Any conversation about eCommerce eventually mentions Amazon – and sometimes the only way out is in. Matt Dho from Gravity Payment explains how small businesses can fight Amazon.
Amazon – the bloated retail goliath of the modern era; hell-bent to destroy all that the small business owner holds dear. This is especially true when that small business owner wants or needs to sell products online. How can one compete against the company that sells everything, for less than you can, and ships it for free, faster than you can?It’s impossible, right?I mean, come on. Amazon has their own personal version of Black Friday – Prime Day – where they sell billions of dollars in merchandise in a single day to people who already pay $100 a year for the privilege of shopping with them.
If Tom Cruise can run 67 MPH and pilot corkscrew spirals in helicopters at 56 years old, you, my scrappy small business owner friend, can still put up a fight in the heinous Darwinian death-match known as Ecommerce.
When I started writing this article, it was going to be 90 degrees in Seattle. So, I purchased a Vornado OSCR37 oscillating tower fan with four speeds. Because I am an Amazon Prime member, I will receive this fan same day and enjoy the cooling touch only a 120V, 37” tower fan by Vornado can provide.
The point is this: sometimes the only way out, is in. Sometimes to play with the big dogs you must fight on their turf, while establishing your own corner on the block and owning it as well.
With that, here are three ways small business owners can fight retail giants like Amazon in Ecommerce and beyond.
3 Ways Small Businesses Can Fight Amazon in Ecommerce
1. Less Clicks = More Sales.
If you sell products online, ensure your potential clients can purchase that product as quickly as possible, as easily as possible. Ease of use online means a few things, but one thing it means for sure, is less clicks.
As you can see from the above image, Amazon has a 1-click buy option. You may not be able to get to that level of simplicity, but you can get close. When building your website, keep the user experience in mind. Understand that every click is something the purchaser must do. It’s a conscious decision to get one step closer to spending money. The fewer decisions they contemplate, the more likely they are to decide on the initial thought and purchase your product.
On Vornado’s site, their fans are front and center on their home page. Under each image of a fan, is an Add to Cart button. When I click this, I am brought to a new page showing my cart, then I need to click Proceed to Checkout. Once I click that, I am brought to a page where I fill out shipping and billing addresses, enter my payment information, and submit my order.
Three clicks. Not bad.
But why not evade that third click and take it down to two? Why not have Buy Now and Add to Cart providing the purchaser with the option of making the purchase now? Bypassing the Proceed to Checkout option and going straight to entering my payment information would greatly increase my chance of making a sale.
2. Use a payment platform that makes sense.
There are lots of ways to sell products online, build websites, manage inventory, process payments, and facilitate your business. But all this costs money and all of them have various pros and cons. Many websites partner with companies like Stripe to facilitate payments on the backend of their website. While you may be able to get up and running quickly with something like that, in the long run, you may find the price you pay is too high and the support is too weak.
Find a merchant services company that can support you and your clients when something goes wrong. Something always goes wrong, and when that happens, you’re going to want support. Custom buildouts of your website and utilizing plugins and payment gateways provide you with a lot more options to find a better price and service when facilitating eCommerce transactions online.
It is important to understand the relationship between website building platforms, payment gateways, and payment processors. Website building platforms like Ecwid, WordPress, and Squarespace, enable you to control the front and back end of your website. Help you load products, build beautiful pages and often include the ability to integrate a shopping cart to service your ecommerce business.
While some website building platforms have a singular option for processing payments through their platform, many offer a myriad of gateways. A gateway provides the link between the website, and specifically the shopping cart, to the payment processor. Processors like Gravity Payments work with many gateways to ensure business owners have the largest selection of options available to them, so they’re empowered to operate their ecommerce business as effectively as possible.
3. Sell your product on Amazon
I know, I know, what am I talking about?
At the end of the day, Amazon can sell their products, and the products of your competitors on their site and you’ll miss out on creating brand awareness and revenue. But by competing within Amazon’s ecosystem, you can sell your products, enjoy the benefits of Prime Day or other sales experiences, and build recognition and awareness for your brand. The more awareness you have, the more social media followers you’ll get, and better control your messaging.
Use the awareness you receive on Amazon to build your brand in general. You can upload videos, product descriptions to your product pages on Amazon. You utilize these tools to not only sell your products more effectively, but sell your brand as well. Amazon can become a tool to build brand loyalty, and increase your ability to connect directly with your clients through social media and your website.
How Small businesses can fight with Amazon in eCommerce
Gravity Payments stands for the small business owner, by working to provide consultative and honest payment processing, both online and in-store. If you’re an independent business owner, wanting to save time and money on your processing, let us know.