During the Age of Amazon, retail has become an increasingly tough business. Personalization and innovation are fundamental for retailers’ survival now more than ever. When it comes to selling and shipping in the digital age, Amazon is one of the largest influencers for customer expectations and behavior. They’ve determined the rules of e-commerce and retail overall, as they now control 49% of the US e-commerce market at 5% of all retail sales. This display of power was evident when analysts estimated that Amazon generated over $10.1 billion in sales on its best day last year.
How do you stack up in the Age of Amazon? We’ve compiled a few tips to help you remain competitive and get started on thinking about retail shipping the same way that Amazon does.
One of the major things to remember as a retail shipper is that you can’t outdo Amazon. Amazon is constantly changing the rules of the e-commerce game. So, how do you compete and thrive in a digital age where consumers expect free two-day shipping or white glove services for the price of what used to be ‘standard delivery’?
In order to survive (and thrive) in a marketplace where price and convenience reign supreme, retailers of all forms need to provide consumers with something Amazon can’t; unique customer service, products, and personalized services.
Just remember, when Amazon zigs, you must zag.
There’s power in engagement and personalization
The bigger Amazon gets, the more opportunities it creates for fresh, local alternatives. The more Amazon pushes robot-powered efficiency—which is not necessarily a bad thing if personally utilized—the more space there is for warm, individualized, and personalized service. Though Amazon provides swift and efficient customer service, it tends to be a bit impersonal at times. Therefore, the more people interact with Amazon through its systematic way of service, the more they crave the insight and personal connection from fellow humans.
A Fast Company article discussed about how many competitors find creative ways--mostly through unique personalization and engagement--to compete with Jeff Bezo’s juggernaut.
“The idea that everybody needs to be terrified of Amazon is completely wrong,” Brian Spaly said in the article. Spaly is the co-founder of two e-commerce-centric startups, Bonobos (menswear) and Trunk Club (a wardrobe-in-a-box service), which sold to Walmart and Nordstrom, respectively, for nine-figure sums. “Everybody needs to figure out what makes them special and use those weapons to compete.”
73% of consumers say they prefer to do business with brands that use their personal information to provide a more relevant and personalized shopping experience. Around 56% of consumers value personalized offers that are catered to their preference, while 80% of consumers indicated they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences each time they purchase a product.
You don’t have to sit on the sidelines and struggle to find your place in the Age of Amazon; not when you can create new pathways to take.
Curate a satisfactory customer experience
Cater to your customer’s needs and define an experience that feels authentic to your company and its brand. A positive customer experience can go a long way. Curating of good customer experience can be done in many ways—you can send a personalized email thanking a customer for a purchase on your e-commerce store or you can provide free, guaranteed two-day (or one-day) delivery. Just remember to stay true, because real authenticity is a rare commodity in the world of retail now.
Providing a better customer experience has proven to be beneficial financially, as 73% of companies with “above average” customer experience perform better than their competitors (compared to 44% of the other companies). And around 86% of customers will pay more for a better customer experience.
Retails don’t need to chase an inauthentic version of themselves that they might never attain; they need to remember what made them special in the first place. Though there is merit to keeping up with Amazon, you need to remember that you just have to care enough to treat customers with the consideration they deserve.
One of the ways to achieve this is through shipping. Because shipping has become such a staple in customer expectations of e-commerce purchases, it is now part of the product, rather than an add-on.
Consumers now expect to have efficient and timely deliveries brought to their doorstep, akin to Amazon’s one-day, same-day, or two-day guaranteed delivery. Many businesses are aware of quick delivery demands, but therein lies the struggle of figuring out how to accommodate that demand without breaking the bank.
While shipping may seem daunting, it can be navigated and be easily achieved—Pacejet was built to help you with that. Look at our expansive carrier list below to see how Pacejet can give you a competitive edge.
The Take Away
Amazon isn’t going anywhere and they’re surely not going to release their control over the consumer retail space anytime soon. To compete with them and have any kind of impact, you’ll need to have a multi-faceted approach and game plan.
And, while you’re trying to beat Amazon, they’re not necessarily the enemy. They are simply the new leaders of the game, so it’s up to you to change the rules to fit your narrative.