Often, we get asked by entrepreneur online business owners, “how do I beat the competition and steer ahead.” It’s a question that has remained the center of debate for many years. Businesses invest intensely to achieve their competitive edge but sometimes no matter how good their product is or how big of a name they have, they simply do not succeed in beating the competition. In this article, we are sharing five simple steps an online business must take to ensure it fares better than its competitors.
Study Your Competition
Staying ahead of the competition is only possible if you know what you are up against. Therefore, the first thing you must do is gather your intel on what the customer wants and what the competition is offering them. This will give you insight into the current demand and supply dynamics of the market and figure out a distinct solution to entice the target segment. It may involve taking surveys, gathering data from online resources, using different types of tools and software, buying third party information and doing consumer interviews to produce a detailed report. Once you have figured what the market needs, you can start offering the exact solution and build in your own competitive edge.
Build A Strategy
Building a compelling and turnkey strategy is imperative to the ultimate success of your online business. Without a plan, roadmap or policy to tackle the market, you cannot stay ahead of the competition and meet your business goals. Therefore, it becomes important to formulate a carefully vetted strategy that covers all the touchpoints that merchants and consumers have. You can start by matching your objectives with customer needs and then design a conversion funnel that is more effective and streamlined than the existing ones. This involves your website development, design, payment solutions, and shipment options, etc. For example, a survey revealed that inconvenient return policy in e-commerce stores deterred 80% of shoppers. You also need to keep your analytics in check by reviewing your traffic, retention, click-through rate and other important metrics.
Implement Digital Marketing Solutions
This is probably the most important part of this guide. Running a business in an online environment requires creating a robust digital footprint. This is crucial not just for achieving rankings and getting exposure to your content but becoming qualified to be remembered by your customers. Building your brand image is just as important as SEO or SEM and often requires collective input from different digital marketing practices. This helps in building customer affiliate programs and stimulates repeat business for the brand. Whether you are using organic or paid marketing, make sure to get professional help from seasoned experts. Hiring inexperienced resources will not only waste the valuable time you can invest in other important marketing activities but can also spiral into costly catastrophes for the brand.
Use Human Chat to Engage
We mentioned earlier how building trust can benefit the lifespan and equity of your brand. There are ways you can achieve the customer’s trust without exchanging too many emails or asking for product feedback. While many merchants are shifting towards AI-based chat and support solutions, it can never replace the intuitiveness and cognitive intelligence of human chat services. Human chat plays a key determinant in engaging the visitor, maturing their interest, and influencing conversion decision from them. They also help in providing strong support for non-generic queries and product issues that even the smartest AI-based Chatbots cannot provide. While getting a dedicated chat resource might not be in everyone’s budget, the value they provide eventually pays off in the long run.
Promote a Healthy Workplace
Last but not least, you have to promote a healthy workspace to keep your workforce motivated. This directly impacts on the productivity and quality of your services and contributes to building a positive work culture in the market. In the bigger picture, you are helping the sector while at the same time, building your reputation as a desirable workplace to be employed. When you provide your employees with facilities, a good environment, and supporting management that appreciates their efforts, your employees remain content and take an interest in the work with devotion. This helps in establishing a healthy rapport that directly reflects on your brand as a market leader.
Maintaining healthy competition is the key to pushing for the better overall business. To get the best of e-commerce, take heed from the 5 points we have shared and implement them in your business model. Online businesses are always bubbling with competition, which helps new entrants learn a thing or two each day. Therefore, being aware, updated and prepared should be every online business virtue when venturing in.
About the Author: Basim Butt is a Digital Marketing Specialist at FME Extensions, a leading Magento Design and Development agency. He manages digital marketing of top-notch Magento 2 extensions developed by FME.