Today we are going to discuss the 7 most important things that your competitors are doing to take your customers from you. It’s true there are some really simple things that you could do the keep those customers and grow your business. The items below are rated a 5/10 or below in terms of difficulty in implementing so there is no reason as to why in the next 7 days you have not implemented all these 7 things. I call this challenge 7 things for 7 days to online retail success.
1. Your competitors are on Pinterest
Yes your competitors are on Pinterest, what’s Pinterest you ask? “Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pin boards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favourite recipes.” Now most online stores sell a product of some description you want people to pin your products so other people can visit their wall and say” isn’t that a nice chair?” then they click on the “Pin” and it links straight to your online store so they can buy that chair. This is the power of Pinterest it is a great way to start virally sharing all of your products and the best thing with Pinterest is that all the items are pictures and as we all know customers buy with their eyes!
TASK: Register for Pinterest and start actively pinning and promoting Pinterest on your site.
2. Your competitors are getting links from your suppliers
Back links, specifically links that do not have a NO-FOLLOW attribute attached to them are great to boost your SEO efforts for you store. Your competitors are contacting your suppliers and asking for a link from your suppliers/vendors back to their site. There is no better place for your link to be than on a suppliers or vendors website. There are plenty of articles to show that if Google finds links on other businesses in your industry and they point back to your website. In Google’s eyes this means you are relevant. Relevancy is the key to great rankings.
TASK: Email all your suppliers/vendors and ask for a link from their site to yours. Make sure you target the suppliers that are in the same/or similar industry as yours for relevance.
3. Your competitors speak to their customers and listen to in Real-time
Your competitor has live chat enabled on their site and they use this to answer pre-sales questions from your customers in real time. Your competitor has enabled its entire customer service staff to field questions via chat directly from the online store. They also get feedback from their clients in real time via a simple popup question that gets asked when a visitor arrives on the site. This means that can get feedback from real users and design the site around what people want. Not what they think customers want.
4. Your competitors value the virtual ground their site sits on
Your competitors have invested in quality infrastructure for their store. They realise that a cheap shared hosting service is not going to give their customers the experience they require. They want lightning fast page loads and rich media content with big images that are bright and detailed so they can make informed purchases from great photography. So while your hosting your online store on a shared hosting account. Your competitor has invested in quality hardware and has their site purring along nicely with a high performance cloud vps optimised and tuned to host online stores. You’re running the same Magento site as them but your site takes 3 times as long to load as theirs and unlike you they are not crossing their fingers every time a customer clicks “View All” and your site grinds to a halt.
TASK: Speak to a quality hosting provider like Crucial Paradigm and have one of their online retail experts design you the hosting package your store deserves.
5. Your competitors are transparent and regularly post “behind the scenes”
Your competitor shows their customers what’s coming up, they share images of new products even before they have been decided that they will be stocked in the store. There Facebook page is like a viewing glass into the inner workings of a finely tuned business. They post images of their warehouses, staff and office. They are completely transparent and open to their customers.
TASK: Start taking pictures and posting them to Social Networks, blogs and most importantly Pinterest!
6. Your competitors are using video to sell their products your using flat images with no zoom
Customers are now expecting video to show them the product in all its glory; you need to start adding functionality to your product page. Your competitors are using Video, Zoom on product images and 3D rotation. It suddenly makes your 2 beautifully photographed images seem second rate.
TASK: Integrate Video, Product image Zoom and 3D rotation to your site. If you need inspiration have a look how this great Aussie brand uses video to sell Swimwear. Click here for the Seafolly Website the best example I have found so far.
7. Your competitors are winning every award under the sun.
Every day you get emails about your competitors winning another award. Sometimes you know you could have won that award over them but you are not submitting the nominations like they are. They are getting a lot of free press off their awards and you are getting nada. It a very simple task for this point.
TASK: Register for more industry awards and gain the recognition your site deserves.
You must complete all the above tasks as your competitor already has and he/she is reaping the rewards of some easy won gains. Make this a priority for this week and you will see immediate impact. Are there things that were left off the list? Comment below and let us know what other things you think your competitors are doing that you need to be doing.
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