Did you know that 55% of all online searches begin on Amazon?

Take a moment to let that factoid sink in.

Over HALF of online searchers begin their shopping experience on an e-tail site!  Also known as: Your Competition!

What are you and your business doing about that? Besides decrying the erosion of business from your brick and mortar location? Are you just waiting for the inevitable closing of your business because you can’t compete? Or, are you willing to fight back?

Here is some heartwarming news: 85% of consumers would rather shop in your traditional brick and mortar store than purchase online. 71% of Amazon shoppers would prefer to shop in an Amazon store than buy online! (source: Retail Touch Points)

The reality is, only 16% of consumers make a trip to the local store, your store, their first stop.Fight Back against giant e-tailers

Most consumers prefer to shop locally and in stores because they simply want to see, touch and get a feel for the merchandise they’re going to shell out hard earned money for. Now, granted, they may come to browse at your store and still  buy from Amazon so it’s your job to keep them there and see to it they spend their money with you and not some ‘huge, uncaring corporation.’

But how?

Have you ever gone online, gone to Amazon and checked out what prices are being charged for items that you may be selling as well? It can be an eye opening experience.

I’ll give you an example. Recently the water pump for my washing machine died. Replacing one is a fairly easy DIY project that anyone with knowledge of a screwdriver and a pair of pliers can accomplish. Of course, you need a new pump so, l started shopping around. Probably, like you, I like to shop locally whenever I can. I’m a local businessman and I certainly appreciate it when some local establishment chooses me for their online marketing services. I call a couple of the local service parts outlets in the area to compare prices. The pump will cost between $55 and $65. Then I check out Amazon. The same pump, produced at the same factory with the same model number and specs goes for less than $10! With free shipping! Armed with this information, I visit the local shop. They tell me “there’s nothing we can do” about the price.

This is where they lost the sale. I have a general idea what they paid for the product. I know they have a store to light and heat and employees to pay. I get all that. But, is there a $55 difference? Had they just offered to sell it to me for $35, I’d have probably gone for it.

Fully 83% of consumers begin their buying experience, whatever it is they are looking to buy, with an online search.

Strategy #1: KNOWLEDGE – Know your competition. Know what is being charged for things you also sell! If you can cut a deal, do it! You’ve made a customer very happy. Happy customers are return customers.

Strategy #2: EXCLUSIVITY – Offer your customers something they can’t get anywhere else. Not everyone can do this, but offering an item that no one else on the planet offers (private labels) are can’t miss invitations to your location. It doesn’t have to be a product. Maybe you can offer free, or discounted service for a year. Maybe you can offer deep discounts for multiple purchases. Maybe you have a big screen television area available for spouses to watch while their significant other shops. Heck, maybe it’s even you!  Don’t be afraid to brag about what you have and know. Especially if it’s unique.

Strategy #3: INFLUENCE –  Don’t work harder, work smarter. DO better with what savvy businesses do to draw customers in the first place! Bulletin: It’s not always about price!  A survey from Screenwerk.com notes that consumers are willing to pay somewhat higher prices locally in order to accomplish or receive:

  • Better quality work – 72%
  • To support the community – 48%
  • Personalized service – 44%

Do these things better! Your consumers prefer to deal with someone they know. Most good business relies on personality, your personality (and your staff’s) to keep you coming back. Be great and business returns, slack off and so will your business. Bear in mind, in today’s business climate, your customers also expect you to deal and offer discounts.

Your three buzzwords for fighting back against e-tail giants are:

Knowledge, Exclusivity and Influence.

There is one other thing that your customers expect you to have, and that is a pleasant online experience on your website. In many cases your website is a new customer’s first impression of you, and you know that first impressions are lasting.

Next Stage Marketing can help you with that piece of the puzzle, as well as devising methods to help potential customers find your site in the first place.

Contact us for a free online assessment of your website.

Your customers are online, are they finding you, or your competition?