The age old fight between eCommerce businesses and the juggernaut Amazon is always painted as a David versus Goliath story. Amazon’s growth accelerated during lockdown when online spending rose, and the overall increase in online spending has seen them take the lion’s share with 1 in 3 online sales in the UK now attributed to them. On top of this, their recent announcement that they will now be offering a grocery delivery service means their expansion continues and their scope of competition widens. 

Yet every now and then there is news that provides possible development in this field. For example, Google’s recent announcement that it will drop commission fees for merchants that participate in its Buy on Google program did just this. It allows consumers to search for and check out products directly on its platform without being directed to retailers’ pages, whilst also stating it is opening its platform to third-party providers such as PayPal to give retailers more choices. Yet whilst this situation gives a glimmer of hope, it in-itself is not enough to give Amazon a meaningful run for its money in eCommerce.

The challenge and the opportunity 

And here’s the challenge for small to medium eCommerce businesses as Amazon is the 14th most popular website in the world. Since the start of 2020 the worth of the Amazon empire is reckoned to have increased by more than half, to an astonishing £1.1 trillion. In a recent announcement they also stated that quarterly sales that were up 40% on the same period last year. Such is their monopoly that their share of the eCommerce market is thought to stand at about 44% in the US and about 30% in the UK.

Yet for all this, Amazon is susceptible and has chinks in the armour. A survey by supply chain software company Convey of over 2000 consumers showed the ways in which Amazon customers are dissatisfied, showing a potential path for competitors to create an opportunity at Amazon’s expense. Of the concerns raised, 24.5% said they would not use Amazon if they had to pay for shipping, and 23.7% said they believe Amazon has a very negative or somewhat negative impact on retail. And with this we consider some of the top tips to compete as an eCommerce business with the giant. 

Leverage your brand and build loyalty 

The sprawling expanse of offerings on Amazon is vast, but is stripped back and does not bring with it the feel of buying from an eCommerce store that has a humanised customer journey that strikes a chord using omni-channel content. 

Your brand presence is fleshed out by everything from your social media presence to your content marketing efforts, and when they all come together they make an online presence feel personal and well understood. 

A case in point of hammering home your brand and giving customers a better experience from buying products and services directly from you is Go Pro who have created a loyal customer base that buys into their social media content that showcases tips on usage, best in class content, and ties it neatly into their own messaging. There is a reason that GoPro has 15.7 million followers on Instagram, and Amazon.com has only 1.8 million. With your own eCommerce website you have the opportunity to foster brand loyalty through communications, marketing, imagery and even activity on socials. Amazon cannot do this so make this a difference maker. 

Identify your niche and own it 

Amazon’s strength can also be a susceptibility in that whilst it offers everything, it is unable to bring with it a brand presence that associates itself with a speciality. By being a go-to supplier in a specific field, such as car supplies or fishing equipment, you can earn a reputation as a field expert and build a presence by developing informative content. 

You can find with this the opportunity to get yourself found in a marketing space by finding keywords in a narrow niche and dominating it as Amazon will likely have a greater expanse and reach. What you must take into account is that whilst Amazon can offer a lot, their content marketing and email communication will not be able great in terms of owning that field so you should be able to win over an audience using knowledge and keyword identification and build a loyal customer base if done well. 

Alongside the content ensure you offer customer service where you can become renowned for the right reasons. With Amazon, it’s almost impossible to get through to a real person, and that, again, presents an opportunity for other brands to compete

Retarget to customers and optimise touchpoints 

Once you have customers on your site you don’t want to lose them. Optimise your customer journey for all it is worth and make drop offs at key touchpoints a thing of the past. 

One of the ways to do this is by using real-time remarketing that nurtures and develops the customer experience using customisable overlays that can offer up discounts and solutions to incentivise purchases. 

From browse abandonment campaigns that can be set up to pop-up based on triggers to Cart Reminder emails that alert customers who have abandoned their items at the checkout stage that they are yet to complete their purchase, Cloud.IQ’s platform is able to bring you solutions that level the playing field between eCommerce businesses and Amazon. 

To learn more about how Cloud.IQ has helped 1000’s of brands before and how it could help you, click below for a free trial

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