, and pendant systems. Small trade companies (designers and architects) can also download CAD files to use in their in-house designs.
6. Include Niche Specific Attributes
Amazon lacks attribute sets that are niche-specific. The default search option is to sort by price. And even if you choose the department you need, most of the time the products still sort by price. So, what do you end up doing on Amazon? You search endlessly.
When a customer is looking for a very niche specific product, make it easy for them to find what they need. Magento customer, Yakima, has had great success with their Fit My Car module. Their custom import process combines product data with “FIT Mapping” data (the year, make, model and roof type of the car) to create simple, configurable bundles and product packages on the fly.
Amazon does have the power of brand and a marquee Amazon Prime offering, but that doesn’t mean your business can’t thrive in an Amazon world. Focusing on product leadership and personalization, and offering convenience, exclusivity, customization, and niche market products will set your business on the path to success.