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Customer Service, Ecommerce, Retail & Inventory, Selling on Amazon, Shipping, Website Design

5 Things Your Small Biz is Doing That’s Making You Lose Money to Amazon.com

5 Things Your Small Biz is Doing That's Making You Lose Money to Amazon.com

Have you ever accidentally bought something off of Amazon? It was just too easy. Your finger gently caressed the buy button and before you knew it, their one-click purchase snared you in its trap again!

It’s one of the biggest allures of online shopping. You want an experience that is so intuitive it seems natural to buy. However, it is this singular experience on Amazon that many ecommerce sites lack.

A lot of ecommerce stores have all of the cool new products, but just do not do the small things that makes Amazon…well, Amazon!

Time to even the odds a bit by helping you understand what your business can do to stop losing money to Amazon.

7 Strategies to Stop Giving Amazon All of Your Business

  1. Return Policies
    Instead of starting with the purchase, it makes sense to start with the returns. That is because time and time again, an ecommerce store’s return policy can provide confidence in the purchases your customers make.

Take Zappos’ famous 365-day return policy. It’s what put the shoe company on the map for most buyers. The company understood that 60 percent of consumers who bought apparel and shoes were afraid to buy unless they had a good return policy. Zappos’ one year return policy for shoes created an irresistible offer that made it possible for them to sell shoes online when no one else could figure out how to do so.

  1. Expensive Shipping
    Now that we discussed returns, let’s focus on the biggest issue facing all ecommerce retailers: Shipping! Customers don’t want to pay shipping costs for products they buy online.

In fact, 83 percent of consumers acknowledge how free shipping is the largest reason to shop online. They are afraid of excessive price gouging from ecommerce sites. Because of that, many will often make larger purchases in order to receive free shipping.

Amazon based a large part of their business around free or discounted shipping. Tens of millions of Amazon Prime members covet their free 2-day shipping – the so-called golden goose of Amazon sales. Prime members spend on average 2-4 times the amount of regular customers.

  1. Mobile Websites
    Another way you can drive more online sales is through a quality mobile-friendly website. Mobile-savvy consumers now spend more than $119 billion.

As society continues to go mobile, more and more ecommerce stores will also need to have mobile apps where they sell their wares. According to recent reports from Marketing Land, time spent on mobile apps recently surpassed time spent on TV. The challenge for small businesses is that 46 percent don’t even have a responsive web design, let alone a mobile app for their ecommerce site.

  1. Customer Service
    Every year the bar for quality customer service gets raised because larger companies understand that in order to charge premium prices for their wares they need to do more to help out their customers. To that end, companies are always experimenting with new ways to help consumers. For example, Amazon started doing Sunday deliveries through the US Post Office.

If you want to compete, you need to look at how to make your customers’ journey from prospect to raving fan smooth.

First, look into how you can provide 24/7 customers service. Many technologies today like LivePerson or BoldChat provide chat solutions.

Second, look at simple ways you can provide a customized experience. With the holiday season coming up, one brilliant idea could be to gift wrap items upon request. By doing so, you’re saving customers time and making yourself more valuable so they come back to you the following year.

Third, look at what Amazon does. Then take it one step further. For example, DHGate provides a number of bargains at their ecommerce site. They back these up with price guarantees to ensure you get the lowest price for the product you are buying. However, they also go one step further with deal of the day specials. These deals provide even more price savings to cost-conscious customers.

  1. Personalization
    The next thing you want to do is personalize your site to your visitors’ needs and wants.

The first step to doing this is by allowing personalized recommendations for your products. According to Digital Trends, more than 73 percent of customers would trade information about themselves for more personalized selections. For example, you sell a customer a PlayStation 4 console. If they buy the console, then it makes sense to recommend additional games and accessories for the console.

Bonus: Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Personalization works best when your store has its own personality. In other words, what little bonuses do you add to your business website?

Take Swap.coms’ USP. They allow you to buy thousands of products at a discount of up to 85 percent of retail rates. Even better, they even let you swap goods you currently own for new ones.

Pretend you are a parent of a growing child. It makes sense for parents to swap baby items in exchange for new age-appropriate items. This makes the company unique.

Let’s take a look at another example. Edible Arrangements provides same-day delivery for their fruit baskets. For those last minute people going to a party or looking for a special gift, this is a convenient, fast way to get the gift in their hand the same day.

Finally, consider Amazons’ USP. For the first time, shoppers were able to purchase online and not have to wait in line at the mall to get items.

How are you different?


Final Thoughts


Amazon is the largest ecommerce store in the world because they focused on a lot of the little things that customers want. They continually strive to improve the customer experience. Your job as a business owner is to come up with reasons why customers should shop with you instead. Then one day, maybe you too can have an ecommerce store that is so intuitive that customers “accidentally” push the one-click buy button on your site.


What changes have you recently made to your business? Tell us in the comment section below.