Thursday 31 October, 2013

Price Comparison Shopping in Ecommerce – How to Overcome the Race to the Bottom

There’s a simple fact in ecommerce – people price comparison shop. They comparison shop offline, but they do so even more online. This means that it’s an absolute certainty that your customers are checking out your competitors’ products, prices and deals before they buy.

If you can’t offer lower prices than your competitors, this could spell bad news. If the products you offer are selling for less on Amazon, your customers will know it. But there are some things that are more important these days for customers than merely price.

User Experience

Although your customers may be able to find deals elsewhere, your site may be the easiest and most convenient place to buy. If you make the purchasing process as streamlined as possible, you can win over your competitors even if your prices are higher.

For example, some ecommerce sites make their customers log in before they can make their purchase. You can give your customers a better experience by removing this step and not forcing them to register or log-in.

Another way to improve the shopping experience is to make the process as few steps as possible. While other sites have page after page of forms, you ask only for their name, email address, and payment information. On the next screen, they can click to buy.

Finally, create an ecommerce site that calculates shipping for your customer beforehand. This makes it easier to comparison shop.

Customer Service

Increasingly, customer service is more important to online shoppers than price alone. There are so many online marketplaces that are unresponsive to customer concerns or downright lousy at customer service.

On the other hand, if your company has a stellar reputation for treating its customers well, this will go a long way. Of course, you do this by bending over backward for your customers and thoroughly taking care of their needs. When you do this, they’ll talk about your site on social media and review sites (at point of sale, you can always remind them as well).

The Tribe

Finally, people would rather buy from an ecommerce store they like and feel a connection with than some faceless unknown site, even if the prices are lower. Focus your efforts on building a strong relationship with your customers, engaging with them online, and showing them that you’re part of their ‘tribe.’ This is a fairly recent marketing term that means a small, focused group of people based around common concerns or ideals.

When it comes to price comparison shopping, it can easily turn into a race to the bottom. Who can offer the product at the lowest price possible? But through the above methods, you can overcome these obstacles. You don’t have to offer the lowest prices online in order to be successful with ecommerce.

Bob Steele

Bob Steele

Bob Steele is an entrepreneur, software developer, marketer, and author living in the Denver metropolitan area. He’s an avid outdoorsman who loves skiing, hiking, fishing, boating, and just plain having fun. His interests include games, space, technology, physics, cooking (well eating actually), economics, business, internationalism, and team sports. With over thirty years of professional consulting experience, Bob has been exposed to many diverse business models and has gained a sensible approach to life. Bob’s company, WaveCentric is focused on commerce, marketing, and entertainment related products.

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