Online business is a fiercely competitive arena. There are hundreds of thousands of companies just like you vying for the same set of customers. There are over 24 million eCommerce sites on the web and this number is bound to go up in the coming years.
Our current state of digitalization has allowed customers to have endless choices. For them, moving to your competitor is as easy as clicking a different link. However, it is this competition in the business that makes it so exciting. Even more so in the eCommerce landscape. If you’re looking for ways to one-up your competition, then this article is for you.
10 Tactics to Succeed Online
1. Know your unique selling point.
Your unique selling point (USP) is what differentiates your brand from others. It’s a trait–like product quality, competitive pricing, exceptional customer service, being conscious about the environment — it’s something you have but your competitors don’t. In short, your USP is your competitive advantage.
Identifying your USP is the first step toward standing out from the crowd. It’s what makes potential customers choose you over your competitors.
To find your USP, ask yourself the following questions:
- Why should a customer buy from your business and not from your competitor?
- What is that one thing that you do differently?
- What does your target audience truly care about?
Once you’ve identified your unique selling point, showcase it on your website, ad copies, and all the places where you can catch your customers’ eyeballs.
2. Understand your audience.
The only way you can beat the competition is by truly understanding your target audience, especially their needs and pain points. You need to gather as much data as you can about your customers and their purchasing behaviors. There are plenty of marketing tools available that can help you better understand your users.
Apart from these metrics, you also need to know what motivates them, what scares them, and, more importantly, what makes them click the “Buy Now” button. Having a clear understanding of your customers will help you speak their language and communicate how you can make their lives better as clearly as possible.
3. Establish your niche.
Establishing your niche in a crowded marketplace and clearly communicating with your audience what you do can give you an edge over your competitors. One of the ways to do this is by looking at finer details such as your domain name.
For example, look at these two web addresses and guess which one might be an eCommerce store:
The latter immediately establishes that you’re selling supplies that help people make their gardens look beautiful. Domain extensions such as .STORE help you add more meaning to your domain name and your overall business. They give you credibility against competing generalists and help you focus on the right segment of a larger market.
4. Engage with your customers.
It’s important to create a continuous, two-way dialogue between your brand and your users. Be active on social media and get involved in conversations that your prospective customers are passionate about. Focus on platforms where your prospects and customers are likely to hang out and provide value whenever possible. The key is to stay authentic and true to your brand’s values. What is important is building relationships that are meaningful.
Also, send out feedback forms regularly to find areas to improve and focus more on the things that keep your customers happy. It will communicate the fact that you listen, understand their needs, and acknowledge their opinion.
5. Provide great customer experiences.
When customers have a great experience with your business, it’s likely for them to come back. It also increases customer satisfaction levels. They will become your promoter and refer you to other people, improving your word-of-mouth marketing efforts.
Think about the unspoken needs of your customers and address them.
What can you do to make this purchase a wonderful experience?
Use quick delivery, hassle-free billing, and flexible return policies to delight your customers and create great customer experiences. It’s the little details such as these that set you apart from your competition.
6. Study your competitors regularly.
If you need to stay ahead of your competition, you need to understand and analyze their strengths and weaknesses. Actively studying them and learning from their best practices is crucial when it comes to running a successful online business.
You need to go back to the drawing board periodically and have an active strategy in place to keep track of all your competitors.
Here are some of the things you need to stay updated on:
- Website and advertisements
- Shipping policies
- Product price
- Product range and quality
- Social media presence
- Online reviews and customer grievances
7. Experiment often.
Any business that doesn’t innovate is wiped out by new disruptors. Innovation is key when it comes to standing out from the crowd.
Try to keep up with trends and see if you can apply anything to your business. Make brainstorming a regular team activity and come up with radical ideas. If you get it right, your audience will love you for it.
You can also experiment with your online storefront and the whole customer experience. Start with small, incremental, and measurable changes and see if it makes a difference.
8. Be aggressive in your marketing.
To stand out, you’ll need a holistic, all-around marketing strategy to reach a newer audience and upsell to existing customers. Use content marketing, SEO, PPC, social media, email marketing, and affiliate marketing to leverage all marketing channels. You can give some of these a spin in the beginning and focus on the ones that give you the most bang for your buck.
A combination of both inbound and outbound tactics create brand awareness, produces loyal customers, and ultimately increases your bottom line. Some of these strategies might require outside help from marketing agencies or consultants, but it’s easy to get started on your own.
9. Optimize your web-store for mobile.
Providing a great mobile experience is one of the key ranking factors in SEO.
Most website builders automatically optimize your website for mobile, but the job isn’t done. You need to make sure that your web pages load fast, and the entire shopping experience is as seamless on the phone as it is on a desktop.
You can check your page speed with a free tool like Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
10. Stay up-to-date with trends.
You always need to stay up to date with market trends, especially the ones in your niche. Most of the time, your competitors will have put in the work to identify new trends. Following them will help you anticipate market shifts and make informed decisions.
Be active in communities and forums where your users are discussing this trend. Follow and establish relationships with key influencers in your niche. Staying connected through these channels will give you a headstart on upcoming trends.
Ready to level up and beat the competition?
This constant rise in the number of online businesses is only increasing the competition. On the bright side, the crowded field proves the demand for such businesses is also on the rise, making eCommerce an exciting place to be.
Launch your eCommerce store today with Domain.com!
Alisha is a Senior Content Marketing & Communication Specialist at Radix, the registry behind some of the most successful new domain extensions, including .STORE and .TECH. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.