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How to Slay the Amazon.com Giant at e-Commerce

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How do you escape the shadow of an e-commerce colossus and find your company's voice? We look at examples from Uncommon Goods, Hallmark Design Collection, UGMONK, Noon Style, Villy Custom, Very Pink, …

How do you escape the shadow of an e-commerce colossus and find your company's voice? We look at examples from Uncommon Goods, Hallmark Design Collection, UGMONK, Noon Style, Villy Custom, Very Pink, Think Geek and Betabrand to learn how the lowest price is not the only consideration when buying online.

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  • 1. 1 photo credit: @sⓘndy°
  • 2. 2 Escape the shadow of an e-commerce colossus 
 by finding your company’s voice. digobrands.com
  • 3. FIND YOUR NICHE
  • 4. 4 FOCUS ON UNIQUE PRODUCTS THAT AREN’T CARRIED BY 
 LARGE ONLINE RETAILERS. ! LOCATE UNTAPPED NICHE MARKETS THAT ARE 
 WILLING TO PAY A PREMIUM FOR UNIQUE PRODUCT VALUE.
  • 5. 5 One-of-a-kind handcrafted jewelry and accessories made of creatively repurposed materials ! A customer couldn’t find this level of detail in an Amazon product. ! Each item contains a detailed personal blurb about the maker of the item.
  • 6. 6 Hallmark Design Collection Bed & Bath combines craftsmanship with high-quality materials. The collection centers on quality and luxury, making it a niche in the industry of bed linen. ! Amazon has linens, but not linens of such high quality to be considered niche.
  • 7. TELL YOUR STORY
  • 8. 8 USE YOUR “ABOUT US” PAGE TO TELL YOUR STORY AND GIVE YOUR CUSTOMER A REASON TO SUPPORT WHAT YOU STAND FOR. ! DON’T BE ANOTHER “FACELESS” COMPANY. LET YOUR CUSTOMERS CONNECT WITH YOU AND SEE YOUR PASSION FOR WHAT YOU SELL TO CREATE LOYALTY.
  • 9. 9 UGMONK’s “about us” page is written in the company’s natural voice using friendly, 
 colloquial language. ! Jeff Sheldon, the brand’s founder, explains how he didn’t have any prior knowledge on how to start a business and how he used the principle of common sense to guide him.
 This helps the customer to connect with his mission to be successful as Jeff is seen as a regular individual -- just like the customer. ! The customer can “root” for Jeff as his business grows knowing Jeff is just like them. ! What does Amazon stand for? Making money – that doesn’t give customers a warm, fuzzy feeling like a personalized “About Us” would. ! http://www.ugmonk.com/about !
  • 10. 10
  • 11. 11 A short and sweet, yet powerful approach to an “About Us” page. ! The two founders of Noon Solar, Jane and Marianne, describe the start of their company as an art project in response to the start of the war in Iraq, feeling “powerless” in the U.S. government’s decision making process, and feeling that the onset of war was because of oil. ! They state their position clearly on politics. Customers who are passionate about their believes can relate. Jane and Marianne give a distinct voice to their company as well as a cause to support. ! They’ve described their company as “a solution to give people not only personal power, but to integrate renewable solar power into daily life.” ! The theme of empowerment gives customers the notion that they too are directly influencing the solution presented, and so they will keep purchasing from the site to keep being part of the solution, thus creating brand loyalty. ! Amazon doesn’t get personal with its customer base. It can’t. ! The company is much closer to the epitome of “faceless” more than anything else. ! http://www.noonstyle.com !
  • 12. CUSTOMIZE
  • 13. 14 PERSONALIZED GOODS EVOLVE YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE 
 INTO A MORE INTIMATE EXPERIENCE.
  • 14. 15 With Villy Custom, a customer can create a bespoke cruiser bicycle ! Customers build their perfect bike choosing from different frames, tires, accent colors, and more ! Offering a reasonable base price with multiple add-ons leads to an advantageous pricepoint ! Amazon sells in bulk - personalization is not an option DiMassimo Goldstein’s new customized ride in company colors.
  • 15. MAKE HUMAN CONNECTIONS
  • 16. 17 Sells knitting patterns and supplies Hands-on knitting instruction through video The Very Pink channel is full of personality and expertise Publishes new content weekly Posts content that engages consumers and directs traffic to their website Posts everything from own ads to stories to video blogs Any content related to a business is fair game. – this allows them to feature videos from other channels that may receive more traffic This way they don't have to hire professional videographers Branded Youtube videos are available at both free and premium levels ! Amazon sells books such as How to Optimize Your YouTube Brand Channel (Cheat Sheets - Need to Know Guides) (by Debra Ellis) but does not take advantage of this strategy itself
  • 17. 18
  • 18. 19 ThinkGeek gives their brand a distinct voice through social media. ! “The Thor (wait for it) will get you hammered” ! Makes ThinkGeek seem like a nerdy-cool individual you would want to befriend. ! Can have conversations with customers to attract attention and more customers. ! Communicates in the language of audience as to avoid “phony” interactions. ! Have an awesome two-way conversation with their fanbase? Amazon ain’t got the time for that. ! !
  • 19. 20 Combining a quirky sense of humor, CEO Chris Lindland started BetaBrand within is first product, “Cordarounds” which promised to “reduce the crotch heat index” of corduroy jeans by making the grooves horizontal instead of vertical.
  • 20. 21 The agile startup has evolved into a kickstarter for new fashion items, launching new products nearly nonstop, and engaging its millions of fans with its “Model Citizen” platform which encourages and rewards its fan base to be their own fashion models. The unusual and irreverent products such as the Disco Hoodie, Executive Hoodie and Vagisoft fabric help spawn the kind of word of mouth that Amazon stores could only dream of.
  • 21. SUMMARY
  • 22. 23 NOT ALL CONSUMERS ARE MOTIVATED BY LOWER PRICES. ! WHEN YOU TARGET PASSION POINTS, OFFER SUPERIOR CUSTOMER SERVICE AND PRODUCT KNOWLEDGE, CUSTOMIZATION AND A UNIQUE, AUTHENTIC VOICE, YOU CAN WIN THE BATTLE AGAINST AMAZON. !
  • 23. TM & © 2014. DiMassimo Goldstein. All Rights Reserved. digobrands.com @markdimassimo

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