The ongoing global pandemic has brought unprecedented growth in the digital landscape, which has impacted every aspect of businesses. Now almost everything is done online; from ordering daily essentials like milk, groceries, to ordering furniture.
This has brought a major shift in consumers’ buying behavior and as a business, if you don’t embrace digitalization now, then you won’t be able to catch up anytime soon.
Besides changing customer behavior and expectations, the rise of data analytics and innovative technologies has supercharged the eCommerce industry and has enabled business owners to create unforgettable customer experiences.
No doubt excellent customer experience is a competitive advantage, but if you really want to achieve success for your eCommerce business, then learn from the eCommerce tycoons like Amazon, Alibaba, Walmart, and eBay who already have achieved massive success in this industry.
So, to help you stay ahead of the ever-growing competition in eCommerce, we analyzed business models, customer interaction and experiences, and eCommerce strategies of Amazon and Walmart.
4 eCommerce Business Strategies to Learn from Amazon and Walmart
Before we list down our findings, let’s make one thing clear. It’s quite possible what worked for Amazon or Walmart might not work for you.
So, if after reading this article you decide to implement one or more strategies for your business, make sure you understand the nuances of that particular strategy and its relevancy to your business or the problem you are trying to fix.
Let’s first dive deep into which strategies are helping Amazon win the hearts of millions and millions of shoppers around the world.
1. Customers’ needs over everything
Since its inception in 1994 as an online bookseller, Amazon has come a long way to being everyone’s first choice for buying everything from cleaning products to groceries and tech gadgets.
The principal reason behind their evolution from a book retailer to the one-stop retailer of everything was their ability to understand and cater to their customers’ needs and tap into the true potential of referrals.
This quote from Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, sums up their strategy with fulfilling customers’ needs, “It used to be that if you made a customer happy, they would tell five friends. Now, with the megaphone of the internet, whether online customer reviews or social media, they can tell 5,000 friends.”
Divert your focus, resources, time, and efforts to make your customers happy. If you end up doing a good job, then they are most likely to share their positive experience with their friends and family.
This way you will be able to grow your customer base without the high cost of acquiring new customers.
2. Data analysis for decision making
According to Bezos, their customers are loyal to them right up until the second somebody offers them a better service. And he loves that. It’s super motivating for them.
Amazon is quite committed to innovation and testing. They literally test every feature, product, etc. before making them a part of their customers’ experience.
They extensively use data analytics and testing tools to make unbiased and customer-centric decisions instead of deciding based on what they think their customers want.
Make a habit of using tools and techniques like A/B techniques, customer surveys, and NPS to get a better understanding of who your customers are, what they expect from you, and their overall experience with your brand.
Now that we understand what makes Amazon Amazon, let’s get a better understanding of Walmart’s eCommerce strategies and how they’ve helped them become the second-largest eCommerce retailer in the USA.
3. Omni-channel retailing
Walmart’s order fulfillment strategy has two parts; ordering online and picking orders from the available Walmart locations.
And since everyone lives within 10 miles of Walmart locations, they enjoy having the ease of ordering online and then the control of picking the orders.
They introduced this feature of Grocery pickup back in 2013 and now it’s available in over 3500 Walmart locations.
What this strategy does is eliminate the uncertainty that comes with ordering online. Instead of just waiting and wondering where their order is, they can take control of their orders, which makes this strategy an enormous success.
Building a network of stores is capital intensive, so what you should do instead is tie-up for pickups with local stores from the areas where the concentration of your customers is quite high.
This way you are providing an omnichannel retailing experience to your customers which improves their overall experience with your brand, and the local stores also get to have a side income making it a win-win-win situation.
4. Value-based merchandising strategy
Bib eCommerce brands, for example, Amazon, provides eCommerce micro-fulfillment which allows them to have efficient delivery procedures.
On the other hand, Walmart believes in providing value for money to consumers and this strategy is winning customer loyalty and satisfaction. Especially since everyone is quite low on cash because of the pandemic.
This value-based merchandising strategy has also played a major role in Walmart’s positioning as a brand that provides the best value for money.
66% of their customers said that the main reason they are loyal to Walmart and keep coming back to them is having products that provide the best value for their money.
Retailers like Walmart, Target, Dollar General, etc. all are targeting the audience at the low end of the price spectrum, which makes for a brilliant strategy, especially during the recession we are experiencing because of the pandemic.
You could also implement a similar strategy by coming to better pricing terms with your vendors, manufacturers, which can help reduce overall product cost and thereby enabling you to offer a better price to your customers.
Apart from the above-mentioned core eCommerce business strategies, here are a few ways that will help you create a holistic experience for your customers.
- Adding more delivery options
- Making chatbots and live chat features a part of your customer support strategy
- Providing the feature of advanced filtering which helps your customers to find what they are looking for quickly
- Having interactive product visualization technologies like AR and VR to enhance the online shopping experience of your customers
eCommerce is Evolving
As an owner of a growing eCommerce business, it’s quite essential for you to evolve with the evolving landscape of eCommerce.
The above-mentioned strategies from the eCommerce tycoons will definitely help you get your business on the right momentum to success.