How do you separate your business from your competitors?
What makes you unique?
Why should a visitor to your store purchase your products?
What value does my product give to the customer?
How do people remember what you sell?
“Create products and offerings that sell themselves. It's not about what you know or what you sell.
It's about how you position and package it.”
The biggest mistake most business entrepreneurs do is create their goals and purpose when they launch and then forget about it.
I have worked with many entrepreneurs; they all think their products are unique from the onset. Once the business is launched, whether it is a website or ecommerce store, no action is taken to improve the content.
In most cases, whatever you are selling, is being sold somewhere else. So you have to think of a way to differentiate yourself from your competition. Competing on prices is usually the first no-no.
As a small business, you won't be able to compete and you'll price yourself out of the market and out of business.
To have a profitable business, you have to continually ask yourself, how can you make your customer experience exceptional, what can you add to your product to increase the value (not necessarily the price), and how can you keep your customer coming back to your online store?
Here are six ways to separate your business from your competitors.
Sell solutions, not just products - add more value to the products you sell. Here are some ideas:
1. Content is King
It does not matter what you sell, providing informative and instructive content for your customers will bring your customers back all the time. Turn your online store into a place people will want to go to for information and education.
Include videos, product reviews, expert content (create a blog and add it to your product page for extra information), social sharing, Facebook connecting button and shares to interact with all your other customers and other social buttons.
Don't forget about shipping information or any other relational information to help customers get comfortable to purchase your product.
2. Unique Branding
As a small business, you have to distinguish yourself from other brands and your competition by personalizing your business.
Your customers need to feel that they know you.
Connecting through your branding is setting the first impression to your prospective customer. What makes you unique from anybody else?
Think USP - Unique Selling Proposition - a unique selling proposition (USP) is a statement about what makes you and your company different from other vendors.
Its primary value is to create competitive differentiation.
3. Be Consistent
Have one clear goal for your business and make it visible DAILY.
Your message has to be clear to your customers and you have to be visible to your customers all the time. It takes 7 - 8 touches before your customer will buy from you.
Most small businesses get tired of this part very quickly.
Unless you are consistent over a period of time, prospective customers are not going to notice you or even remember you.
As a test, ask your friends and family what they think you do. You will be amazed at how little people remember, even friends and family.
Think of this question all the time:
How will people remember you tomorrow or even the next hour?
4. Tell YOUR Story
People love stories...
Try to be very personal and write about your business, why you are doing it and what your passions and motivations are - anything that your customers will identify with. Create a connection they can relate to your actions and lifestyle.
Here are some ideas to think about:
- Why you are doing this and what is your motivation.
- What your passions are e.g. reading, swimming, traveling....think about how your customers will identify with you.
- Personal information is important because your customers think they know you and why they will buy from you. Don't you like to buy from somebody you know? That is why selling on television is so successful especially if famous actors are involved.
Who made the product?
What inspired the creation of the product?
How was the product tested?
What obstacles did you overcome to develop the products?
We want to give our customers a nice warm fuzzy feeling of knowing us very well.
“People buy from people they trust and like.”
5. Be Clear about your Goals
“If you don’t know where we are going, how are you going to know when you arrive?”
Be very clear about your goals in a measurable timeline and make sure you have your system or action steps on how to achieve those goals.
We can all dream about BHAGs but it is our process or system that will create a successful goal.
Planning your system and action steps out is a great idea AND write them down!
But here is the secret sauce, ONE main goal at a time. Let me break this down even more. If you have several goals, make sure that they are all consistent within the same sphere of your business. It is hard enough working on one business, but if you have to think of several different businesses, it will definitely implode.
And the other problem is, if we are involved in too many different ideas, your customers will get confused about what you are selling and why, and you will definitely not stand out.
6. Customer Service
Customer service is probably your one BIG way to differentiate yourself from your competition. And there are many ways to do this in your ecommerce store.
A few examples:
- Have a chat app on your pages.
- Personalize your automatic emails.
- A 'thank you' video on your thank you page.
- Sending a thank you card by mail.
Be unique by helping and educating your customers when they land on your website or store.
Ask yourself this question - what do YOU do if you shop online and there is not enough information or the website or store is very impersonal?
That's it for now, stay tuned as we ramp up for the next season!
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