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Marketing Your E-commerce Business: Applying Amazon's Success To Your Website

Aug 3, 2008
If you own a business in the UK, there's an 80% chance it'll fail in the first two years. It's your job to make sure that doesn't happen. Although innovation might be a vital ingredient to your future success as an internet retailer, there's no harm in learning from the best.

Stretching Your Tail As Far As It'll Go

"The Long Tail" - a book by Wired Editor Chris Anderson- explored the concept of shifting away from just selling the most popular items that cater for the largest percentage of your customers' demands. Retailers such as Amazon make more money selling a larger combined volume of less popular items.

As an internet business, there's no opportunity cost when you stock your virtual shelves with a certain product. That's why variety and options can be a key differentiator for your business. When following this strategy, though, make sure you don't order in too much volume of one particular item. That way, you won't find yourself with too much money tied up in stock. When you're selling via the internet, you get infinite shelf space. Make sure you take advantage of it.

Affiliate Marketing Strategy

When you're an internet business, it's easy to track where your sales are coming from. That's why Amazon can pay publishers money if they send a visitor who goes on to buy a product from their site. This is a usually around 10% of the amount of the sale. This is one of the most effective marketing strategies that a business can undertake. An affiliate commission is a cost of sale that you only pay when you get results.

Develop A Content Strategy

Amazon allows their vast internet audience to review their products. This creates a reason for buyers to visit Amazon when they're further down the buying cycle. Then, when they are ready to buy, Amazon will be at the front of their mind. Amazon's content strategy also means that they are able to gain more search engine traffic through having better content on their website. It also means that more webmasters link to their product pages when talking about a particular product - often Amazon's product pages carry more value than the website of an author or manufacturer.

Pricing

Price is always going to be one of the key ways for a business to differentiate from the competition - especially in the hyper-competitive internet marketplace. When you are online, you can bite away at many of the costs that offline retailers have to eat. But, you might be starting off with less volume - which means that you might still struggle to compete on price.

Amazon might not always be the cheapest place to buy your product online, but you can be sure that you're not going to be getting ripped off for most things you buy. Rather than always being the absolute cheapest, they are usually always going to be close. This is something that you should keep in mind at all times- as soon as a consumer starts to realise that you're only reasonably priced for some things, and not others, there going to have to visit your rivals before they're prepared to part with their cash. If you're selling a commodity, and you want to charge more than the competition, you better have a good reason for it - especially when you're an internet retail business.
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CityLocal is a UK Franchise Opportunity from the Web's No.1 Business Directory - www.citylocal.co.uk & www.citylocal.ie
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