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Why you won't beat Amazon with your current tactics

Jan 17, 2021

Summary

  • Amazon is without a doubt a force to be reckoned with
  • Focusing on beating Amazon in price, logistics and distribution won't get you far
  • You need to create an experience that keeps shoppers engaged
  • You need to focus on inspiration

It's probably the hottest topic in ecommerce. How do you stay in business when Amazon enters your market? They're superior when it comes to logistics, distribution and price. And, their entrance in a new market challenges every other retailer. But, that doesn't mean you should stop focusing on these parts of your business. It just means that it will not be the make or break when competing with a giant like Amazon. To stand out, you need to think differently.

Just imagine this.

What happens when you've optimized your logistics, vendor agreements and support to the point where it's best-in-class?

Most ecommerce businesses turn towards fighting the advertising and bidding wars on Facebook and Google. But competition is fierce and cost is just increasing. And focus on these channels is often related to price, which is a war Amazon will easily win.

So how can you stand out from your competition and truly compete against a giant like Amazon?

Why you wont beat Amazon with your current tactics - CP

It's time to focus on inspiring your visitors

Online retail is a matter of numbers.

Conversion rate optimization, retention rate, lower cost per acquisition and increasing basket size, just to name a few. If it's not tangible, chances are it won't be part of your strategy, tactics or your mindset in general. 

Read more: Why Amazon sucks at inspiring shoppers

But if you only focus on what you're able to measure today, Amazon will beat you on every single one of your KPIs.

Because, if you know what you want, you'll probably be able to find it on Amazon and checkout fairly easily. But when it comes to product discovery and inspiring visitors, Amazon has a long way to go. It's a marketplace that offers very little inspiration. 

So the big question is. How do you make an intangible activity such as improving how you inspire visitors, tangible?

The impact of inspiration

Inspiration leads to engagement. And engagement leads to sales.

But inspiration can mean a lot of things and come in many shapes and forms. It can happen on your online store or even in your paid tactics or community management.

Inspiration is not just a fluffy buzzword that just translates into better visuals. It's a mindset that should be as natural to address in a marketing meeting as how do we optimize our paid tactics. The lack of tangible value perceived when talking about inspiration often kills projects before they can take off.

But focusing on improving how you inspire your visitors to engage with your offering is what is going to be a main factor if you want to thrive in a world that involves Amazon.

So, where do you start?

Start by having a critical view of your current setup. 

Look at it from the perspectives of the two top level customer types. The ones looking for a specific product and the ones who are just browsing.

Read more: Understanding the two types of shoppers

Is inspiration just something that you take for granted because you've made your products accessible in structured categories and grid views?

Are you actively guiding your visitors to discover and engage with your products? Or are you placing the majority of your eggs in the optimizing-fastest-route-to-checkout basket.

You need to give your visitors a reason to start engaging with the products on your store. And that reason has to be better than providing a top-level product category.

Start by defining which top-level themes your buyers are looking for.

If you sell products for gardening, don't settle for categories of lawnmowers and greenhouses. Build a theme that enables your users to turn their garden into the best place on earth.

If you sell sporting goods, don't settle for categories and endless grids with the same running shoe where the only thing that changes is the brand, color and size. You want to guide your visitors to find the perfect running shoe for their ambitions.

Amazon can't do that. But you can.

And if you want to beat Amazon, you need to not only do it, you need to be the best at inspiring more consumers to engage with your products.

Jesper Wilhelmsen

Jesper Wilhelmsen