Smaller store or huge marketplace? E-commerce in the grip of competition
Online stores have a problem. They have to compete with each other, but also with powerful marketplaces like Allegro and Amazon. How to come out of this skirmish with your head held high and your pocket full? What do customers gain by buying in smaller stores at the expense of giant retailers??
– Price, is always going to be a very important, if not the most important factor that customers are guided by when purchasing merchandise when comparing a particular product available from many different stores. However, large marketplaces such as Allegro or Amazon are grabbing a bigger and bigger piece of the shopping pie and this is where the buyers go first. How smaller e-commerce platforms are going to compete with them? This is an important question, because it is one of the most important challenges the industry will face in 2022 – says Robert Stolarczyk, CEO of Promotraffic, one of the leading Polish digital marketing agencies for e-commerce and b2c.
The customer has the audacity to look at the giants…
The dominance of marketplaces is becoming unquestionable. According to an analysis by Digital Commerce 360, the world’s top 100 online marketplaces will be in business in 2021. 3.23 trillion dollars worth of goods will have been sold by 2025. Gross sales of goods increased by 18% last year. Although the three largest marketplaces – Taobao, Tmall, and Amazon – account for more than 60% of the $3.23 trillion in gross merchandise value on the Top 100 list, other “online marketplaces” are also gaining importance.
These data are confirmed by the report of the OC consulting company&C. The study shows that by 2025. online sales will be mainly through major e-commerce platforms that will dethrone retail online stores. Already today ok. 50% of consumer spending in the network is settled on marketplaces. Customers choose giants, because there they can immediately fill up their shopping basket with goods from various industries, they are sure about logistics and delivery time or they can count on really good prices.
…how to avert his gaze?
So how to compete with the biggest stores to make your mark on the e-commerce market?
– Certainly not just with price. Yes, the cost element is important, especially now in an era of rampant inflation. However, there is something that you may not pay attention to at first, and that is the unique content that will build leads. Often descriptions, images, highlighting the most important product features are overlooked. Thus we forget that we have only a few seconds to attract the buyer’s attention. That is why it is necessary to take care of an appropriate presentation of goods, as well as “social proof”, i.e. positive but above all true opinions that make people trust you more and are willing to buy Marlena Żurawska-Szuter, head of the e-commerce department at DELI2, an online delicatessen, comments on the pages of the latest issue of the magazine Trendbook PromoTraffic dedicated to the Polish online shopping market.
Individuality is a value
In a publication prepared by PromoTraffic agency there are, however, more ways to steal clients from the biggest commercial platforms. Jakub Gierszyński, e-commerce director in Sephora for Poland and the Czech Republic, reminds that the main marketplace players focus mainly on the breadth of the offer, scale of operations, product price and the speed of order processing.
– All the rest can compete with what is hardest, i.e. individual approach to customers, products and services offered. Focus on uniqueness and exclusivity of the offer. This could involve m.in. the way of product presentation, communication and customer service or order packing – notes Jakub Gierszyński.
And Maciej Stępień, manager of. e-commerce at Medicine, which creates unique clothing collections: – We can create expressive brands that have something to say and can have an intelligent dialogue with their customers. So much and so much – he adds.
Building a dialogue is also a way to create a community around shared values. The next step is to prepare on this basis an appropriate communication strategy that will support this value proposition. What it could be? Such as environmental activities or not avoiding difficult topics that happen in the public space. Such aspects are particularly emphasized by younger shoppers, who still dominate among online consumers.
Marketplaces are not evil. They show our strength
A definitely different approach to winning customers has Sylwia Kopeć, digital marketing lead at All in! Games, who argues that the best way is not to compete with the big marketplaces – There are always better ones, who have more, cheaper and enjoy greater recognition. You just have to do your job – execute the marketing plan, do the analysis, stay on top of trends, try things out, keep an open mind to new ideas and conduct tests. But in no case should competition be the only point of reference or fuel for business. Observing and comparing are helpful methods, but choosing your own path and doing business the right way nowadays pays off more – says Sylwia Kopeć.
Mariusz Serafin, Marketing and E-commerce Director at men’s fashion store Lancerto, reminds us that if a brand is present on one of the top marketplaces, it’s a guarantee. – That our store means something, the goods are quality, and the customer’s money is not lost. This also builds trust in the brand – notes Mariusz Serafin.