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How can you thrive in Amazon’s world

Amazon is taking over the world. Amazon took over the bookseller industry and quickly moved to dominate the eCommerce industry. Amazon is now dominating the Cloud Computing industry with AWS, their own branded products, grocery stores, and even entering the oil industry. With Amazon being such a large and well tuned machine it may seem impossible to compete with them. So how can your business avoid the fate of Toys R Us or Barnes and Noble? How can you compete?

The answer is, Don’t!
If you try to be Amazon without Billions of dollars, then you will fail. When Amazon started, Walmart was the largest and now Amazon is larger than Walmart. Amazon started with a niche and by focusing on the customer. They built brand loyalty and slowly grew to be one of the largest companies in the world. Instead of trying to compete with Amazon, you need to focus on your niche and do it better than they can. The key is to focus on value. You need to give your customer more value than your competitor or in this case than Amazon. If you can’t beat Amazon’s prices, then you need provide more value by having better customer service or a better customer loyalty program. When a company becomes as large as Amazon, being the best at customer service, loyalty, or personalization becomes very difficult. As a small to medium sized company this is where you can create a better value offering.

Be the expert on your niche.
If you are a candle company, then you should establish yourself as an expert. You can provide your customers with “how to's” or information on ingredients. You should also be available and answer your customers’ questions as fast as you can. If you are using social media for “For Sale” posts, then you are failing. Social media should be used to boost your brand value offering. Each post should offer your customers something useful; news or information is a great value offering. Discounts, specials, or deals are other types of posts that offer value. Also, you need to make sure that you are responding to comments on social media to help build relationships. These are all things that you can easily be better at than Amazon. It is a proven statistic that customers will pay more if they feel they are getting more overall value.

Reward your customers.
It is five times less expensive to keep a customer than it is to acquire a new one. By offering your customers discounts, points, or rewards; you are showing your customer that you appreciate them. This goes a long way in building a long lasting relationship. Rewards are something that customers have come to expect from companies. In fact some surveys show that 85% of shoppers state a good rewards program as a deciding factor when comparing brands. Your rewards program should be simple and can be completely digital. The majority of millenials state that they prefer a digital rewards system over a card system and like interactive systems.

Build a personal relationship with your customers.
We all would rather buy from someone we know and trust. Amazon understands this and creates a personalized digital experience for each customer. You can easily create a personalized digital experience, but you can also go a step beyond. When your customer calls, you should have a personalized note page that you only you see. This allows you to speak to your customer as if you know them personally. You should also use social media to communicate on a personal level to your customer. The more positive interactions that you have with your customer, the more likely they are to stay a customer and be loyal to your brand.

Create a worthy referral program.
Referrals have a the highest ROI and build positive brand influence. You should not expect your customer to go door to door for you. When you create a referral system you need to make it easy for customer to refer you. Make the system simple and rewarding. The digital world makes this easier than ever and who doesn’t like to share on social media for a freebee or discount? When you focus on a niche it is easier for referrals to take off in niche communities and drive more customers to you.

People love points.
By having points you are creating a system that encourages long term loyalty. We are programed to love earning and spending. With a custom points program, you can encourage customers to earn and spend with your brand. You can also create partnerships with other brands in order to make your points more valuable. Many grocery stores partner with gas stations in order to build brand loyalty. If you are a socks company, you might partner with a shoe company. You could also create points system that allows people to donate points to a nonprofit of their choice.

Make it count.
If you want to offer more value than Amazon, then you can’t focus on just one of these. You need to have all of the and do them better than Amazon. One way to do this is to use Velmie’s Loyalty Cloud program. This program allows you to have an all-in-one, custom platform that will help you survive the Amazon takeover. The best part is that Velmie’s Loyalty Cloud is free to get started and has the lowest fees on the market. Blockchian and AI are implemented in the cloud to give you and your customers the best experience possible. Try the demo here or get started today for free!
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