E-commerce presents several differences in relation to traditional retail online sales. In at least one respect, however, the virtual and real environments are alike: the need to establish a competitive advantage in order to outperform the competition.

Characterized as a differential of the company, the marketed product or the service provided, this advantage will be responsible for attracting the customer’s attention – and also their money.

E-commerce shows marked growth

Despite infrastructure challenges, such as delivery logistics, payment options, and access to broadband connection, virtual commerce in Latin America shows encouraging growth. According to data prepared by Internet Retailer, only China grows more than the South American continent in terms of billing for electronic commerce: Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Chile are the exponents of the region.

The advantages of electronic commerce explain this rise. “Being present on the Internet means not having geographical barriers to reach consumers. Contrary to a physical store, which is limited to whoever goes through the door, e-commerce is accessed by practically everyone connected to the Internet”, explains Mauricio Salvador, president of the Brazilian Association of Electronic Commerce (ABComm).

The competitive advantage to outperform the competition

The expansion of the market increases competition, which ends up requiring a differentiation effort on the part of the companies that make up the segment. This effort generates competitive advantage, which can be divided into two types:

1. Cost advantage:

when the company offers the same benefits as the competition but at a lower price

2. Differentiation advantage:

when the company surpasses the competition in the benefits it offers to its customers.
If you want to develop and establish a competitive advantage, you need to work to outperform your competition and avoid being copied. Location, product quality, service quality, scope of technical assistance, patents, consolidated brands, installed customer base and reputation are some of the ways to differentiate yourself in the traditional market.

Finding a competitive 7 advantage in eCommerce

The specificities of electronic commerce require different actions to seek differentiation and surpass the competition. Here are some tips to make that process easier:

Work hard to improve SEO
Organic search, it is well known, should be a priority for those who work with sales on the Internet. With so much competition in the market, it is necessary to make sure that potential customers, when they search, find what your company is offering in the first place of the results.

1. Direct marketing in online sales

Invest as much as possible to direct virtual marketing towards the target audience through actions such as Google Adwords and Facebook Ads, which allow the personalization of the potential client you wish to reach.

2. Establish an effective relationship with the client in online sales

Try to control your client’s essential information through a management system, monitoring data such as the product purchased, age, email and address, to personalize attention and marketing actions.

3. Do seasonal promotions in online sales

Taking advantage of the different times of the year to create promotions is an ancient practice with recognized effectiveness. In addition to holidays, you should be aware of the cultural market, the weather, and trends in the media.

4. Incentivize comments in online sales

Creating a comment field for customers favors transparency, encourages returns and, mainly, provides a credible reference to consumers interested in the product: the opinion of other customers.

5. Create an online chat in online sales

That the customer can count on someone nearby to help him can be a difference capable of consolidating a competitive advantage. Personalized responses at any time of the day tend to surprise and retain the customer, who feels attracted and welcomed by the service.

6. Expand payment options in online sales

In addition to the price being compatible with that of the competition, it is necessary to offer payment advantages. Boleto, transfer between accounts, bank deposit and various credit cards are options valued by customers, and drive sales.

7. Bet on simplicity and objectivity in online sales

Lastly, make sure the site is intuitive, engaging, and easy to use. The client must navigate the page without difficulty, find what he needs as quickly as possible. The menu must be simplified and the duration of the purchase process must be reported accurately.

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