So, you have learned how to identify your product, how to extrapolate a picture of your ideal customer archetypes, and how to determine how strong the competition is in the particular niche you are trying to compete in.
But how do you give yourself an advantage over all of those other people competing for the dollars being spent in your niche? That’s actually not as complicated as you might think and it’s not that difficult either. Plus, you’d be surprised how many eCommerce businesses out there actually fail to take this one important step.
Instead, these companies create “cookie-cutter” or “clone” businesses that look like a pale imitation of whatever site they are trying to emulate. There’s nothing wrong with trying to be successful like your favorite store, but there is something wrong with creating a website that looks almost exactly the same and sells the same products.
You don’t want to be a clone of a website that is selling; you want to be unique in the midst of these successful websites which will also make you successful. In other words, don’t be a follower. Make your business into a trendsetting — a leader in the field and don’t be afraid to take some chances. If you want to make your business stand out among the competition here are some ways to do exactly that.
Go Above & Beyond
If you want to make your company stand out among all of the others out there then you need to work harder than they are willing to work and that means giving more to your customers than other companies are willing to give.
Whether that means manning your Twitter until the wee hours of the morning to do customer support, or paying for options that make the customer experience better, you’ll find that companies that are willing to go the extra mile for their customers will end up with loyal buyers who will rarely go elsewhere, even if someone else has a better price.
Whatever you do, don’t be ordinary. There are many ‘average’ companies out there that have nothing to make them stand out above the rest; be a mediocre company and you’ll get mediocre sales.
Create a Winning Brand
If you want staying power in a competitive market, you need to make your brand stand out above all else. You want to make sure that you are the company that someone thinks about when they think about a product that you sell. Think about some of the most successful companies in the world for various products and services.
Who do you think of when you think of fried chicken? Church’s? KFC? What about when you think of tools and hardware? ACE is probably pretty high on your list. That’s because these companies have created a winning brand. They have used advertising, marketing and plain old hard work to make themselves one of the top companies in the nation for that niche.
Make Your Marketing Memorable
You’ve heard of viral videos? Well, that’s one of the most effective ways that people make their marketing memorable. Superbowl commercials are another way. The plan here is to create a marketing effort that is so successful at sticking in people’s minds that they think of your brand later on, hopefully when they are in a position to buy a product or service that you offer.
You don’t necessarily have to create a viral video to make your marketing memorable (although if you can pull it off, that’s an extremely effective method of getting your name out there) but you do need to make sure that every marketing effort you make is as memorable as you can design it.
Create a Compelling Blog
You’ve probably heard that a blog is one of the best ways to market your business. That is true for several reasons. First, the more content you have on your website, and particularly if you are publishing fresh content each week, the more authoritative your site becomes. Second, with each blog post that you create you target more keywords and if you can find a way to funnel the traffic that comes in via your blog posts over to your sales page, you will be turning those blog posts into cold, hard cash.
However, creating a blog isn’t enough. You need to create a blog that people actually want to read. Publishing a boring blog post might get you some traffic to your blog with the keywords that you create, but it isn’t going to make people stick around and read that blog post, nor is it going to make them want to head on over to your store and actually buy something. Also, a high bounce rate will make your credibility with Google and the other search engines go downhill.
Make Your Company an Expert in Your Field
If you want people to buy from you, make yourself an expert in the field you are in. For example, NAPA Auto Parts sells a lot of auto parts because people can go into any one of their parts stores and get expert advice on everything from which part they actually need to how to install it. If you are an expert in your niche, people will buy from you.
Develop a Unique Value Proposition
Having expertise in a field is important as is creating marketing that people will remember and a brand that they can put their trust in. But all of that is simply a precarious house of cards if you don’t have anything of value to offer them. You want people to see the value in the products that you have, and that goes back to what we discussed in the first chapter — solving a problem for them.
Think of it this way: Imagine that you were sitting at your desk, with a ton of work to complete. Lunchtime rolled around and you were starving, but you didn’t have time to go out and get something.
Along comes a vendor selling a sandwich for $15. Sure, that’s a pretty hefty price to pay for a sandwich, even a 12-inch sub sandwich, but you’ve got the money in your pocket and you’re hungry, so you make the purchase. That’s a unique value proposition. The vendor offered you something valuable that no one else was offering you.
Now imagine the same vendor coming along after you had ordered Chinese food delivery. You have already eaten and he comes along with his $15 sandwich. Not only do you not find value in his proposition, it is no longer unique, because another company has already met your need.
Cultivate Your “X-Factor”
Finally, you’ve heard of the “X-Factor.” It is an indefinable quality that some companies have that makes people want to buy from them. There is no logic behind it like there are for more of the other items on this list. In fact, people often buy from an “X-Factor” company despite the lack of a good reason.
Although cultivating that particular quality is difficult — because there are no instructions on how to do it, if you can pull it off you will be in a much more effective position to be successful at eCommerce.