Everyone knows Amazon is big, but let’s put it into some perspective. Amazon employs the same number of people as Cyprus’ entire population and more than half of all shoppers start their product search on Amazon.
In the face of such a behemoth, competing with the big marketplaces can feel almost impossible. Luckily, it isn’t.
Forty percent of US Internet users expect to shop D2C for 40 to 100% of their purchases for the next five years. You have an audience willing and wanting to buy directly from you, but you need a website that’s worth buying directly from.
In this article, we’ll go over a few ways to make sure your D2C website can compete with big marketplaces in 2021.
Why compete with big marketplaces?
Direct sales are the holy grail of eCommerce — you keep more of your profits without marketplace fees, have a direct line to your audience, and control your shopping experience.
1) Extend your reach
When you have a D2C channel, you’ll be able to extend your reach beyond just one marketplace. A website allows you to sell to consumers who don’t shop on certain marketplaces, don’t have accounts, or don’t have access.
2) Personalize your buyer experience
You get complete control over the customer journey and experience with your own D2C website. Whereas marketplaces might display competitor listings beside yours, you can feature your brands exclusively.
You can also tailor the shopping experience of your website to your shoppers. Strategically display pop-ups based on exit intent or the product they’re viewing, customize your abandoned cart emails, and more.
3) Improve customer retention
Since you own the customer relationship, you can drive loyalty and retargeting programs for repeat purchases.
You’ll be able to send emails to announce new product releases, segment email lists based on your buyers’ interests, offer subscription plans, and reach out when it’s time to re-order or re-stock.
4) Master your branding
You’ll be able to establish a better brand on your own website by creating unique experiences and infusing brand touchpoints across every webpage. Incorporate offers, policies, and pricing based on your unique channel, instead of conforming to marketplace restrictions.
5) Customize your marketing and remarketing
On your own website, you can choose when to offer sales, free shipping, or fast delivery. You also get direct access to customers who abandoned their carts, which can help you set up remarketing campaigns and recover sales while gaining insights into cart abandonment.
How your eCommerce website can compete with big marketplaces
Your eCommerce marketing budget may be a drop of water compared to the vast ocean of Amazon, eBay, or Walmart.com, doesn’t mean you can’t compete with big marketplaces.
Our top six tips for optimizing your eCommerce website to drive direct sales are all focused on giving your shoppers a better buyer experience.
1. Offer a personalized customer experience
Nearly half of shoppers spend more with brands that personalize the customer experience — something difficult for online marketplaces to achieve, given the number of customers and sellers they have.
A personalized customer journey makes customers feel special, wanted, and appreciated to drive direct sales. Create this on your website with…
- Product recommendations that offer customers useful suggestions based on their browsing and purchase history.
- Customizable products that aren’t available through online marketplaces.
- Fast shipping speeds of 2-day and next-day delivery, depending on how close the customer lives to your fulfillment centers.
2. Provide 2-day and next-day delivery
Speaking of shipping, to compete with Amazon, eBay, and Walmart, you must offer 2-day and next-day delivery speeds.
Easy and affordable ways to offer customers fast shipping speeds include:
- Setting a minimum spend requirement for unlocking free, fast shipping.
- Using a third-party fulfillment service to achieve and maintain 2-day and next-day delivery speeds.
- Using real-time inventory intelligence to offer customers the quickest shipping options possible, depending on their location.
3. Invest in customer retargeting
Eighty two percent of shoppers use Amazon to check prices before making a purchase, and 72% use Amazon to check reviews before purchasing. While they’re doing this, it means they’ve left your website and are looking at a listing somewhere else, instead. This puts them at a higher risk of abandoning their cart with you.
Customer recovery tools like CartStack help you compete with marketplaces and bring customers back to your store with…
- On-site tactics that disrupt a potential exit, such as exit-intent offers and abandoned tab notifications
- Re-engagement campaigns, such as browsing and cart abandonment emails, SMS, and push notifications
- UX optimization, such as product recommendations, checkout auto-fill, and real-time abandonment alerts
4. Spice up your loyalty program
Online marketplaces don’t usually have loyalty programs. Customers can sign up and pay for Amazon Prime to receive freebies, but they aren’t necessarily rewarded for repeat purchases.
Your loyalty program is one of your biggest tools in the competition against marketplaces and for boosting customer retention. It’s also one of the most underutilized. Customers want more than discounts, so get creative with your rewards and offer perks shoppers want, such as:
- Free next-day and 2-day delivery
- Exclusive sales
- Early access to new products
- Free birthday and anniversary gifts
5. Enhance product discoverability
There are 1.3 billion listings on eBay. Marketplace product discovery is hard work, even with their intelligent search algorithms.
Customers face thousands of products, hundreds of variations, and many sellers selling the same product. It’s overwhelming. It’s also an opportunity to attract customers.
Help your customers easily find products on your website, using product discoverability tactics including:
- Setting up Facebook and Instagram Shops that connect customers with your products through curated product feeds
- Using niche eCommerce marketing channels and tactics such as advertising on Reddit, answering on Quora, and posting on TikTok
- Adding dynamic fast shipping tags to your Google Shopping ads to make them stand out from the rest
6. Foster positive user-generated content
Eighty-four percent of shoppers use reviews to guide their purchase decision, and online marketplaces are pretty good at obtaining customer reviews. However, fake reviews plague marketplaces, making it difficult for customers to know which ones to trust.
By fostering positive user-generated content about your brand and products, you immediately become more trustworthy and helpful to your customers.
- Make it easy for customers to leave reviews via your website, email, SMS, and social media
- Ask customers to leave reviews using email, SMS, push, and social media campaigns
- Create competitions and giveaways that encourage customers to leave reviews about your products
You might even choose to add influencers to your eCommerce marketing strategy and kickstart some buzz around your products.
Wrapping it all up
Competing with Amazon, eBay, and Walmart.com with a D2C website sounds like an impossible task, but thousands of sellers are doing it every day, and you could do it too. Optimize your website, offer fast shipping speeds, enhance your buyer experience, and level up your retargeting. When you make it easy and enjoyable to shop on your D2C website, you make conversions and customer acquisition even easier.
About the Author
This is a guest post from Rachel Go, senior content marketing manager at Deliverr. Deliverr provides fast and affordable fulfillment for your Shopify, Walmart, Amazon, eBay, Wish, and BigCommerce stores, helping to boost sales through programs like 2-day delivery for Shopify, Walmart 2-day delivery, eBay Fast ‘N Free, and Wish 2-day.
Deliverr’s FBA-like multi-channel fulfillment comes with clear pricing, easy onboarding and a hassle free experience so you can focus on growing your eCommerce business.
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