The market demand for e-commerce is at an all-time high. Since the onset of the pandemic, more consumers have shifted to online shopping following a series of lockdowns, retail closures and travel bans. Studies show that young people are now doing their shopping online more than ever.
To keep up with the demand, retail giants and small businesses have established infrastructure to deliver their products and services to consumers. Because of this, the e-commerce space is becoming crowded as everyone competes to attract and retain customers.
What are the strategies to fight the competition in this fast-growing e-commerce environment? Let us share some ideas that can get you ahead.
Use Marketing Automation
To stay ahead of the competition, your e-commerce business needs to have streamlined processes. Since most purchases are online, marketing automation utilizes technology to help you manage every aspect of the company from one platform, from social media, advertisements, email marketing to billing and payments.
According to a survey, at least 75% of all companies use at least one kind of marketing automation tool. Once you incorporate these systems in your e-commerce business, your staff can save more time, and tasks will be more efficient.
With marketing automation, you can:
- Send email reminders to customers
- Track payments
- Manage social media pages and posts
- Follow up with customers
- Analyze customer behavior
Choose Better Shipping Options and Partners
In the first half of 2020, the demand for fulfillment centers increased by 51% as companies looked for space to store their products for customer deliveries. As of 2021, the average warehouse cost and pricing is expected to increase as the fulfillment industry continues to grow.
As an e-commerce business, logistics is a crucial part of the business. Therefore, you need to keep your supply chain steady at all times to avoid losing customers to your competition.
A Shopify report shows that in order to stand out in the crowded ecommerce space in 2021, your business needs to automate its shipping processes and have efficient fulfillment networks. This includes partnering with third-party logistics providers (3PLs).
If you don’t know how to connect with a logistics provider, luckily, there are warehousing and fulfillment matchmakers that can guide you. The benefits of using such companies include:
- You’ll get recommendations of the best warehouses
- You’ll receive multiple quotes from different vendors
- The company provides local and international recommendations
- You’ll save time looking for a logistics provider.
- The warehousing and fulfillment companies are pre-screened
The number of digital buyers keeps growing each year. For instance, in 2020, more than two billion people purchased goods or services online, while e-retail sales surpassed $4.2 trillion globally. This shift is a clear indicator that e-commerce is the way to go.
When starting your business, you should be flexible enough to adapt to customer demands. For instance, you should change your business model and processes to cater to digital sales and deliveries if you want to fight the competition.
Retail giants such as Amazon had a market share of 37% in 2017 and is projected to hit 50% of the entire e-commerce retail market’s gross merchandise volume in 2021. Looking at these numbers, it’s no secret that e-commerce is a rapidly growing sector. Therefore, your business needs to also make the shift if you are going to survive.
If you want to make changes, you could:
- Adopt new styles of marketing
- Focus on other forms of digital marketing
- Add or ditch some products
Study Your Competition
If you are going to get ahead of your competition, you need to get in on the e-commerce and retail trends your competitor is using to succeed. Start by studying them the same way you do your consumers.
You can easily get information about how they operate from their social media pages, blogs and websites. Additionally, you can try out some of their services and see what works and what’s lacking. With this information, you can easily craft some strategies for your e-commerce business.
Since the business operations are primarily online, you need to learn their tactics and use that to boost your digital marketing efforts. Once you identify where your competitor is coming short, you can build a strategy around that and reach more customers with your products and services.
Build Your Social Media
E-commerce today relies on social media and has accelerated the growth of social commerce. Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Pinterest are at the forefront in influencing consumers to buy products and services. With these platforms, you can build a loyal following online and use these numbers to promote your business.
If you want to fight your competition, you need to have a presence on these platforms. You can sponsor some ads and tailor them for your target market. Additionally, you can use social media influencers to endorse and push your products to their audiences.
About 72% of the U.S. population use at least one social media site. Therefore, you can take advantage of these numbers to market your business and reach potential customers. You can make social media work for you by:
- Tailoring posts for the right social media channel
- Sponsoring ads
- Using all the available platforms
Establishing and sustaining a successful e-commerce business requires you to be strategic. The demand for online services has significantly contributed to the growth of this industry. As a result, the e-commerce environment has become pretty competitive.
To stay ahead of the competition, you need to make sure that you use strategies such as market automation, social media promotion, warehousing partnerships and adaptability. While there are so many players in the business, these tips will help you establish your presence and overcome the challenges that new e-commerce sellers face.
E-commerce is projected to grow much further in the coming years. Therefore, your business needs to be well-equipped to acquire and retain customers if you are to survive.