Competing in the Online Market




  • — May 3, 2018

    Amazon is now the UK’s fifth largest retailer, with the e-commerce giant estimated to account for 33.5% of all online spend in 2017. This is up almost 4% from 2016.

    The other biggest retailers in the UK’s top 10 are, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, John Lewis PLC, Marks and Spencer, Aldo, Alliance Boots and Dixons Carphone respectively.

    “Amazon is soaring up the ranks of UK retail with the online behemoth only held off the top spot by the big four grocers n 2017.

    “It’s dominance in retail market considering it primarily sells non-essential items in comparison to the grocers who benefit from selling indispensable, everyday goods, and that it does not have any physical stores in the UK, is evidence of how Amazon has continually innovated and succeeded in meeting consumer needs in terms of both product range and shopping experience. “ – Sofie Willmott, Senior Retail Analyst, Globaldata

    Enhancing the Online Shopping Experience

    So Amazon has a good range of products which they display well and are easily searchable. However consumer watchdog Which? have released the Three common Amazon issues and how to avoid them when purchasing with the retailer. Your online store can use this guide to ensure your own strategies are not frustrating your customers.

    Pushing Subscribed Services

    When looking at a product, adding it to your basket, selecting your delivery options and before confirming your order Amazon encourages you to sign up for their Prime service. This occurs every time a consumer shops with the retailer, this can become irritating to a customer who purchases regularly.

    To ensure you don’t over-market to your consumers, it should be common practice if the customer declines the offer, then they shouldn’t continue to see it during that session or at least for a set time period. If customers have an account they should also be able to set their preferences.

    That’s Not What’s on the Label

    When consumers buy a service or product they expect to receive what they have purchased. However, with Amazon Prime Video it shows everything within the streaming service regardless of whether it’s included in Prime or that the customer needs to pay more to rent. Amazon also will make viewers pay more to change their preferences to only view what’s included.

    With the exception of showing that batteries are not included in an electronic toy, your organization should be clear with the consumer exactly what they have purchased and leave the upselling for other methods than ruining the experience with their product or service.

    Clear Returns and Delivery Information

    Amazon doesn’t only sell products from their own fulfillment centers but also other sellers, which includes well-known brands and individuals. Therefore it can be confusing to consumers what their returns terms are and who they need to return the item to. Therefore it is important on any website that delivers physical products to ensure the information is clearly presented on the website.

    Provide Easy Contact Methods

    If a consumer has feedback, questions or an issue, your organization needs to easily be contactable. Live chat software provides an instant communication channel that connects a visitor to a representative in real time. This allows them to answer the individual’s questions quickly via text-based messages.

    Consumers prefer live chat software over traditional methods such as telephone and email due to its instant nature. And the communication channel has been proven to increase customer satisfaction when implemented successfully, encouraging repeat business.

    Most organizations cannot contend with Amazon in the digital marketplace; however, there are lessons to learn from the retailer, both good and bad. What strategies is your business using to compete online?

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    Author: Gemma Baker

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