Shopping has fundamentally changed in only a generation. As recently as the 1980s, retailers effectively owned the shopping experience. The customer could buy just what was offered at local brick-and-mortar shops, during”normal” business hours, at the price dictated to them.
Shopping has fundamentally changed in only a generation. As recently as the 1980s, retailers effectively owned the shopping experience.
Consumer research was also restricted. Product specifications were found in magazine advertisements or on the face of the retail box. Merchandise recommendations came word-of-mouth or from store associates.
This is a significant contrast from the retail shopping experience clients enjoy in 2015.
Item information is plentiful. Any shopper using a mobile device or pc has access to manufacturer sites, product videos, and product reviews. Price comparison could be done in minutes on Google, Bing, a listing of price-comparison providers, and by visiting a merchant’s website.
The client can purchase any product possible, at any time of the day, at the lowest available price.
The merchants that best serve these enabled shoppers should enjoy victory. This, however, begs the question: How can an internet retailer, especially a small or midsize retailer with comparatively fewer resources, serve enabled shoppers and compete with enormous stores?
Prove Your Products, Services Are a Worth
Even though it’s been pointed out clearly which enabled shoppers can look for the cheapest price available for a specific solution, it’s possible to compete not just on price, but also on total price.
Earlier in ecommerce‘s development, it was a popular strategy on Ebay, Amazon, and similar marketplaces to provide products at ridiculously low prices, then overcharge for shipping. This worked for a time, since the marketplaces would frequently show vendors with lower offer prices on results pages. Oftentimes, the last price — the item price plus shipping — may have been considerably greater.
Eventually, marketplaces started showing the last cost on results pages, because the last purchase price was more precise and more significant.
In a similar manner, empowered shoppers are usually searching for the best value for a product, including product price, shipping costs, delivery time, yield options, on-site experience, subscription options, or their relationship with the merchant.
Sell Long-tail, Hard-to-get Products, also
Those exact same little and mid-sized ecommerce businesses might have a competitive edge when they provide exceptional, long-tail, and hard-to-get products.
UPS and comScore surveyed 5,100 American online shoppers, finding that 93 percent had bought from small retailers.
Recently, the United Parcel Service and trend-tracking company comScore finished their fourth yearly UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper report, which surveyed 5,100 qualified American shoppers in January and February 2015. This report found that:
- 93 percent had purchased from small retailers;
- 61 percent had bought from a small retailer since it provided unique products;
- 49 percent purchased because they couldn’t locate a product elsewhere;
- 26 percent bought because of a broader product assortment.
What is more, shoppers were willing to pay more, spend more on transport, and wait longer for comparatively hard-to-find products.
Finally, shoppers buying a hard-to-find item may also purchase other goods, such as the identical or commodity items described above.
Build Lasting Relationships
Shoppers have their favourite brands, products, and shops, and their connections to those are powerful enough to conquer price, shipping times, or other competitive challenges.
What is more, retailer-to-customer relationships are often caused by the merchant being useful, in one way or another, to the purchaser. In the ecommerce circumstance, this generally means providing a special shopping experience, offering more than just products (believe content promotion ), and providing great customer service.
For instance, in 2011 Nordstrom earned a substantial number of positive publicity and a lifelong customer as it assisted Lisa Shaw, a client in North Carolina, recover a diamond that dropped from her wedding band. Shaw was trying on clothing once the diamond dropped off, unnoticed. The following day, she returned to search for the stone, and received plenty of help from Nordstrom employees, who finally went via vacuum cleaner bags to regain the stone.
“I tell everyone the shop,” Shaw said. “I do not shop anywhere else for my clothes, makeup, hosiery, shoes…everything comes from Nordstrom’s.”
Eliminate Obstacles from the Buy Path
Empowered shoppers may know quite a good deal about what and how they would like to purchase, so that occasionally online retailers just must remove obstacles in the purchase route, clear out anything that gets in the way of making a sale when a shopper is ready to purchase.
By way of instance, UPS and comScore found that 44 percent of the shoppers surveyed had abandoned an online shopping cart only because they had just wanted to find the entire cost to compare with another website’s or shop’s prices.
Savvy online retailers may do a few things to deal with this behavior. First, show the all-in cost — including transport — on every item detail page. Second, think about offering a low price guarantee, so that if a shopper does load a product in the cart, he’s more inclined to complete the purchase.
Similarly, many shoppers won’t add anything to a cart if the website isn’t promoting some kind of free shipping. Thus, it could be a great idea to offer free shipping with some minimum purchase.
Know Your Clients
Large retailers are utilizing Big Data to customize the enabled shopper’s retail experience, and to a wonderful extent, small retailers should also know specifically who customers are and offer personalized offerings and experiences.
Competing on personalization and customer experience can require some software development or the need for client data-collection services such as Google Analytics, IBM Watson Analytics, Canopy Labs, Qualtrics, or similar. However, for many small and midsize ecommerce companies, knowing who clients are can be more personal.
Your company may have the ability to recognize shoppers on a human level, without necessarily having plenty of additional software.
Imagine, as an instance, that the man who packs boxes in your company admits an order from a regular shopper. This shopper has paid for a two-day delivery service, as opposed to using free delivery, which is his usual behavior. Unfortunately, it’s Friday, and this specific two-day service will not arrive until Monday. So your packer, updates the order for overnight, Saturday delivery only because he know the shopper.