A competitive analysis is a strategy where you identify major competitors and research their products, sales, and marketing strategies. In doing so, there are two strategies commonly used- differentiation advantage and low cost to customer advantage. Upon reviewing the pros and cons of each, it would be to my venture’s benefit to utilize the differentiation advantage. With so many e-commerce ventures in the market and a steady influx of new entrants, having diverse products is a sure way to segment my venture.
The differentiation strategy is an approach used by businesses that focuses on providing customers with something unique, different and distinct from items their competitors may offer in the marketplace (n.d., 2020).
Competitive Advantage Factors:
In addition to differentiating the brand, it is important to create an advantage strategy. An overarching question for any entrepreneur is to understand the environment in which they will be operating. The environment is in reference to existing products and services within a marketplace, and a value proposition. There are several strategies that can be used to the advantage of entrepreneurs in the e-commerce industry:
1. Pick a specific niche & target audience
2. Have a personalized website
3. Use various social media platforms to showcase the brand
4. Create new partnerships
5. Interact with customers
It is imperative to select a specific niche and target audience (Sajid, K 2020). This makes marketing easier and the search made by customers more practical and quicker. Having a personalized website that clearly outlines the products/ services being sold, and how the brand is different is a useful strategy as well. Once the content has been segmented the brand can begin utilizing additional social media platforms to showcase their brands. Brands should not limit themselves to the confines of their website, but they should lean into resources such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube especially if their target audience frequents these platforms. Upon increasing brand exposure, there is more likelihood for creating new partnerships which can lead to further growth. Lastly, brands should not take their growing customer base for granted. They should find ways to interact with customers and let them know how much they are appreciated.
Due to the nature of the e-commerce industry, there are various factors that could present competitive disadvantages. E-commerce customers are accustomed to surfing the web for the best products at the best price. As such, it is imperative that any unique features offered by a venture are evident and directly correlate to product pricing. Customers will expect quick delivery times, so it is imperative that this expectation is outlined in e-com vendor agreements. Similarly, having constant inventory in stock is imperative as customers are typically less likely to return to the site if the product, they want to order is not available. Lastly, due to the nature of the e-commerce industry and how it relies heavily on technology, this particular factor strongly impacts the customer experience and ultimately the venture overall. Technological advancements can lead to a better customer experience, smoother and faster processing, and most importantly completion of sales.
The continuous growth of the e-commerce industry presents much room for new entrants and new opportunities. As such, it is imperative to enter the market wisely and continuously perform market scans to find new ways to set the venture apart from competitors in addition to those outlined in the strategy above.
(n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ecommerce-now.com/images/ecommerce-now/PEST.htm
Sajid, K. (2020, May 27). 7 Strategies for Competitive Advantages in eCommerce. Retrieved November 10, 2020, from https://www.ilmigo.com/ecommerce/7-strategies-competitive-advantages-ecommerce/