What should e-commerce platforms improve to ensure higher market shares?
We live in an era where almost anyone can set up online stores. The ease of setting up a website makes online stores so common that it's a struggle to stand out amongst one another. In fact, e-commerce platforms are growing at such a rapid pace that online businesses are all trying to go the extra mile to gain the highest market shares.
This begs the question - how do you make your brand stand out in the midst of so many online options? Similar to physical shops, the following 3 elements play a critical role in driving the success of your online shop.
- Quality of product
- Quality of service
As an owner of an online shop, you can choose to compete either by decreasing the price or by improving the quality of your products. Reducing price is the easiest as it does not require any product or service modifications, but a low price strategy can pose a risk as it can be easily replicated by your competitors. Unless your production and supply chain capabilities are considerably more efficient than your competition, it will be difficult to drive the incremental sales necessary to make up for the lower profit per item. The other option is to position your products based on the quality of the materials. This too is a viable option, but it runs the risk of changing your target market and shrinking the pool of available purchasers for your goods.
If you find yourself at a crossroad between price and quality, there is a third option that you can consider to build the loyalty of your customer base. In order to make an online shop stand out, you can focus on additional services and customer experience offered during the buying process. Focusing on the quality of services can be the very factor that separates you from the crowd.
Many offline retailers have tried to build brand loyalty through:
- Customer Service
- In store branding - signage and packaging
- Easy navigation of products in-stores
- Faster check-out process
Similarly, for an online store to thrive in the internet world, it should provide similar types of services that add value through the buying process:
- An FAQ section, or instant chat on the website for customer inquiries
- Items should be nicely wrapped and packaged before delivery
- Simple navigation on website
- Same-day delivery
Out of all the options above for online shops, the element that would make the online store stand out most is same day delivery. The aim is to mirror the experience provided in a physical store, without the additional inconvenience of having to actually go to the store.
In fact, some of the biggest companies in the world have been trying to implement same-day delivery into their value added services. Amazon, Google and eBay are just some of the global companies that have piloted or implemented some form of same day delivery. As a matter of fact, BI Intelligence* predicts that same day-delivery is desired by 4/10 US shoppers.
Same-day delivery can ensure customer gratification by (1) bringing convenience of having your items nearly as quickly as visiting the store in person and (2) completing the shopping experience by giving immediate human interaction. One of the biggest drawbacks of buying from most online stores is the need to wait a few days for the delivery to arrive. By the time the parcel does arrive, the hype is over, and you’re less excited to receive what you ordered a week ago. Same-day delivery can solve this problem. Having a deliveryman deliver the package to the doorstep of the customer whilst they are still enthusiastic about the order leaves both the customer and the deliverer with a smile on their faces, perfecting the entire shopping experience.
Same-day delivery is the factor that will set your online store away from others. Use same-day delivery to give your customers the most complete online shopping experience yet!
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