Over recent months, news of growth for e-commerce giants, such as eBay and Amazon, through investment in their online channels, has been heavily reported. This news made us consider the effect this would have on SME online retailers. This month we will look in detail at the threats and opportunities SME online retailers are facing in the second half of 2012 and in the testing years ahead as the UK economy pulls itself out of recession.
Amazon recently announced future developments to increase its network of US-based warehouses. This investment will potentially enable the e-tailing-superpower to offer same-day deliveries and represents yet another step forward in its pursuit of e-tailing domination. Same-day delivery would make Amazon’s offering ever more appealing to customers and present a greater challenge for competing SMEs.
In order to not only keep pace but to prevent Amazon monopolising the market, SME online retailers must heed the warning and implement technology that will enable them to compete with the services provided by Amazon. The advice is clear, as the article referenced above says: “if you don’t very soon make your products discoverable and extremely easy to purchase, Amazon is ready to swoop in to take even more of your business away”.
With competition for internet customers higher now than ever before, customers can afford to be increasingly selective when it comes to choosing which online retailer to use and their preference is clear – the statistics speak for themselves. Amazon exemplifies what a superior customer checkout process can achieve and if SMEs want to compete, then they should learn from their example.
Small but significant investments can be the difference, as our customer Find Me A Gift discovered. As part of its online payment redevelopment, Find Me A Gift implemented address look up software and have since experienced a 17% increase in conversion rates. Our Address look up technology streamlines the payment process whilst ensuring that customer details are correct – resulting in a successful delivery first time, every time.
Are you an SME online retailer? How much of a threat have you found e-tailer super-giants like Amazon and eBay to be? Share your top tips to beat the competition below!