Every market, somehow or the other is already saturated. The chances of someone being able to waltz their way into new, unknown, fruit-bearing lands is highly unlikely. Perhaps this explains why many entrepreneurs with retail projects and dreams of online retail businesses seem to have the idea that their prospects of succeeding in the retail market are nil.
If you’re already at this breakpoint stage, don’t panic. Your retail project can still make it, only if you accept and go by the following advice:
DETERMINATION IS KEY
As of today, the world population is around 7.78 billion. Yet, every single human can find a way to make their mark in the world if they are determined enough. Some can be more successful than others, but, every entrepreneur has to start somewhere.
Truth is, aspirants don’t realize that those who made it were curious enough and determined to make it work at first. Being a power player means acknowledging that there is already competition.
COMPETITION IS IN EVERY CORNER
Let’s say for argument’s sake that you did stir up a new idea altogether. Yes, you could ideally be the first one to reach the peak of the mountain, however, you might as well be the first one off if you aren’t determined enough to hold on.
Let’s look at Uber – the taxi service. Their strategy proved to be successful in their industry. This success opened the door to other companies that didn’t hesitate a minute to jump in as well. Companies like Ola Cab, Little Cab, Bolt, they all started providing the same services that Uber does. But their strategies were tweaked a little bit here and there so that they could stay relevant in the industry.
SATURATED MARKETS ARE ACTIVE MARKETS
A market that is already saturated also means that it is highly active with a high growth rate. It also means that the offering in this sector has been tried and tested and that the products that are sold are products that people need and are willing to purchase. This is great news, don’t you think?
Aspiring entrepreneurs already have everything they need, what’s only missing is a unique business model. It is important for entrepreneurs to constantly be innovative and creative so that they are able to remain competitive in the market.
TIPS AND TRICKS TO STAY AHEAD IN THE GAME
You don’t have to major in on several points that make you stand out from the crowd. No.
Instead, find that one thing that makes your spotlight shine. Here are five tips to help you play the game right when creating an online retail market:
1. FOCUS ON A NICHE
The first step you need to take is to identify who your target audience is. Narrow down your customer base rather than generalizing it. Look around and understand what customers are looking for. You may even be able to tap into an unfulfilled market requirement.
Let’s have a look at ETSY.
Etsy is an online art and crafts store and galleria. It has made its digital footprint as a crafters paradise. It carved out its niche by identifying and building a platform for users where they could sell craft items as well as homemade crafts. This platform allows DIY experts to showcase their products and sell them on the internet. Even though there are various online craft stores, Etsy differentiated itself by narrowing down their offering to DIY craft items.
2. BUILD UNIQUE BUSINESS MODELS
Apple was definitely not the first of its kind in the market. Google and Microsoft were already there. Amongst various other strategies that led to its success, Apple was still able to build its own ecosystem. How?
Apple has come up with a range of products that are designed in a way that makes them instantly a replacement for other products in the market that serve the same functions. They are also designed in a way that makes them complemented by one another and exchangeable (an iPhone isn’t sold without a charger, a cable and earphones), the same goes for the iPod and the iPad. Moreover, Apple makes it cumbersome for buyers to transfer files from IOS devices to Android devices, therefore retaining their customer base forever.
Apple uses these strategies to its advantage and retains its customer base in this way.
3. INVEST IN CUSTOMER SERVICE
Your product means nothing without consumers. It is no accident that all successful organizations have reputations for going above and beyond customer expectations. Customers will equate your brand with experience. One simple unresolved issue will write them off completely.
4. GO LOCAL
Instead of struggling with global competitors, start small. Narrow down your offering to local demographics. This will give you a lot of room to tailor and customize your products based on their taste. This means that your attention will be focused on a small niche, but at the same time, it will eliminate a huge chunk of direct competitors.
Flipkart, for example, is India’s biggest online store for various items such as Mobiles, Jewelry, Home appliances, Clothing apparel, etc. Giving the same services as Amazon though, Flipkart uses its website to sell their products to the populace based in India. Tailoring their products to this demographic, Flipkart was able to compete with the giant Amazon in this region.
5. MASTER YOUR PRICING STRATEGY
Having a low price all the time may not necessarily be the best pricing strategy. It’s all about psychology. There are two types of pricing:
· Premium pricing – high prices to assure customers of your brand’s worth and quality.
· High low pricing – offering high prices, but then using discounts to lower it and attract customers.
Let’s take a look at this example. Shoes have been in the industry for as long as anyone can remember. Nike used the strategy of focusing its product line on producing highly-priced athletic footwear in limited quantities. By selling limited products, Nike was able to offer their customers unrivaled quality and make unmatchable sales, even if the prices are high. This is their success strategy.
SOME FINAL THOUGHTS…
Competing and staying relevant in an online saturated market may be daunting at first, but it is not impossible.
If you are offering something more than your competitors, if you are ready to make adjustments to your business model as you grow, your chances of building a successful online retail business are high.
Don’t always keep profits and revenues as your major goal and objective, be mindful of your customer’s expectations, needs and wants. After all, they are the key to the success of your business.
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