How to succeed in the e-commerce war with the online retail giants

August 28th, 2017

Even though the two leading online commerce giants: Amazon and Alibaba may seem to have overtaken the Internet shopping market, statistics and forecasts by experts show that smaller online retailers and start-ups stand a serious chance of winning over customers of their own as well.

The question is – how do you outsmart the giants, and how to successfully sell your products or services online and attract more customers who actually go ahead and order?

 

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How the concept of “mass market” has been changing in the last decade

In order to understand and take advantage of the online commerce trends, one must understand the changing concept of “mass market.” While once this meant selling all kinds of products at the lowest price, today with the smartphone enabled consumer, the worldwide mass market is changing along with the purchasing habits and shifting priorities of the consumers.

For example, the humongous Chinese market and its consumers are changing with the growing affluence of the people in this Asian country. Today, more Chinese consumers are looking to upgrade their lifestyles and purchase more luxurious goods and services at the best affordable prices. This is why some new e-brands and vertical marketplaces have managed to achieve an impressive success in winning over more customers from China and the US in the last few years.

How the smaller online retailers have managed to attract more customers

This success is attributed to the focus on curation rather than relying on the warehouse based online retail, like the one offered by Amazon or Taobao. While consumers still rely on these online e-commerce giants when they are looking for a specific product and want to get it at the best price with quick and possibly free shipping and delivery,   the shopping experience is rarely an enjoyable or memorable experience for the smartphone users.

Instead, new e-brands as well as vertical marketplaces are working on developing extensions and mobile apps and curating types of products which their target customers are more likely to peruse and purchase. They rely on creating a fun and enjoyable experience for the customers so that they attract more of them and keep them. Websites and social platforms like Houzz and Poshmark rely on setting new fads and standards, and the Hollar and Wish mobile apps provide consumers with a great list of amazingly discounted goods. Other apps, such as Craiglist, OfferUp and LetGo rely on the easy browsing functionality to achieve more sales and attract greater following.

 

 

Customers are looking for a more personalized experience and a sense of community

Another factor which is affecting the online purchase tendencies is the focus on creating social following through a sense of online community which provides inspiration and aspiration to its members, rather than simply providing consumers with the sterile option of making a quick and easy online purchase. Websites such as: Pinterest, Airbnb or Houzz are perfect examples of the growing trend. The sense of community increases the consumer’s loyalty and is what makes them participate actively in the reviewing of products and services, as well as in making actual purchases based on the opinions of others. Thus a growing number of consumers are showing an interest in using shopping mobile apps and extensions as well as websites which provide both a personal touch along with a sense of a social community experience.

So, in order to outsmart the retail giants and get a larger share of the ever-growing online shopping market, retailers need to focus more on: curating, personalizing and optimizing the social experience for their target customers.

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