How To Stay Competitive In E-Commerce (2021)

The eCommerce industry was already growing at a rapid pace. However, the COVID-19 has brought about an exponential spike as businesses turned towards digital platforms. The competition has shifted into the digital realm, where various eCommerce stores are competing for customers and to increase their sales. This eCommerce competition is growing stronger with each passing day as customers become more comfortable purchasing online. 

So, how do you stay competitive in today’s age? Do you focus on marketing, or do you focus on improving your order fulfillment by focusing on order tracking? There are many routes that you can take. However, the top 8 strategies for staying competitive in the eCommerce industry in 2021 are listed below.

1. Develop a Mobile Responsive Website

Do you want to stay competitive? Do you want to come out on top among the myriad of Shopify competitors? If yes, then you should focus on building a mobile responsive website that offers a seamless user experience to your visitors. Furthermore, a good mobile responsive website will also help you look good to Google, thus helping you with your search engine rankings. 

M-commerce has been significantly rising during the last few years, and is predicted to reach $488 billion, or 44% of the total US e-commerce market, by 2024. This goes to show just how many purchases are happening on mobile devices. 

If your customers were to undergo a good mobile experience with your eCommerce store, they are more likely to purchase from you. Another way to put it is that by offering a poor mobile-responsive site; you will lose customers. 

A good mobile responsive website will offer legible text, properly sized images, screen-friendly content, and easy navigation, and wow your visitors as a result. 

2. Focus On Video Content For Your eCommerce Store

Video content is a great way of marketing your business and explaining various products and services to your visitors. Did you know that 90% of information transmitted to your brain is visual, and that your brain processes videos 60,000 times faster as opposed to text? 

Video content helps you to improve your conversions, offer value to your customers, develop trust among them, and improve your search engine ranking. 

You can also use video content to drive visitors to your eCommerce store. Take the example of various unboxing videos and review videos that provide the viewers with links from where to purchase different products. 

3. Get Those Product Ratings And Reviews

When you add product ratings and reviews to your eCommerce store, you are letting your visitors know whether the product is worth their money. According to Invespcro research, 88% of consumers trust online reviews just like they would trust a personal recommendation. Therefore, good customer reviews can significantly improve your image in the eyes of your visitors and prospects, leading to a possible increase in the conversion rate.  

4. Get A Mobile App Developed 

Your website should be mobile responsive – there’s no second opinion about that – however, you should also get a mobile app developed since it offers a plethora of benefits. 

Mobile apps open doors for more opportunities, such as allowing you to push notifications, quicker loading times, and offering an enhanced user experience. 

Thanks to push-notifications, you can inform your mobile application users about discounts, new product launches, and any other campaign that you’ve got going. Mobile applications load up faster as opposed to your website too. This makes it easier for your customers to find what they’re looking for much quicker. 

Furthermore, users tend to use mobile applications much more than opening sites on their mobile phones. This implies that the chances of a smartphone user to interact with your mobile application are much higher as opposed to them using their smartphone to access your mobile-responsive website. 

5. Offer eCommerce Functions That Are Customer Friendly

When it comes to staying competitive, engaging your potential customers is a significant aspect that can’t be ignored. You must offer different features that set you apart from your Shopify competitors. One such feature is allowing your visitors to save items in their cart, thus enabling them to pick up from where they left. 

Other features include the ability to add various products to the cart while streamlining the checkout process, so that cart abandonment is minimal. You can incorporate a progress bar into your checkout process, offer different payment methods, live chat support, and provide real-time order tracking to enhance the overall user experience. 

6. Your eCommerce Website Should Be Regularly Updated 

This includes updating your catalog and ensuring that you are adding new products based on your customers’ demands. However, that’s not all that updating your website implies. There are other ways to achieve this. 

For instance, building a FAQ page is a great way of ensuring that your potential customers can find answers to their questions. You can regularly update it by getting feedback from your customer service team. 

You can also add a blog section to your eCommerce store wherein you can upload how-to articles and other valuable content related to your niche, thus creating value for your customers. 

Furthermore, adding more videos to your website of various products can boost your customer experience – this includes unboxing, reviews, and how-to-videos. Besides, consider including a review section to your website as it can help you develop trust with your potential customers as well. 

7. Be Sure To Appreciate Your Loyal Customers

There are more than 12 million eCommerce websites operating as of right now. This means that you’re in a fierce eCommerce competition and that your customers can always find alternative businesses to cater to their needs. That’s why you need to appreciate your loyal customers to continue getting repeat purchases from them. 

If your customers feel ignored, they are bound to leave you for a competitor. You can incorporate a reward system for your loyal customers, thus making them feel important. Other ways of rewarding them are by offering them free shipping, discounts, and coupons. When you appreciate your loyal customers, you are also increasing your customer retention

8. Fulfilling Orders – Shipping & Tracking

Customers’ expectations from the eCommerce industry are ever-growing, and if you’re unable to meet those expectations, you run the risk of losing your existing and potential customers. According to a research, 84% of respondents have said that the delivery experience is what really matters in the e-commerce customer experience.

One important area of expectations is the shipping time and the ability to track orders in real-time. These are the areas you should focus on and carry out your customers’ competitive analysis to ascertain how you can improve. Why? Because if you’re not offering the best possible shipping and tracking of orders, you will end up losing customers. 

You might have a great product but your customers may want the product shipped to them on the same day, in a single day, or maybe in two days. If you can’t meet this expectation, your potential customers will take their business elsewhere. Since the pandemic has resulted in customers being unable to visit stores and purchase items, shipping has become even more crucial. 

Bonus – Competitive Analysis Of Your Competitors

A big part of eCommerce competition is to focus on what your competitors are doing right. What follows are some of the factors you should focus on when analyzing your competitors’ business. 

1. Details Of Their Product Catalog

Focus on the following questions:

  • What exactly is your competitor selling?
  • Do the products and services match yours?
  • Why is that, and can you change it?
  • What makes them similar to you?
  • How is the competitor selling the product on their website?

By answering these questions, you’ll be able to get a clear understanding of how your competitor is operating and if there’s any way you can improve your eCommerce store. 

2. Details Of Their Promotions 

Find out when your competitors offer discounts. This helps you to time your incentives effectively. Furthermore, this will give you a better insight into how you can design your deals and improve upon your competitors’ deals. 

3. Pricing Models

It is important to find out how your competitors are pricing their products. Some of the important questions include whether your competitor is offering free shipping on a particular spending budget, whether they offer package deals (2 for 1 kind), and the general range in which different products are priced. 

How does that help you? If you price your products on the higher end, your potential customers might get discouraged and not purchase from you. Simultaneously, if you price them too low, they might think that these products are poorly made. Therefore, by studying your competitors’ pricing models, you can come up with a better pricing model for your own eCommerce store. 

4. SEO Analysis 

This will help you determine which keywords are being targeted by your customers and which keywords gaps you can target to bring more visitors to your eCommerce store. Furthermore, it will also help you understand which particular keywords you’ll have to work harder on to beat the competition. 

To Sum It All Up…

eCommerce competition is continuously increasing, and unless you are staying competitive, you will soon lose to the ever-increasing number of eCommerce stores. Staying competitive implies that you are focused on creating a great user experience and offering your potential customers more value as opposed to your competitors by performing various tweaks and actions. By incorporating the tips mentioned above, you can drive more traffic to your eCommerce store and bump up your sales. 

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