As we emerge from summer into fall, we are all eager to see just what is coming down the pike for e-commerce. In today’s newsletter, we have a roundup of some of the latest trends and some strategic moves within e-commerce. In addition we’ll take a closer look at a site that is using some very smart tactics that shows a true understanding of their customer base. We hope you find something valuable!
Walmart and Amazon are household names, and there is a battle for dominance in the world of e-commerce (all commerce actually). Amazon has evolved as the e-commerce industry heavyweight, adding depth and breadth in categories as diverse as B2B and fashion. Combatting the competitive advantages that Amazon has built up is not easy, but Walmart has no choice but to try or risk being marginalized over the long-term. Walmart’s most recent move is acquiring Jet, a relatively new e-commerce player, but one with a strong vision, extensive technology and a unique model (see our previous article on Jet).
The solution? Acquire Jet.com and attempt to take a larger share of customer’s online spend. With Amazon on 36% of all mobile devices – and Walmart’s app on 8% – Walmart needed to improve their e-commerce strategy. Their hope is that this move allows them to keep pace with the ever growing Amazon Prime user base and to continue to combat Amazon’s low price positioning.
Read more about this here.
In the world of B2B e-commerce, price is important, but service is often a priority as well. Competing on price in the B2C e-commerce world is typically a non-starter…..you are competing with Amazon and your odds are not good. In the world of B2B, especially with more complex purchasing cycles, competing on price can be replaced with competing on service + price, facilitated by technology.
ATGstores.com (a Lowe’s home furnishings subsidiary) is focusing on this e-commerce combination of service + price. As with any business, price is definitely an important competitive element, and ATGStores is supporting this with customized pricing lists. Tiered pricing and “price books” are key feature of most B2B e-commerce platforms, however, relying on just them, does have a strategic impact. Positing with pricing plus service is a strategic differentiator in the market that they are competing.
Read more about AGTStores.com’s newest direction here.
For manufacturers / brands, there are a variety of benefits to selling directly to their end customers online. Two of the most important ones are recapturing margins, and gaining customer “intimacy”, but there are challenges. Brands with existing distribution channels have a tricky balancing act when it comes to e-commerce. They must be sensitive to the pricing concerns of the channel, but also meet their customer’s demands for purchasing directly from them. Trek (biking manufacturer) is doing a good job of balancing these needs.
By empowering the purchaser to choose where their completed bike is sent, Trek has enabled their customers to “shop how they want to shop”. This B2B model ensures quality from the manufacturer as well as a solid price point and commission structure for the dealer.
Read more about Trek’s B2B balancing act here.
Benchmarking provides essential information about how businesses stacks up against their competitors. But how did you do this last year? Screenpages – an e-commerce agency from the UK – released a benchmarking study which examined niche and e-commerce ventures. Here are some interesting figures from that study:
|Home page bounce||12.9%||
To read further, please click here.
Bicycle manufacturer Trek.com has created a truly intuitive B2C experience, featuring a solid brand identity through clear and vibrant pictures and easy navigation from page to page. From home screen to checkout, Trek.com’s design is intuitive and creates a wonderful user experience.
The large images presented to the customer when they first arrive really sets the tone for the site, reinforcing the company’s brand message and the “allure” of biking.
When you think of Trek and how they would tackle PDP, this is exactly what comes to mind. Large visuals that focus on the bike, with well defined options to add to cart.
With simple messaging that is exactly on brand, Trek has met the mark for capturing email.
Businesses that require their goods to be replenished on a regular basis have been moving to include Amazon’s Dash Button as a purchasing option. Dash allows replenishment with the click of a button and is a great way for businesses to enable ordering of products from the point of consumption. For some items, more than half of Amazon orders are now made via Dash Buttons. Recently, International Paper Co. joined the Dash Button program. This is a savvy move for International Paper, which sells a highly consumable product that can be easily substituted. By having Dash buttons at printing stations, it is possible for customers to easily repurchase their products without thinking about alternatives.
Read more about International Paper’s move to Dash here.
THE BOTTOM LINE
That’s all for our August edition of the Accorin newsletter. Be sure to check back next month to find out all of the latest trends, technology, marketing and strategy in e-commerce. We’ll also be bringing you our monthly inspiration feature to help you do more with your e-commerce operation. Stay tuned!