With many businesses moving online, how can you ensure yours stands out? Source: Shutterstock

3 ways to differentiate your e-commerce business from the crowd

STANDING out as an e-commerce business in today’s digital era can be a struggle. With many big players out there such as Alibaba and Lazada, as well as the millions of other small and medium-sized companies, how can you entice shoppers to come to your site?

Here are three ways in which to get your business noticed.

1.Focus on a niche

A nice helps you get immediate traction. Source: Shutterstock

In a digital world saturated by millions of businesses, it is not wise to try and sell everything. Small to medium-sized businesses that specialize in a niche market will be much more likely to attract engaged and loyal customers. These types of companies have the ability to create niches based on their target audiences interests, lifestyles, and needs. And as such, are more likely to be successful than to try and cater to everybody’s needs.

David Chmelař, Co-founder and CEO, iPrice Group, an online shopping aggregator, explained to Tech Wire Asia the importance of providing customers with a unique value proposition.

“You cannot compete as a generalist with Lazada and 11street because they have such deep pockets and are able to invest in infrastructure and other elements of the e-commerce journey which is hard for companies that are yet to achieve scale.”

“I see beautiful examples of niche players who really do understand their particular niche and are able to advise customers better than those generalists, and as a result can be successful.”

“Without the niche thing, I think an SME player would find it very difficult to fight with those giants,” he adds.

2. Offer a great experience

Shopping as easy as one, two, three. Source: Pexels

A mistake many new e-commerce businesses make is not ensuring that the customer journey is as prioritized as it would be in a brick-and-mortar store.

“People tend to focus on the online component, like how to get followers on to my website, but at the end of the day it’s about being great retailers,” explains Chmelař.

Just like a physical store, you should ensure that your customers’ journey is as smooth as possible. Can they easily find the product they’re searching for? Do the products have good, detailed descriptions? Are there multiple payment options? Do you provide a range of delivery options to cater to demands of your customers?These factors will all determine the success of your business.

“You will lose customers immediately if you are not an expert in the type of goods or category you are selling. You can do a lot of good advertisement, but at the end of the day, you will not sell,” adds Chmelař.

3. A comprehensive marketing strategy

In order to gain traction and stand out from competitors, your business must have a solid marketing plan. Source: Shutterstock

As the old adage goes, “fail to plan, and you plan to fail”. An e-commerce business that has aims of growing, competing and scaling must have a comprehensive marketing strategy.

You must identify your goals and objectives, create a mission statement and value proposition, identify your target customers and market, create a cross-platform promotion plan and more.

Though obvious, social media marketing is a fundamental method of getting your business name out there to a wide audience. More and more consumers are using social media to make decisions before making a purchase- otherwise known as “social proof”.

There are various ways your e-commerce company can utilize social proof such as influencer marketing, customer reviews, user-generated content, and social media competitions.