Article by Nathan Males, Myfoodlink CEO and Co-founder
Competition online is fierce and the marketplace is becoming more crowded as more businesses realise the importance of online retailing. As in the world of bricks and mortar retailing it's important to know who your online competitors are, or might be, and how they appeal to your customers.
So, who exactly are you competing against?
Broadly speaking your online competitors can be broken down into 3 categories:
Multichannel supermarkets are your traditional one-stop supermarkets, which often offer in excess of what your business stocks for customers; in Australia Coles and Woolworths online are the best examples. Direct competitors are those businesses that are smack bang right in the same market as you; they have the same range of products and services that your customers are looking for. Finally basket bandits (great name!) create sales leakages through the ability to siphon off some, but not all, of your sales. Here we're often talking about mass or club retailers, that offer margin prices on select items.
In Australia Coles and Woolworths are multichannel operators who stock a larger range of products than your average retailer, and offer in store and online shopping.
Who Gives a Crap are an example of a basket bandit; the business offers subscription on bulk toilet paper, paper towels and tissue, but does not offer other products a customer will shop online for.
The big question in all of this is how do we combat online competition?
The first step is to take your business online sooner rather than later. Customers are already familiar with the idea of shopping online and studies show that they interact with 4 or less brands online per month. If you come to the marketplace later it will be harder to get online customers, as it will require a change of habit for them, to which they're naturally resistant. The prime example here is the UK e-commerce market which is mature and crowded, making it difficult for new businesses to break in.
Develop a core online customer base. Some customers are more likely to shop online than others; so get these customers shopping online regularly with your business. Once you've developed a loyal customer base, work to keep your brand at the top of their mind and drive repeat purchasing and look for options to increase basket size.
The Myfoodlink platform allows retailers the best options when tailoring shopping options for your business. The largest range of customers can be captured based on delivery and pick up options, and repeat customers by an exceptional customer service and product offering. Our Delivery Matrix allows business to set precise delivery and pick up options for customers, which can then be easily shared with shoppers. The feedback and coupons feature allow businesses to build a relationship with online customers based on value and quality.
For more information about taking your business online with Myfoodlink or how to compete online, contact our team by sending us an email.