Image by: Victer1558
By Michael Sterling
Starting an online store is no picnic, but it’s not impossible. Most people are frantic at the thought of competing with major companies like Amazon or Wal-Mart. But the thing is, you don’t have to. You are your own business, and it should be handled as such. Start small. Here’s how:
#1) Information Over Price
When most people start a new store, they become obsessed with the idea of being the cheapest one out there. But if you’re selling solely on price alone, there’s no way you’re going to be able to win over giant companies like Wal-Mart or Amazone.
Most manufactured products put a floor on their pricing, i.e. a Minimum Advertised Price (MAP). The sticker price is mostly the same regardless of where you buy it. Instead of highlighting the price, highlight the information and platform.
Redesign your site to make it set a part and, most importantly, include in-depth product information that cannot be found in major online retailers. Product reviews, purchasing guides, technical articles and other helpful information will always stand a part.
#2) Offer Service Assurance
Whenever you’re selling existing products in the marketplace, you typically are competing with other stores on pricess. Instead of focusing on the dollars, redirect your attention on offering reassurance and guidance.
People are always anxious about buying a crappy product with limited services, which is why many of them don’t purchase. It’d be like purchasing do-it-yourself electronics on eBay. Chances are you’re likely going to seek out a business who specializes in setting up certain kinds of electronics, right?
Make your store a trusted one. If you’re specializing in niche sites, generate recourses for customers to decide what they want to buy so they can shop around for the lowest price. The more items they need to purchase, the harder it’ll be for them to compare prices.
#3) It’s All In The Brand
Don’t just sell a product. Sell a brand. This will help you not just build a unique experience for your customers, it will also steer you towards an idea and philosophy your loyal customers will want to see. This will increase your long-term value.
When consumers scan through an online store, the first things they look at are those that are cheapest. The ability for them to scan the options and immediately set their gaze on yours is the power of branding. You want to make them feel cool, better, more sophisticated.
The best way to get your brand noticed is to make your viewers laugh. Take Dollar Shave Club as an example. Their hysterical promotional video went viral in just a few days centering around an uber-masculine neurotic salesman. No matter what, shoppers are always going to remember this whenever they see their product. That’s always good.
#4) Sell Your Own Products
This is no picnic, but it certainly will separate you from other competitors. There’s a lot that needs to go into it, but if you do it correctly, it can lead to long-term success since it can drastically increase your profit margins.
When you’re the one making products, it’s harder for readers to swipe across other similar products on other websites. Plus, it’s easier to charge a premium price when you don’t have hundreds of other stores forcing you to take the price down.