It’s a crowded market out there, and if you’re an online entrepreneur, you may be wondering how you can possibly make your product or service stand out from all your competitors’. While it may seem like a difficult goal to achieve, there are a few things you can do to turn it to reality.
What Makes You Different?
Before you even start, make sure to choose an optimal product or service. When trying to decide on what you will sell, think of problems your customers have and figure out how to address them. If applicable, you should also take a look at your competitors and determine what they are missing, then fill that missing niche. Whatever way you decide to make yourself different, make it your brand.
Aside from solving a previously unaddressed issue or simply creating a better product, you can also get a little more creative in how you differentiate your brand. For example, make free one-day shipping, a lifetime warranty, or other appealing guarantees a part of your business model. You must be able to back up any offers though. Another idea is to found a startup with a cause marketing effort and make giving back to your community or a charity a pillar of your business. This method may require a large change in your business model, however, if it was not part of your original plan.
Be honest to your customers about your products and services. If you feel the need to exaggerate about your product’s quality, there is an issue. Instead of making things up (that end to come out in the end anyways), work towards improving and accomplishing things that you can actually brag about. Similarly, admit and mistakes you make and try to fix them quickly. Owning up to an issue and correcting it can turn a bad experience into a good one, and customers remember experiences so this is an important effort to make.
Having a Strong Online Presence
We have already posted an article that goes into greater depth on this topic, but having a strong online presence can make a world of difference for your online business.
The first step is to have your own website. Ideally, it should be simple so people can absorb information quickly and easily, as well as pleasing to the eye. Investing time and effort to ensure it is mobile friendly also means a larger audience will be able to properly view your site. Posting high quality content is another very important requirement. Consider posting on a blog too if you want more web traffic. Education content will win your business favor and reputation, and entertaining content will similarly attract readers. However, promotional content will turn people off. Lastly, pay attention to SEO.
Beyond your own website, you should aim to grow your online presence in other ways. You can try to get yourself featured on other websites. This will help you gain exposure with a new audience and increase your credibility. If possible, having others endorse or positively review your product will help boost its popularity. Another method is to become an online resource. Participate in chat forums answering questions and responding to comments. Lastly, make sure to be active on social media! Social media is an easy way to become a part of people’s everyday lives. On social media, you can interact with customers, post content, and market your brand. Just make sure to tailor your business’s social media persona to appeal to your target audience.
Customer service is another factor that matters heavily to customers. In fact, about 75% of customers in one survey said that they consider customer service a test of a company’s competency. If your customer service is notable, that’s an instant plus for your business and it’ll help you stand out. As a testament to just how much customer service matters to buys, 73% of respondents in a PwC survey said it was an important determinant in their purchasing decisions. The same survey also found consumers are willing to pay up to 16% more for a superior experience and will be more loyal to brands that provide them.
Always Making an Effort to Improve
Once you have a plan, it’s good to stick to it. But, nonetheless, be willing to change it if you see the opportunity for improvement. Keep yourself informed about new developments in your field and be sure to stay on the cutting edge. Produce new and improved products as your company grows, and as you always want something to differentiate yourself, be willing to adapt and change if increased competition means you are no longer unique.