Amazon sets the standard. But even though they do, data from eMarketer predicts they’ll do 47% of online sales this year.
But that means 53% of online sales aren’t done by Amazon. And that means you have opportunity to grab market share.
…But how do you do that? What should you do to snatch and keep your market share, and even grow it?
Here’s how to maximize opportunity as you sell and fulfill product via online transactions:
1. Focus on Customer Experience
Bob Trebilcock of Logistics Management finds client companies focus more on products’ cycle through their supply chain than customer experience.
Certainly, fulfillment time is a big part of customer experience. And it’s important to optimize that, as Amazon now aims to cut delivery time to just 1 day.
But, that’s not the only aspect of customer experience. How easy is it to get a refund from you? How quick and efficient is the ordering process?
How usable is your website?
You must gather customer experience data and optimize every step for a pleasant, painless experience to compete.
You’d be surprised how many company’s online experience remains stuck in the internet of 10 or more years ago!
2. Hold Your Vendors Accountable
Establish your own practices and procedures. And for companies who do not aim to meet your guidelines, give them a suspension.
Set a standard for how many times you can handle this, and then notify the company that the relationship will be dissolved if they get suspended too many times.
You may lose some relationships. But this keeps your business operating with peak efficiency and it helps you maintain a great customer experience too.
3. Optimize Your Returns Process
Returns will happen. Customers can’t touch or feel your products, and in the case of clothing, they can’t try it on.
The gold standard online is free returns. If you offer anything less than that, you really put a dent in your business.
Have your warehouse ready to receive returned items. Have your strategy in place for how you will liquidate these items.
Also, how will you get return labels to your customers?
Every step counts, and the larger the scale at which you operate, the greater the efficiency you create.
4. Automate Multichannel Distribution
Your customers now expect you to be present on many channels. That varies somewhat based on your niche.
But you can’t just sell from your own website anymore. Different market segments will prefer to interact with you via the channel of their choice.
So, you must have automation in place to take orders from a variety of channels.
Easy does it. One at a time. But you must be everywhere if you want to compete.