Many businesses were forced to close or work from home when shelter-in-place orders became the order of the day in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19. Some decided to close entirely, and for those who braced the pandemic's cruelty, a fraction is still struggling to bounce back. Interestingly enough, eCommerce stores didn't close and have continued to excel since the onset of the pandemic, with most of them having their best moments since their launch.
But despite eCommerce booming, competition has remained fierce, and only eCommerce businesses that have identified their competitive edge have continued to excel. We shall focus on how some businesses can set themselves apart and excel in eCommerce while others keep struggling to survive. Our focus shall be on the things these eCommerce businesses are doing to remain on top of the game.
Here are six things that can give you a competitive edge:
Personalized Customer Experience
80% of consumers buy from brands that best personalize their experience. 63% stop purchasing from brands that use poor personalization tactics. Based on these statistics, you're making a big mistake if you're not working to provide the best personalized shopping experience. Fortunately, it's not challenging to do so.
Some things you can do to offer a personalized experience to your customers include showing product recommendations, specific offers, and content based on a customer's past purchases, actions, and demographics.
Your pricing strategies can make or break you. If you price your products too low, you may end up making no profits. You didn't get into business to witness your business collapse.
Again, when your prices are too high, you will likely attract few or no customers. That's not good for your business at a time when competition is more fierce than ever. The trick here is finding sustainable pricing that will continue to attract more and more buyers.
Another thing to keep in mind while pricing your products is the concept of dynamic pricing. During holiday peak seasons, shipping carriers will increase their rates to match the increase in demand. UPS announced in May, an extension on peak surcharges until further notice. These increases could have a lasting effect on your business’ revenue. That's why it is important to use efficient shipping solutions like Xparcel, which deliver your packages quickly at the lowest cost possible.
Excellent Customer Service
Are you going the extra mile to make sure your customers are happy? That little effort can be really rewarding and might be all you need to beat your competitors. So don't be afraid to do anything you are confident will make your customer happier and more satisfied. For example, you can deliver better excellent customer service by ensuring you have a team to respond to customers' requests quickly and pleasantly.
Customers are always looking for the best shopping experience possible. The flexibility of shipping options is one way of improving their shopping experience. It is a way of showing you value them, and you're always ready to make some adjustments in their favor. There is nothing wrong with having specific options that you feel are most appropriate for your customers. However, if flexibility will give you an edge, don't hesitate to give it a shot.
Stories of people who ordered items online and received defectives, wrong, or damaged items are very common. You are also likely to ship such items no matter which strategies you have in place. Ensuring you have a way for your buyers to return any defective or wrong items can go a long way in helping take your eCommerce business to the next level.
With an effective return policy in place, your buyers will know what to do if they receive what they didn't order, or it isn't in good shape. That will give them the confidence to shop with you again and mention your shop to other potential buyers.
52% of buyers make their purchasing decision based on the social and environmental impact notifications or labels on packaging. This shows how valuable it is to create an eco-friendly reputation. If you are yet to start selling ecologically friendly products, it is high time you give this your best shot and make sure to do that uniquely.
How to Identify Your Competitive Edge
Now that we have seen some of the things you can do to give you a competitive edge, how can you go about identifying particular competitive edges that will work for you? What is the secret? Here is an outline of steps to follow:
Step 1: Define Your Greatest Strengths
Listing your greatest strengths helps you steer clear and compete with your competitors.
Step 2: Review Your Competitors
What is it you have that your rivals lack that is giving you an edge? Make sure to rank your competitor's strengths.
Step 3: Identify Your Customers' Needs and Wants
If the strengths you have identified are only valuable to you and not your customers, they aren't a competitive advantage.
Step 4: Visualize All This Information
90% of the information processed by our brain is visual. You are better positioned to process and take the necessary action if you visualize all that information. And the more detailed it is, the better.
Step 5: Work Harder on Your Competitive Advantage
Once you have identified where you outshine your competitors, don't stop there. Work harder and make sure to get the most out of that competitive edge.
The Secret to eCommerce Business Growth: Key Takeaway
COVID-19 accelerated the growth of eCommerce, and there is no sign this norm is likely to slow down anytime soon. Making a kill in this booming market, however, requires knowing your competitive advantage. We outlined how you can gain that competitive advantage and the steps to follow. Are you having challenges with eCommerce fulfillment? Get in touch with us for reliable eCommerce fulfillment services tailored for your business.
Rakuten Super Logistics is a leading eCommerce order fulfillment company that provides the scalability, flexibility, and cost savings retailers demand.
Stay up to date on the latest ecommerce news and announcements