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6 Ways Retailers Can Compete in an Amazon World

“Who doesn’t have the Amazon app on your phone?” Adam Morris, CEO at Redstage Networks, posed the question to an audience during the Magento Imagine 2017 breakout session, Thriving in an Amazon World.
About 80 percent of attendees in the room raised their hands. Well…“this is your challenge.”
The intense competitive pressure that huge online companies like Amazon has placed on online retailers has forced eCommerce businesses to rethink their marketing strategies, product mix and the channel strategy in general.
Here are six elements to think about to help give yourself a competitive advantage:
1. Product Authority and Thought Leadership
Rich product content, articles and product education is not something Amazon does particularly well. Provide rich helpful content, product comparison, guides and media and help people become educated and choose the right products for them.
2. Licensing and Exclusivity
Create exclusive channel and reseller relationships. “Limit your competition by design…which can limit a race to the bottom.” This strategy can reduce the price wars and help you maintain better margins.
3. Subscriptions
“Recurring sales are the best sales.” Improve customer retention by design by implementing subscription strategies. However, be conscience about security and PCI, as storing credit-card information is not acceptable without the proper tokenization systems in place. Another pitfall can be custom over subscription. Provide tools to allow users to postpone or reduce subscription levels and/or ship frequency. Too much product in a customer’s hands at too high of a frequency can lead to cancellation and customer dissatisfaction.
4. Personalized Email Marketing
Email can represent 20% to 30% of traffic and produce 300% conversation rates. Gather great information on customers at various stages of the experience and segment your audience properly by demographic characteristics and product interests. Customer data can be conversion gold and allow retailers to provide very customized and personalized outbound messaging and promotions. Make sure you have good data! Misguided promotions that include the wrong products to the wrong audience can have an adverse effect by increasing opt-outs and decreasing conversions.
5.  Bespoke Products & Customizations
Amazon offers very limited customizable products. This provides an opportunity for eCommerce businesses. Create tools to allow customers to personalize products and possibly order in a different format than you might find on Amazon. Give yourself an advantage by differentiating yourself and the products offered in your storefront.
6. Niche Products & Selections
Focus on niche product segments where you can do better. Provide customers with a better shopping experience by possibly proving your knowledge of a product category. Implement filters and attributes that show customers you are an expert in the product segment. Implement advance shopping tools, product selection utilities and comparison guides that help users narrow their product selection quickly and accurately.

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Corey Miller

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