The future for physical stores is not as bleak as it may seem. However, it’s true that online stores have many large, seemingly insurmountable advantages including convenient shipping, a wider selection of items, lower prices, and faster means of finding the products you need in this season of Covid.
For this reason, an online retail business is a great way to sell your products to customers around the world. As the online market grows, however, competition is tough, that’s why we have broken tips to help you be competitive in the crowded e-commerce space.
Hence, we’re going to look at how the Four P’s (Prices, Product, Placement, Promotion) can help you make sure you stay competitive in the marketplace.
Understanding The (Four) 4P’S
What do you want to sell on your e-commerce store (and more importantly) how do you want to market it to your potential customers. Ideally, a product should fulfill an existing consumer demand. The type of product partially dictates how much businesses can charge for it, where they should place it, and how they should promote it in the marketplace. Furthermore, Customers need to understand the features, advantages, and benefits that can be enjoyed by buying goods or services. When thinking about a product, consider the key features, benefits, and the needs and wants of customers.
How much can you sell your products for while still attracting plenty of new customers and keeping your business running with a healthy profit. There is the need for you to link the price to the product’s real and perceived value, but they also must consider supply costs, seasonal discounts, and competitors’ prices. It is also important to know when and if discounting is appropriate. A discount can sometimes draw in more customers, but it can also give the impression that the product is less exclusive or less of a luxury compared to when it is was priced higher.
Where do you want to sell your products? The world of online shopping is growing every day and customers are in control as to where they buy from. It is important to consider how accessible the product or service is and ensure that customers can easily find you. The product or service must be available to customers at the right time, at the right place, and in the right quantity.
How do you get your customer to know about your product. Promotion includes advertising, public relations, and promotional strategy. The goal of promoting a product is to reveal to consumers why they need it and why they should pay a certain price for it. There are different ways to successfully promote your product, these include advertising, sales promotions, special offers and public relations.
Neglecting one or even two of these important factors could be the leading cause as to why you struggle to keep your e-commerce store competitive against your competitors.
Furthermore, in today’s competitive business world, it pays to stand out. Because if you don’t have a strong online presence, you can pretty much count on losing business to other e-commerce companies selling similar products and services as yours.
By regularly researching the competition and seeing what they’re up to, you’re at an advantage because you’re able to be more deliberate in how you present your brand to its intended audience.
Therefore, it’s important to know what your competitors are up to. If you’re not regularly scoping out their websites, you’re missing out on vital information that will help strengthen your e-commerce business.
How to Analyse Your Competitors
Having the 4 P’s in mind for relevance in the competitive marketplace, here are some of the things you should be looking for when visiting the competition’s website are:
Their Product Offerings.
Firstly you need to know and understand what is it exactly that they are selling. Are the products and services similar to yours? Why is that? What makes them similar? How does the competitor sell the product on their website? Do they list all its features and benefits or explain in detail how it fulfills an unanswered need? All these questions help you get very clear about what your competitors are doing to stay in the forefront of potential customers’ minds.
Sales and promotions
Knowing which times of the year your competitors offer deep discounts, their incentives, and other types of promotions is important because it allows you the opportunity to develop your own enticing offers. If you notice that the competition gets a great response to a certain promotion, you can launch the same type of deal on your website but add your personal flair to the offer. That way, your customers know that they’re getting something exclusively created for them.
Get to know how prices are determined by studying their pricing models. Does the competition offer free shipping after a customer has spent a certain amount dollar-wise? Is there buy two, get one free deal? Or is there a similar type of promotion that encourages the consumer to buy more than one item at once to get a bigger discount?
You see, how you price your products will determine how well their value is perceived by the public. If you price them too high, people may not think they can afford them. If you price the products or services too low, the customers may think that they are poorly made or planned out and ultimately avoid buying them.
Possible keywords they’re using for SEO.
If you want the search engines to do the work for you, you’re going to need to do good keyword research on the competition’s website. By doing so, you’re able to see which words and phrases they’re ranking highest for. If you sell similar products and services, you’ll want to be among the top spots on the first page of the search engines so that people will automatically click on your website. Take the time to find out which keywords to focus on because without SEO, your business is virtually invisible.
HOW TO STAY COMPETITIVE IN THE MARKETPLACE
Get to Know Your Customers
Customer insight is one of the most underrated parts of online business and one of the most valuable. The more you know about your customers, the easier it is to tailor your operations to meet their needs. But how do you get to know your audience when they’re anonymous internet users? Thanks to technology tools, this process is easier than you think. An example is;
Google Analytics: This tool tells you how customers behave on your website. You can see the most-visited pages, find out how customers move through your website and see how long they’re spending on each page. Google Analytics also tells you: When customers visit your website, where your customers are from, the search terms customers use to find your website, how many visitors come back to your site, which of your digital ads bring the most traffic.
Build Brand Loyalty
It’s no secret that keeping an existing customer is cheaper than bringing in a new one. That’s why it pays to invest in building brand loyalty. As an online business owner, this means you need to offer an incentive for your customers to choose your business over the competitors.
Some ways to build loyalty are: Send special discount codes to repeat customers. Allow customers to make profiles for faster checkout. Create a rewards program. Accept popular online payment methods. Recommend useful products based on customers’ purchase history.
Another way to build loyalty is to differentiate your product in a way that speaks to the customers’ needs. If your buyers are sick of expensive shipping fees, you could offer free shipping and returns. If your competitors send products in plain, boring boxes, you could invest in beautiful packaging to delight customers. Small, thoughtful touches can go a long way toward creating repeat business.
Conclusively, when you’re selling products online, staying competitive is an ongoing effort. By staying on top of your operations, customers, industry, and competitors, you can set up your company for success. As you build a strategy, keep in mind that higher sales and better marketing aren’t the only way to put more cash in your pocket.