How to differentiate yourself in the e-commerce space

There's an absolute frenzy online and sellers need to set themselves apart. Here are some tips to help them do just that.
19 October 2018

How to differentiate yourself on e-commerce. Source: Shutterstock

Standing out as an e-commerce business in today’s digital era can be a struggle. With many big players out there such as Alibaba and Amazon, as well as the millions of other small and medium-sized companies, how can you entice shoppers to buy from you?

Here are three ways in which to get your business noticed.

# 1 | Focus on a niche

A nice helps you get immediate traction. Source: Shutterstock

In a digital world saturated by millions of businesses, it is not wise to try and sell everything. Small to medium-sized businesses that specialize in a niche market will be much more likely to attract engaged and loyal customers. These types of companies have the ability to create niches based on their target audiences interests, lifestyles, and needs. And as such, are more likely to be successful than to try and cater to everybody’s needs.

You cannot compete as a generalist anymore because they have such deep pockets and are able to invest in infrastructure and other elements of the e-commerce journey which is hard for companies that are yet to achieve scale.

There are beautiful examples of niche players who really do understand their particular niche and are able to advise customers better than those generalists, and as a result can be successful.

Without being niche, an SME player will find it very difficult to fight with giants out there.

# 2 | Offer a great experience

Shopping as easy as one, two, three. Source: Pexels

A mistake many new e-commerce businesses make is not ensuring that the customer journey is as prioritized as it would be in a brick-and-mortar store.

People tend to focus on the online component, like how to get followers on to my website, but at the end of the day, it’s about being great retailers.

Just like a physical store, you should ensure that your customers’ journey is as smooth as possible. Can they easily find the product they’re searching for? Do the products have good, detailed descriptions?

Are there multiple payment options? Do you provide a range of delivery options to cater to the demands of your customers? These factors will all determine the success of your business.

You will lose customers immediately if you are not an expert in the type of goods or category you are selling. You can do a lot of good advertisement, but at the end of the day, you will not sell.

# 3 | A comprehensive marketing strategy

In order to gain traction and stand out from competitors, your business must have a solid marketing plan. Source: Shutterstock

As the old adage goes, “fail to plan, and you plan to fail”. An e-commerce business that has aims of growing, competing and scaling must have a comprehensive marketing strategy.

You must identify your goals and objectives, create a mission statement and value proposition, identify your target customers and market, create a cross-platform promotion plan and more.

Though obvious, social media marketing is a fundamental method of getting your business name out there to a wide audience. More and more consumers are using social media to make decisions before making a purchase — otherwise known as “social proof”.

There are various ways your e-commerce company can utilize social proof such as influencer marketing, customer reviews, user-generated content, and social media competitions.