How can we compete with online retailers?
This is a question we help a lot of our customers with.
The business landscape has changed dramatically, and this is affecting every business sector: the revolution that began with the world’s biggest bookstore online, now is effective goods and services in every sector around the world. Just look at a website like www.upwork.com for evidence.
So, how can a ‘traditional’ retailer compete?
We suggest two approaches.
- ‘Get great’
- ‘Get involved’
And you can use these individually or separately.
Customers do NOT buy on price … they buy on value. All great brands and long term successful businesses are NOT the cheapest … they are the best in terms of the value to the customer.
By this we mean that your value is your price multiplied by your customer experience (CX).
- If your customer is only interested in price, then the CX score is 0 and these are your price obsessive fickle customers … and you don’t want these customers if you want a profitable sustainable business … let your competitors have them!
- If, on the other hand, there is some value to the CX, then you need to know what the value is and how you can add it at every step on the customer journey (and the online retailers themselves know this and are doing this exercise obsessively). We suggest you look at your customers’ REAL needs (these needs are emotional needs and triggers), and step by step, inch by inch, develop your systems and processes to blow their socks off at every step.
Of course this is easy to say, and much harder to do: that why we work in the area of providing our customers with a simple and powerful systematic approach to help them do this: it’s called the ‘Great or Poor’ approach.
Do this well, as well as keeping a close eye on your online competition (which your customers will help you understand if you let them), and you’ll not only survive but thrive by offering new services that turbocharge your customer offer.
A good example of this was the wedding photographer client of ours who was suffering from lack of demand (everyone’s got a camera and a video camera with them on their phones these days), and listened closely and changed his business offer to include managing and sorting all these pictures and videos (rather than just taking the pictures in the 1st place), and now has had to take on 3 members of staff to cope with the demand.
The other option (that can only work in addition to the above point we suggest) is to join the online retailing movement and offer your particular specialist skills and services online.