Nowadays, eCommerce market in many niches is extremely competitive. Customers have more choices than ever which has several major implications on eCommerce businesses sales performance.
With all the internet marketing channels available to you to promote your products you can easily lose the big picture and forget to ask yourself one crucial secret question that separates eCommerce businesses who do well from those who don’t.
So what is the secret reason why your eCommerce competitors sell more than you? Well, it’s because they ask themselves why would a customer buy this product from me and not from my competitor.
Take any of your products and honestly answer this question. If you don’t know a reason why, thats the biggest problem you have with your eCommerce business.
There are many reasons why a customer might prefer to buy a product from your online store instead of your competitor’s:
1. You have better prices
This one is a no brainer. There are a lot of customers who care mostly about price and whoever offers the best deal gets this customer. However, if a price difference is not that high, customers might look at some of the other factors listed here that can make them buy from you even though you’re not offering the lowest price.
2. Your website feels more secure
There are trust signs on your website that customers recognize. You offer multiple checkout options and customer can find and choose the one they prefer and feel safe with. You have a real phone number they can call, there is an about page where they can easily see that you’re a legitimate company that’s been in business for quite some time. You might have physical locations as well, maybe even in your customer’s city.
All of this data needs to be easily accessible to your customers. You might be a more reputable company than your competitors are but if your customer can’t see that in the content of your website you will not reap the benefits from it. The trust signs need to be easily noticeable and placed where customers expect to see them.
3. Your website is faster
Investing in improving site speed might be the best thing many online stores can do for their conversion rates.
Customers expect your website to load fast. Really fast. In fact, I’m not going to write about it here but I will ask you to read my mate Hrvoje’s awesome article on the subject.
Whoever has the fastest website among competitors will have a strong edge as customers will prefer the fast user experience and will be much more likely to come back to that online store and buy from them again instead of going to a slower store that sells the same product.
4. You have better customer support
Customers expect a lot from customer support nowadays. They will ask you questions via e-mail, contact form, real time chat, telephone, Facebook, Twitter, other social networks and so on.
If you don’t use your customer’s prefered way of communicating with you and your competitor does, guess who will get this customer’s question and ability to make a sale?
5. You have better reviews
And not just you as a business, your product listings need helpful reviews too. If a customer can choose between two stores that sell the same product and one has reviews while the others don’t, customers will be more likely to visit the one with the reviews.
6. You have better navigation and site search
You might have a better price, a faster, more secure website, but if your customer can’t find the product he’s looking for easily you have a problem.
When dealing with a lot of products you need clear and simple to use and understand navigational hierarchy. You need layered filtering options. You need smart site search suggestions.
I strongly urge you to read this blog post about planning eCommerce navigation.
Also check out this case study where a change in site search engine resulted in 338% increase in revenue from site search users.
7. You’re easier to find
This one is mostly about marketing and search engine optimization. No one is going to browse the whole internet to find the best possible deal. Even if you’re the cheapest, unless you can easily be found you will not get a sale. Make sure you are using your advertising money optimally (check out how to allocate marketing budget in eCommerce business)
Strive to be better than your competitors in as many of these 7 ways as possible and you will be the king of your niche in no time!