How to Stand out as an Online Retailer

By Jeffrey Nelson. 

E-commerce business is thriving. Globally, its retail revenues amounted to 1.08 trillion U.S Dollars in 2013 and are forecasted to grow to 2.48 trillion US Dollars by 2018. These figures indicate a large market which subsequently attracts many online retailers.

To succeed in this space, you have overcome competition from individual online merchants as well as established big-budget retailers like Amazon. Besides, you need to have the capacity to satisfy the over-the-top demand consistently.

In this article, I will highlight tips to enable you to differentiate your online business from competitors.

But how?

  1. Having A Mobile-Friendly Web Store

In a 2015 study on mobile shopping, 45% of internet users in Asia-Pacific and 20% of those in North America did their online shopping via mobile device using smartphones and tablets. In this age of cell phones, customers prefer to shop through the phone because it is easy and convenient. If you intend to succeed, you must have a mobile version of your online store; one that is user-friendly and easily supported by mobile versions of standard browsers.

Investing in a mobile friendly site will allow you to compete with individual retailers who lack optimized web store versions for mobile phones.

  1. Being Creative In Giving Product Descriptions

Since the business is being conducted online, prospective buyers will have a feel of what they are buying by how you describe the product to them on your site.

You need to give accurate information about a product to enable a buyer to decide from the outset whether their particular needs can be met. You need to specify things like the dimensions of the product, its contents, handling instructions, and any other relevant information the customer might want to know.

In as much as you intend to give a comprehensive product description, be careful not to sound boring. Instead, make the description sound like an interesting narrative, one that will capture a client’s attention and even make them spend more time on your site.

  1. Investing In Good Photography

A detailed and fun product description should be accompanied with the product’s image to allow your customers to experience your product even before buying. Good images are twice or even thrice as effective.

You ought to have high-resolution images taken from various angles. This is your best chance to impress your clients considering that poor images will most likely turn off clients and make them question your credibility.

  1. Exploiting Social Media Advertising

Social media, particularly Facebook, Twitter, Medium, and LinkedIn Pulse are good targets for advertisements putting into consideration that majority of consumers spend a large amount of time there in a day.

You can direct traffic to your web store through utilizing social media ads and also posting your content on relevant sites. However, you need to remember that there is a lot of content on social media competing or attention; to stick out, you ought to be very creative.

  1. Using Product Videos

Having provided your customers with a written description of a product and its accompanying image, you go ahead and seal the deal by making a video of the product. Product videos enable clients to appreciate to detail, a product they will spend their money on and unlike text, videos are more engaging and will get the customer to spend more time on your site.

Videos are very efficient when you master the best way to explain your product to the audience.

  1. Putting In Place Strong Goods Return Policy

In online shopping, a customer trusts the seller to deliver specified goods or services. A customer will, therefore, need a guaranteed return policy with refunds in case the goods don’t meet the expected standards. Such will make your customers feel cared for and hence differentiate you from sell-at-all-costs competitors.

  1. Knowing The Value Feedback And Reviews

On your site, you need to encourage clients to give feedback on the nature of services offered as well as rank you on a specified scale. This way, you can have an idea of how customers think about your business thereby nailing the areas that need mprovements. With this strategy, you create a relationship with your buyers where they’re not just mere statistics but valuable members of a big community.

  1. Offering Quick And Affordable Delivery Of Goods

Once a customer has made a purchase from your site, they expect goods to be delivered to them within a reasonable time and at a relatively low cost. You can offer more value than other online merchants by streamlining your mode and time of delivery, a factor which will get buyers talking about your efficiency.

Considering that you may have clients from all over the world, you have to incur shipping costs which are passed on them. You can encourage purchasing by providing a free shipping option on some products or introducing special shipping charges. Any strategy that reduces the cost of buying but at the same time not interfering with quality will attract clients while putting some competitors at a disadvantage.

Amazon does this, for example, with their prime membership program.

Given that buyers are making payments, you also need to provide them with one of the many options of payment as opposed to limiting them to the conventional methods. You need to embrace as many modes of payment as possible and give clients flexibility beyond the usual credit and debit cards by allowing for wire transfers, e-checks or even Bitcoins. Such diversification will expand your customer base substantially.

  1. Having Good Product Range

A broad range of products means that you will appeal to more prospective buyers and thereby increase your opportunity to sell. Be wise not to stock all the products in your line of trade because too much money will be tied in inventory. Instead, stock in such a way that you have reasonable appeal to the various sub-groups of your clientele.

  1. Adopting Digital Couponing

You can enhance brand loyalty through digital couponing. Because they facilitate saving money, clients are on the look for coupons that can be loaded into a smartphone application. Couponing is literally on every money saving list on the internet. It’s definitely something people are looking for. Why not take advantage of that?

Given that we are moving away from the physical tickets, what better way to provide a client with a way to save money on online buys than by introducing digital coupons? The sooner you embrace this technology, the more you stay ahead of the competition.

New technologies are always coming out that are changing the face of online shopping with respect to price competition and discounts. There is now technology that automatically finds price breaks and requests the difference from online retailers on behalf of the shopper; something an online retailer should definitely understand.

It’s still a great business to be in, however. Consistency in the utilization of these hacks is the only way your online retail business will break from the crowd and stand out.

Jeffrey Nelson is an entrepreneur and home business enthusiast. His passion is helping people achieve their career goals. He blogs about helping people start living their dream working from home over at

Photo Credit: Social Monsters with permission to use. 

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