Retailer Web Services Digital Advisor Fall 2017 - Page 9
Teams with Cloth & Company,
Apartment Therapy,” implies it could
be done much faster.
Product reviews: The large selection
of product reviews Amazon curates
and provides is a significant
reason many buy from Amazon. In
comparison, there are few product
reviews elsewhere in the furniture
industry. Regarding mattresses,
many manufacturers have worked
diligently to gather reviews, but the
private labeling practice makes it
exceptionally difficult to syndicate
those reviews across large groups
of independent retailers. The major
appliance industry is further along
with product reviews and should
continue to gather and widely
distribute them to its independent
retailers as a top priority.
While many retailers worry Amazon
will win by offering a lower price, the
real worry, according to Gilbert, should
be that Amazon will win by offering a
better customer experience. A recent
insights story, “How Walgreens Is
Building for the Future of Customer
Experiences,” explains how consumer
expectations are growing exponentially.
To win, retailers need to provide the
best total customer experience—online,
During a recent RetailWire Brain Trust
discussion, panelists weighed in on the
following question: Does Costco need to
significantly undercut Amazon’s prices?
As evidenced in the forum, Costco is,
indeed, charging much less for items,
but Amazon Pantry is still winning. Why?
For today’s consumer, it’s not about
price. It’s about convenience and overall
So, how can independent retailers
prepare for the inevitability of Amazon?
Consider these six tips:
1. MANAGE YOUR ONLINE
When more choices are available to your
potential customers, excellent online
reviews will be a powerful reason why
they should choose to shop with you and
not your competitors.
2. MAKE SURE YOUR WEB
PRESENCE IS SUPER EASY
a. Ensure full text searches return
accurate results, even for lay
language like “stove” (instead of
range) and “couch” (instead of sofa).
b. Make sure it’s fast! Use Google’s
new tool to test your speed on
desktop and mobile at developers.
c. Your site must contain a lot
of product information so your
prospects can research on their own
customer will likely
launch a local
search first when
shopping for furniture,
an appliance or a
d. Focus on knowing what’s
important to your customers
before they ask. For example, when
someone’s refrigerator breaks, they
need a new one—yesterday! What’s
important to that consumer is how
long it will take for delivery. So, make
sure the refrigerators you have
available for immediate delivery are
prominently labeled as such on your
3. BE RESPONSIVE.
Customers don’t only call or come in the
store to contact you. They email, text,
private message on Facebook and tweet.
Make sure you have someone listening
and responding quickly! A variety of
software is available to help you with
this, and if nothing else, use the free tool
at google.com/alerts to notify you when
your business is being discussed online.
4. STAY TOP OF MIND.
Figure out who your potential customers
are via de-anonymization as soon as
possible and remarket to them with
intelligent content based on what
they’ve already viewed online. Don’t let
them forget about you while they are
considering their purchase.
5. FOCUS ON AMAZING
Make it your goal to get this process as
fast, smooth and wonderful as possible.
How can you make home delivery of
your products an amazing experience
that’s hard to match? Here are a few
a. Provide in-house training on new
appliances or send a chef to cook for
customers in their new kitchen.
b. When dropping off a new mattress,
have your delivery team help make
the bed with new linens as a gift.
c. Deliver new living room furniture
with a beautiful vase of flowers.
d. Have your delivery team offer to
pose for selfies with your customers
for fun social media posts about their
cool new items.
6. LOOK FOR WAYS TO REDUCE
If you can make buying from you safe via
easy returns, try-before-you-buy policies,
satisfaction guarantees, long-term
service contracts and the like, you can
win in this retail arena where consumers
don’t buy these products frequently
enough to feel like an expert and the
purchases represent a large portion of
their discretionary income.
Above all, don’t forget what RWS
research has shown: Your potential
customer will likely launch a local search
first when shopping for furniture, an
appliance or a mattress. Once a potential
customer clicks on your website, they’re
stepping through the front door of your
digital storefront. The impressions they
get are both strong and instantaneous—
and can be the deciding factor on
whether they decide to visit Amazon.