In the world of business, no matter the industry, you’ll be beset, on all sides, by competitors trying to lure your customers to them with better deals, and more eye-catching advertising. This may be an annoyance, and infuriating at times, but this is the nature of business and capitalism. When it comes to ecommerce, this problem is getting exponentially greater due to the accessibility of online trading and selling. However, there are steps you can take to remain competitive in spite of a saturated online marketplace, so read on for our best tips on honing your edge.
The main reason that someone is going to choose one seller over another when buying an item is going to be the cost of the product. Not only that, they’ll also weigh up the cost of delivery, and the quality of that delivery too. It’s not ideal to cut your prices to keep up with the competition who either have much lower overheads or just aren’t overly business savvy, but sometimes needs must. There comes a point though where you just can’t reduce your prices any further and it can feel a bit like you’ve lost the battle. But fear not, as there are ways in which you can draw customers back to you, even if they have to pay a bit more money.
Understanding Your Finances
First of all, make sure you are completely aware of your financial situation. Whether you’re dealing with this yourself or via a professional accountant, discuss what you’re willing to sell your products for while still making a decent profit. This is somewhat of a balancing act, so be prepared to compromise here.
During your analysis of your budgets and spending, you may even identify ways to reduce production and manufacturing costs, furthering your ability to sell products cheaper, beating out the competition entirely. Remember though, those competitors aren’t going to just let that slide, and they’ll find themselves in the same position you were. Be prepared for them to find their own ways of cutting costs, bringing you back to the drawing board.
Speed Is Key
In today’s society, especially when it comes to online trading, the quicker customers can get their purchases, the better. With many websites now offering next-day and even same-day delivery, you’ll find that you may be working incredibly hard to keep up. You’ll want to speed up and streamline as many of your processes as possible, including both the manufacturing and creation of packaging for your items.
Automation is your friend here, so we recommend you strongly consider making good use of automatic machines to boost productivity and keep up with the demand of customers. Packaging machine manufacturers like Blue Print Automation have a wide range of different machines that can speed up this process. As well as this increase in efficiency, you’ll also find that an automated production of packaging material can make the presentation of your products look much more professional too.
Know The Market And Customer
While analytics software and research is important to finding out which demographics are buying your products, the best way to find out exactly what the general customer wants is by listening to them directly. Complaints are never pleasant to read but taking note of any issues that customers have had and turning it into constructive criticism can help you to prevent issues in the future.
Similarly, it’s worth reading blog posts, finding out what influencers are saying about the market you’re in, searching forums for discussions on relevant products, and even checking out complaints left on competitor sites too. All of the information you can garner through these means can help you to stay ahead of the game.
At the same time as using customer feedback to improve your services, make sure you’re rectifying any issues that those customers are having, as hastily as you can. Try to increase your response times where possible and demonstrate that you genuinely care about their happiness and experience buying from you.
Everyone makes mistakes but there are plenty of online stores out there that actively don’t work towards helping their customers out and show that only their profits matter. If you treat your customers right, even when you make a mistake, then you’ll have a better shot at earning their respect and trust, continuing their desire to buy from you and not switch to another seller.
Social media and digital marketing are the best tools in your arsenal for enticing new and old customers to visit your online store or marketplace. Make sure you hire a talented social media manager to keep your online presence relevant and engaging to your customers. Producing quality digital content in the form of graphics and even videos is essential to attract people to check out your store and products. It’s easy to neglect this step but due to the influx of sellers and ecommerce sites out there, many of which are using great social media tactics, you can’t rely solely on natural traffic anymore.