Experts Speak: How to Compete Against Amazon
:: By Amberly Dressler, Managing Editor ::
What is required to win sales against the fifth-most popular website in the world (source: Compete.com) varies, of course, but asking for advice from Internet professionals who are doing just that is a good place to start.
Website Magazine has enlisted the help of Internet retail professionals and e-commerce solution providers to see which online best practices they suggest are most effective when going head-to-head with Amazon.
Exploit Amazon's Weaknesses
"Amazon's massive size allows it to benefit from economies of scale, but such a wide scope can also be a weakness. With so many products for sale, it's impossible for Amazon to offer specialized, expert guidance.
We focus on capitalizing on our niche by being experts in small leather goods. This is how we carve our competitive edge and take business away from Amazon to our e-commerce site.”
~William Bauer, Managing Director of Royce Leather
“Don’t compete against Amazon, work with them! Include them in your business marketing and growth strategy to expand your reach and target new customers who wouldn't have found your website otherwise or only do business in the Amazon ecosystem.”
~Linda Parry, CEO of Product Launchers
Ask for Reviews
“Small retailers, specifically location-based retailers, can compete with Amazon by having strong reviews on Yelp, Google, Facebook and other directories. When presented with a choice of choosing a big brand versus a local retailer, consumers statistically choose local on review sites.
Why? Online reviews are trusted almost as much as personal recommendations.”
~Catherine Schutten, Senior Manager of Content and Brand Strategy at LocalVox Media Inc.
Create a Community
“One of our techniques to compete with Amazon is to provide additional information on products and build a community for our target audience. We make our customers feel like they are part of a community by encouraging them to share their cute photos (of their kids in our formal wear) after they made a purchase from our website.”
~Lisa Chu, Owner of Black N Bianco
“Amazon has pricing algorithms in place to constantly change their prices against competing merchants. The way we have been able to beat them, is to deploy smarter repricing software to get the coveted Buy Box.”
~Miki Segal, CMO of JMAC Supply
Use Them to Increase Conversion
“We make wearable video cameras (think GoPro but smaller and actually wearable), and we use Amazon for customer validation that we are a major and legitimate company. It expands our distribution as another outlet for sales, and complements our direct sales on our website and with other major online retailers.”
~Drew Martin CEO and Founder of MeCam
Be More Socially Responsible
“As a consumer, I try to purchase items on Amazon as a last resort because of Amazon's low levels of social responsibility as a company. If a company were to advertise their socially responsible choices, I'd choose to buy the product through them rather than Amazon.”
~Bre Lembitz, Online Shopper & Self-Employed Model
Wait, there's more. Get more tips on how to compete against Amazon at wsm.co/morezonspeak.
Meanwhile at eBay
eBay's VP of Search Technology, Dan Fain, dishes on how his company's algorithm gives sellers equal opportunities in reaching targeted buyers at wsm.co/seoebay