You have an e-commerce store. You invested a substantial amount of your time, capital, and effort in it.
But the returns are not as promising as they sounded when you set-up the store. The sale is down; the margin reduced and profitability hurt.
You put your e-commerce store under the microscope. Carried out the biopsy but still are not able to understand why conversions are down.
Maybe there is no problem in your store at all. It might be somewhere else, but still affecting you.
So you might wonder what it is.
The problem is trying to compete only on price.
There is always someone willing to sell for less than you.
You too might have done it. Gone across the shopping comparison and amazon in search of the best deals. Remember?
Now your prospective customers are doing the same to you!!
Remember the names Amazon, Nextag, PriceGrabber, Shopzilla, Pronto, Shopping.com, etc. The shopping comparison search engines/websites and amazon. Check them out again and see if your competitors are there, listed on it.
Maybe you too will go that way. That is understandable. You are in neck-to-neck, rat race with your competitors.
Real buyers (not just visitors) frequent these sites to clinch the best deals. So there is no harm being there with your best deals.
But what about the growing competition.
The low barrier, the easy-entry lure is irresistible to many businesses (your competitors). Competition only gets sharper with each passing day.
There will definitely be somebody out there to beat you with a better deal. No doubts at all. It is only matter of time.
You have to insulate your business from the uncertainties of the shopping comparison.
How will you do that?
I will tell you.
- Unleash the power of content marketing. Sink your brand in psyche
It is easier said than done. But if done right, you will be unbeatable.
Suppose if you are thinking to have a burger for quick brunch then would you not think “McDonald”.
If it is a soft drink, then does not the image of a curvaceous bottle of “Coke” pops up in your mind.
It is because we have become familiar with a product or service and it is buried in our psyche. That does not happen overnight. It takes years of marketing toil and huge capital.
Maybe you do not have the time and money to reach that level.
No problem there is way out and it is quite affordable and effective. Your business can achieve its true potential.
What is that?
Invest time and money in content marketing. It will not cost you much, but the returns will overwhelm you.
Online marketing has seen an explosive growth. Tap its benefits and get ahead of your competitors and get noticed by potential customers.
Create and follow feasible content marketing plan that makes you:
- Publish content that is useful to readers. Like a Guest post at well know blogging sites.
- Invest in profitable paid campaigns on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, etc.
- Reach out to the top influencers or link creators on the social media. Build relation with them and ask them to speak for your brand.
- Adopt intensive social media marketing strategy to spread a good word about your business.
- Create an email marketing campaign.
- Invest in website analytics and retarget visitors based on their footprints on your website. Which way did they go? For how much time?
- Spend money to raise your search rankings of your business keywords.
- Upload your-business-related-videos on YouTube.
- Webinar and educate people about your business.
Share, share…… share your content on different platforms, simultaneously.
Place your content on all the major Internet highway junctions. Like you see MacDonald’s restaurants and Coke’s billboards on most of the busy road junctions.
Make your business familiar to millions through content marketing. Sink your products into their psyche. Make them inseparable. They will not search you on the shopping comparison site but head straight to your website.
- Get your feet on the ground. Carry out survey and connect with people
Whether you are starting a new business or expanding the existing one, you need surveys. Without them, it is like shooting arrows in the dark.
Through the survey, you know the right way to sell to your customers. You know what to sell and how to sell.
The survey helps you uncover your customer fears. You know their inhibitions and create a business offering that takes care of their fears.
You get crucial customer behavior statistics and include them during product development. Having done that you seal a successful launch of your product.
Survey points out why customers opted your products over your competitor’s or vice versa.
The crucial insights help you work on your weak areas and make them stronger; the stronger one, more strong.
So it is all about aligning your business with your customers.
It depends on how perfect your surveys are.
- Present game-changing differentiators. Beat your competitors
In this age of information revolution, any information you seek is just a click away from you. So people research about a product or service to make a buying decision.
They are also researching your business and comparing it to your competitors. Somewhere, on the Internet the information is not in your favor.
The self-proclaimed comparison Gurus who have sprung up on the Internet may not speak in favor of your business. Maybe they have their own vested interests.
So the best way forward is to speak out for your business in a way that it stands out from the crowd. Back it up with hard facts and win your customers’ confidence.
Comparison charts, Case studies and FAQs help you do that.
Use a case study to explain how your product/service solved your customer’s problems.
Place it in the header of the home page.
Next comes the Comparison chart.
Merge your technical, writing and presentation skills to create crucial differentiators.
Highlight the features and benefits that you provide and which your competitors cannot.
You will stand-out from your competitors
See below in the screenshot how inmotion hosting, a web hosting company has a key differentiator right at the bottom of the chart. It is – Room to Grow – a scalability feature that is not available to its competitors.
Try to add as many differentiators in your comparison chart and be out-of-bound for your competitors.
Place the comparison chart on the main sales page just above the CTA button.
Turn the tables in your favor!
FAQs dispel any myths or doubts that potential customers may harbor. Provide their link in the footer on every page, including the main sales pages.
If you have many key differentiators, why not create ‘WHY US’ page.
Remember the writing on the wall says it all, be it a graffiti, a signage, a billboard or a WEB PAGE.
Make your web copy conversational, personal to connect quick and easy with your readers.
Add emotional touch points – the landing points for your traffic. Otherwise, they will hover and fly off to your competitor’s website.
Spin a story around your business; how it solved a particular person’s problem. Create a marketing lesson that helps the audience. Write to engage and impress instead of bore them with another piece of crap.
Use easy-to-understand language. Cleverly mix it up with technical terminology that makes you sound like an expert. People listen to you with respect and have trust in what you say
Your prospective customers check your products on the comparison sites because they are not sure about it.
The trust factor is missing.
So give them social proof that your business has the capability to deliver them results that they seek.
How to do that?
Provide the testimonials of your happy customers. Let them share their great experience with your product or service. They become your brand ambassador.
Video testimonials are the best.
People believe more in what they see than in what they read.
So get them right on the hotspots in your website
Comparison shopping is a challenge that every business has to overcome to stay profitable. But if you follow above mentioned tactics you can smartly turn comparison to your advantage.