I bought about 90% of my holiday purchases this year via Amazon.com. People on Twitter asked me why. My answer was that it was simple. I didn’t have to brave the crowds. I could search simply. It all went into one cart. I knew the rules of shopping via Amazon. I knew their customer service policies. There wasn’t much left to chance.
Think about buying from a non-Amazon site. Maybe your site. Why would I? So, if you’re not Amazon, you’d better have a decent answer to beat my first emotional reaction: simplicity.
What would make me search your site to buy something? There are some reasons I might choose another site:
I’d go to Savvy Auntie because Melanie Notkin will give me advice that would help me buy for kids, where Amazon’s just too big to feel helpful in that regard.
I’d go to Wine Library because Gary Vaynerchuk will take the fear factor out of buying something I’m not educated about.
I’d go to Glynne’s Soaps because I appreciate Gayle and Jennifer’s efforts via social media, so it’s like buying from a friend.
Beating Simplicity and Ease of Purchase is the Goal
Think about that for a moment. We think that price matters. We think that locale matters. We think that having a good shopping cart software matters (it certainly helps). What really has to happen when you think about buying is that you have to beat the current “best in class” for “simplicity.”
It’s not enough to push the “buy local” mantra. It’s not enough to push “homemade” as the big push. You’ll find someone for every one of the reasons why you think they shouldn’t buy from Amazon or Walmart or whoever you consider to be the competition, but to my thinking, the real goal is to instill a powerful reason why someone should buy from you over anyone else.
- Expertise – Melanie and Gary give me knowledge I don’t have.
- Support – Gayle and Jennifer could use some love for all they’ve done on Twitter and Facebook. (But support like that doesn’t last forever, I’d offer.)
- Specialization – Someone like Thinkgeek does a great job of speaking to the nerd crowd.
And there are other ways. Adding value helps. Adding personalization helps. Adding some personality to every order helps.
What do you think? Who’s doing it right? Are you bucking that trend? Are you competing against any of the big guys and how are you doing it?
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