Simple Tips for Going Head-to-Head Against Amazon

Two KnightsThe early days of the internet were a gold mine for small businesses and brands who wanted to make a name for themselves and reach new audiences. As time went on, it became more difficult to compete with multi-national entities that could provide products and services at lower prices. While some elements on the web have made it easier recently for small businesses to break into the game, it is still an uphill battle when providing products that are also sold by leading institutions such as Walmart and Amazon. Amazon in particular has become a powerhouse competitors, sucking up business from all demographics and audiences. If you have a small business and want to negate the advantages Amazon has over you, then continue reading to find out about some simple tips on how to do just that.

Fast and Free Shipping Options

One of the biggest advantages that Amazon has over many small competitors is the flexibility it provides with shipping. Practically no online business can succeed in today’s world if it does not offer free shipping on smaller orders and products. While larger and heavier orders can be balanced with additional shipping costs, practically anything less than $50 can be found on Amazon through a vendor with free shipping. In addition, many people expect to have items delivered overnight – and are willing to pay for it. By offering multiple forms of shipping and at least one form of basic, free shipping, you’ll be able to attract more business and hit Amazon where it hurts. In all cases, same-day shipping from your facility or shipping within the next business day should also be offered.

Easy Return Policies

Pinging users with complicated returns processes – or not offering one altogether – can be a major turn-off for those who want to be sure their bases are covered before ordering. Even among those who do order but who have problems, a complicated returns process can prevent them from doing repeat business with you in the future. Some business models may offer products of a sensitive nature that cannot be resold or products that may have high shipping costs, but Amazon covers these bases and it is a key reason why they enjoy so much repeat business. Customer satisfaction is key; in order to make this process a bit easier on your own bottom line, consider adding a bit to the price of each item instead of sacking customers with a strict return policy or the costs of shipping to return an item.

Create Culture

Many small brands have one big potential advantage over large institutions such as Amazon: they can create a culture around themselves. Amazon is comprised of countless individual retailers providing products under the same sterile interface. Your own business has the ability to provide customers with a unique experience in every facet of the ordering process. From a witty website to a creative shopping cart, and from thoughtful periodic emails to a personal touch on social media, your brand can be pinging users with something unique that Amazon just won’t give them. If the price is right – or even somewhat comparable – to Amazon AND you can make customers feel as if they are supporting a truly worthwhile small business, they will inevitably pick you over the big-box brand.

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