Tips to challenge the e-commerce giants at their own game » SMEInsider

Tips to challenge the e-commerce giants at their own game

Amazon,Tesco,Play.com and Asda don’t need to have complete stranglehold on internet shopping – SME’s can play these multinational companies at their own game.

An online presence can turn into a hub for sales if smaller businesses make sure to echo the professional service of larger companies with their own products.

Get products that deliver – on time

Amazon and its competitors have honed their deliver times with serious efficiency. Next day deliver is commonplace, as long as the customer is willing to pay for it. In the future the e-commerce giant might be able to ship (or drone) orders before they have been purchased.

While smaller companies cannot quite compete on this level, they should still aim to find the right mailing service. The privatisation of Royal Mail has led to a slew of competition, so now finding a national or international parcel delivery service has never been easier.

They snooze, you loose

The average internet user will close a site if it takes more than four seconds to load. Make sure that any bugs are fixed quickly to minimise damage.

Inquiries and complaints should also be answered as quickly and courteously as they would expect in a brick and mortar store – though this is sometimes not the case online or in store.

Still, the longer you take to respond to a customer enquiry, the longer a customer has to shop around for a better deal.

Always judge a brick by its cover – your customers will

There is no excuse for a poor company website, especially in today’s competitive, well-educated marketplace.

The ideal website should have a fully-registered domain name (not just a free WordPress account), have a logical and clearly designed layout and should nudge your customers to make a purchase, by using the correct ‘calls to action’.

More than this, don’t allow your website to be hidden on Google’s 15th page of search results. Search Engine Optimisation is essential.

Not so scary is it?