Ecommerce isn’t a walk in the park. Trading online may have its perks – lower operational costs, a larger client base, etc. – but it also has real downsides. Competition online between retailers is fierce, with many companies fighting to secure the attention of consumers in any way they can.
One mistake many ecommerce sites make is to get involved in price wars with their competitors. Not only does this reduce the profits for all of those involved, it also restricts future growth and drastically limits potential. After all, with minimal profits, it’s an uphill battle to invest in improvements and improved resources.
So, what’s the solution? If you want to avoid an all-out price war without, there are several strategies you can use to boost sales.
1. Embrace non-price competition
Think best value. Not lowest price.
Non-price competition is a marketing approach that focuses on promoting and distinguishing products and services from the competition by virtually any other means other than price. The goal of non-price competition is to avoid the ‘race for the bottom’ that results when competing businesses scramble to offer the lowest price for the same product or service.
Examples of non-price competition marketing include advertising, promoting the distinguishing features of a service or product (such as its quality, design, or level of workmanship), emphasising the quality of customer care and service offered by the company, and focusing on building strong relationships with customers through consistently high levels of service and support.
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Price isn’t always the deciding factor in every purchase we make.
How many times have you chosen to buy from one company rather than another based, not on price, but on the quality of service you received during your initial enquiry, or the way a member of staff treated you? If you can offer your online customers more than just a product, if you can offer them an experience and the opportunity to become part of a community of like-minded people, you’re offering something that is worth its weight in gold.
Remember – often, it’s not the lowest price that people are looking for, but the best value experience. Don’t confuse offering your customers the lowest price with giving them the best value – there is an enormous difference. Personalisation is the key to success.
3. Differentiate your business
Your differences are your strength – not your weakness. Embrace them.
What are the benefits of your service, products and business? What sets you apart from the competition? How do you improve on the service or product quality available elsewhere?
Once you have identified the areas in which you excel – for example, service, innovation or quality – it’s your job to communicate with the world and get the message out there. Whether you choose radio and TV ad campaigns, quirky social media promotions, or email marketing, it doesn’t matter. Just keep your unique features and benefits in mind and capitalise on them as much as you can.