Online marketing is a very competitive arena. There are many online businesses chasing the same customers and the costs of running campaigns on platforms like Google Adwords continue to escalate. So, it’s important to create a competitive advantage that considers the needs and wants of customers and how your business can satisfy them profitably.
Here are 9 factors that can help you create a competitive advantage:
A wider selection of products generally means a wider choice for customers and leads to higher sales volumes. Amazon is a classic example, having developed a competitive advantage by having a wide selection of books that was far more than you would get from a bookstore.
Price rules the web and the most competitive businesses generally have lower prices compared to their rivals. However, it’s not the only factor that rules and it’s important to provide a high value service that includes speedy delivery and also competitive prices. Many online shoppers are searching for a bargain and for coupons and vouchers and you can use these to increase sales however you should be aware that they are not very effective at increasing loyalty.
Availability is about responding to customer and visitor queries on time and ensuring that all enquiries lead to high satisfaction. Also, products should be available when requested and should be in stock for customers to buy.
The internet has the advantage of providing convenience for shoppers – which beats offline shopping and you can make use of this by ensuring all products are available for purchase on your website.
You can build a competitive advantage by providing a wealth of data on your website about your products or services and how your target customers can benefit. So you can provide a knowledgebase section, FAQs, customer information resources and much more to keep them informed and set your business apart as being extra knowledgeable. Also, aim to provide detailed product descriptions so that visitors don’t have to look elsewhere for additional info which could lead to customer defection.
6. Brand recognition
Everything your business does online whether it’s advertising, contacting prospects, connecting on social media etc will either help or hinder your brand. So you should plan your brand strategy and engage in activities that help lead to higher brand recognition with your target markets.
7. Personalised service
Personalisation is power and companies like Amazon have put a lot of effort towards providing a unique experience for visitors through personalisation. So for your visitors, you can display closely related products to the ones they are viewing and you can display similar products purchased by other customers and also remind visitors about products that they’ve viewed and how they are similar to other products. Personalisation is also important in email marketing to keep recipients engaged and interested in communications.
Website accessibility is important to boost customer trust and engagement. Your website should be available at all times and you should ensure you have sufficient resources to reduce downtimes and failures, otherwise your business looks unprofessional.
Website quality is one of the most important factors to build a competitive advantage on the web. A poor quality website leads to poor user experience and lack of trust with the target market.