This ecommerce strategy article is an excerpt from our new book, The Ultimate Ecommerce Email & SMS Playbook. We’re diving into our ecommerce strategy chapter focused on the 7 Reasons Why Ecommerce Customers Leave Your Brand.
The Challenges & Solutions
The challenges from Amazon, Silicon Valley apps, and D2C are huge. Let’s recap these top seven reasons:
- Amazon sets the pace; huge yet faceless marketplace
- Amazon owns product search & personalization
- Amazon built an unbeatable conglomerate of value
- Amazon’s perfected flywheel is three years ahead
- Apps & Meta are middlemen between you and customers
- D2C Brands are more digitally-native than you
- D2C war chests aim to acquire your customers
Picture that snowglobe again and ask yourself: am I in the best position to capture all those up-in-the-air customers, AND am I in the best position to stop customers from leaving my brand for the competition?
Based on these seven reasons, the top brands are better positioned than you to capture, retain and grow customer loyalty. They’re well-funded, digitally native, have higher value offerings, and meet the customer where they expect to be met.
The barriers to success are getting higher and higher, and the e-commerce game is getting more and more difficult to play, let alone succeed.
Luckily, there is a solution where the small business can compete to win in a very crowded marketplace and with the deck stacked against them.
If you can’t win the game, then you have to change the game. Let’s look at those customer loyalty challenges again and focus on overcoming each hurdle individually.
- If Amazon is a huge faceless marketplace, your brand can compete by “having a face” and creating a unique story that binds you to the customer. As the data will show you, customers are demanding brands to put people over profits. Creating a story, mission, and reason for existing is how you’ll win over the modern-day customer.
- If Amazon owns product search and personalization, you refocus your efforts on excellent customer personalization. Everyone has a pain point they need to solve with the product they bought; Amazon may solve the product challenge, but you can solve the product AND the pain point through customer experience, personalization and empathy.
- If Amazon has built an unbeatable conglomerate of value, you build a community of value that is equally unbeatable. You create a tribe of customers who are passionate about your mission, story, products, and services and will care about you because you care about them. Remember: no one cares about what you know until they know how much you care.
- If Amazon has perfected the logistics and fulfillment channels, delivering products faster and on-demand, you create that perfect omni-channel experience, delivering service, experiences, education, and expertise on demand. You have the tools to be omnipresent, just like the top brands. Use them!
- If Silicon Valley apps and social media are becoming the middleman between you and the customer, you can change the game by owning the customer relationship entirely from start to finish. From the first visit to post-purchase, acquisition to retention, you will own every step of the relationship and start weaning off profit-reducing middlemen to compete.
- If D2C brands are more digitally native than you and gaining digitally-savvy customers, you need to become as customer-centric and data-driven as they are. This solution is one of the hardest to fully internalize, yet the technology to jumpstart your customer-centric transition is fully available to you. Not only can you change the game, you can level the playing field very quickly at the same time.
- If D2C brands have unlimited acquisition funds and are focused on acquiring your customers, focus your marketing funds on customer retention and keeping your customers. You’ll learn the Pareto Principle shortly – 80% of your revenue comes from just 20% of your customers – and discover that retaining and growing customers beats any acquisition strategy, hands-down.
If you can’t win the game, then you have to change the game. Let’s pair up the threats and opportunities clearly so you can visualize the challenges and start creating actionable strategies:
In short, these are the seven marketing solutions that will help you stave off the seven loyalty challenges you’ll face this year and beyond. Repeat this line again: if you can’t win the game, then you have to change the game. But even if you don’t change the game, leveling the playing field is already a major win in the face of the huge, well-funded, omnipresent e-commerce competitors out there.
I can almost sense a “change the game” strategy starting to take form in your mind, and if you’re anything like me, you’re excited and ready to take on the world. But part of being a data-driven marketer, which any strong e-commerce brand needs at their disposal, means you need to establish two next steps:
- A solid plan for rolling these tactics out; more specifically, which marketing channels will offer the best results possible
- Establishing key performance indicators (KPIs) that determine if the strategy is working.
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