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BizReport : Ecommerce : July 27, 2016

Merchants: How you can compete with Amazon

While the Amazon's and WalMart's and Macy's of the world likely won't be toppled by a tiny business in a small town in the midwest, that tiny business in that small town can learn a few things from the retail giants. And, they can build a stronger and more loyal customer base along the way. Here are three tips.

by Kristina Knight

First, keep things personal

"Even if unable to match Amazon's deals, shipping speed and inventory, small and mid-sized retailers can earn greater customer loyalty by giving each visitor his or her ideal shopping experience. Amazon may have its impulse buyers and intermittent shoppers, but the loyal shoppers with high customer lifetime value seek the shopping experience that matches their tastes and preferences. With every visit that shoppers have a personalized experience, they not only deliver higher AOV but also a greater likelihood of repeat business," said Meyar Sheik, CEO, Certona.

Second, avoid 'one size fits all'

"Increasingly, large retailers such as Amazon are seeking the "magic factor" of e-commerce, the method or tool that appeases all customers while requiring minimal effort. Amazon's Dash Button is a perfect example. Designed to minimize the time spent on shopping and shipping, it accelerates the shopping journey. Some customers appreciate the convenience, and others despise its haste, but unfortunately they are all offered the same device. Using personalization to predict customers' preferred level of exposure to products and deals, small and mid-sized retailers can deliver to each customer the services they actually appreciate," said Sheik.

Third, take a few risks

"Amazon has grown over the years largely as a result of the company's willingness to take risks. In addition to being among the first businesses to test out drone delivery, Amazon took a huge risk recently by scaling back its mentions of list prices for products. Other retailers should consider taking risks of their own, given that they have a clear objective and feasible approach. It often pays off! For instance, several retailers recently launched product discovery initiatives, establishing a fun and interactive approach to which many shoppers have been very receptive," said Sheik.

Tags: Certona, ecommerce, ecommerce tips, ecommerce trends

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