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Amazon’s world continues to expand rapidly. The retail giant
reportedly sold “hundreds of millions of
products” to customers over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday
weekend. If this leaves you concerned about your own retail
business, you’re not alone.
Adam Morris, the CEO of Magento Solution Partner, Redstage, presented expert insights on
Thriving in an Amazon World. Adam Morris
culled evidence from hundreds of his clients to determine six
successful strategies. Here are the six ways to help boost your
business in an Amazon world.
1. Deliver Product Authority and Thought Leadership
A brand that comprehensively understands their products, is one
step ahead of Amazon. Amazon is not a product authority, it’s a
department store. Gain the competitive edge by helping your
shoppers choose products wisely. Make your business and staff
easily accessible to customers. Include articles that help
customers make the right product choices. And add comparison
guides with expert knowledge on product content.
Functional and fashionable brand, S’Well, upgraded their site with comprehensive
educational content that allowed customers to dig deeper into
product information, and learn while they shop. The results
helped increase average time spent on the website by 44
2. Consider Licensing and Exclusivity
Limit your competition by design. Businesses that become
exclusive sellers of a product or master a region, corner the
market on that item. When consumers search for these types of
exclusive products, your business will king. If you are unable
to attain exclusivity or licensing on a certain product, look
towards areas where the market is limited or for manufacturers
that are only distributing to a certain number of companies.
3. Tackle Subscriptions Services
Recurring sales, are the best sales. With subscriptions
services, you can turn one sale into many and build a baseline
of recurring sales. Additionally, “subscribe to save” models
can help you retain customers over a longer period.
Remember, customer satisfaction is key. Make it easy for
customers to postpone their subscriptions, change the
frequency, and prevent oversubscribing. Give them a system that
they can update so they remain on the subscription, happily
Home textile company, Coyuchi, created a unique subscription service on
their digital platform. Through the subscription service,
customers are billed monthly and receive new products every
six, 12, or 24 months, then they return it when they get their
4. Personalize Email Marketing
This is your moment to shine. Sending targeted emails that are
tailored to your customers shows appreciation. Start by
providing a compelling offer to subscribe to your newsletter
list. A compelling offer, such as a discount, increases the
chances a customer will answer a few questions about
themselves. Once you know this information, you can market to
When a retailer fails to tailor their email marketing to a
customer, they may lose that business. According to Adam
Morris, email marketing drives 20-30 percent of site traffic
and 300 percent conversion rates for some Redstage customers.
Don’t miss out on those clicks because of poor segmentation.
5. Provide Bespoke Products and Customization
Amazon does some basic customization of products, but steers
away from more complex customizations. It takes a deeper
understanding of your customer to know the types of
customizations and bespoke products that they would want.
Tom Dixon digitally transformed their site with
added customization options. Through their digital platform,
customers can create their own products online, including
tables, upholstery, and pendant systems. Small trade companies
(designers and architects) can also download CAD files to use
in their in-house designs.
6. Include Niche Specific Attributes
Amazon lacks attribute sets that are niche-specific. The
default search option is to sort by price. And even if you
choose the department you need, most of the time the products
still sort by price. So, what do you end up doing on Amazon?
You search endlessly.
When a customer is looking for a very niche specific product,
make it easy for them to find what they need. Magento customer,
Yakima, has had great success with their Fit My
Car module. Their custom import process combines product data
with “FIT Mapping” data (the year, make, model and roof type of
the car) to create simple, configurable bundles and product
packages on the fly.
Amazon does have the power of brand and a marquee Amazon Prime
offering, but that doesn’t mean your business can’t thrive in
an Amazon world. Focusing on product leadership and
personalization, and offering convenience, exclusivity,
customization, and niche market products will set your business
on the path to success.