How SMB Ecommerce Use Their Product Expertise to Compete with Amazon, and others

If you’re running an SMB ecommerce store and worried about how Amazon is digging into your sales, or can over time, then you need to find ways to ensure that your ecommerce store has an edge in this competitive landscape.

We’ve spoken to merchant after merchant who have seen their business start to diminish as Amazon opened up new categories of products…..and we worked with them to identify the assets that they have which will allow them to not only survive…but thrive.

This post covers how you can protect the business you have and also create a competitive edge over the bigger players…with assets you already have. To start, let’s take an inventory of those assets which will help you accomplish these goals.

What You Need to Compete

Here are the items that will give you the edge…

Product Knowledge & Expertise

If you’ve been selling products online for a sustained period of time, and better yet services that you provide around products that you sell, there is value that you’ve built in experience with serving customers to date. At this point, you should have in-depth knowledge about the products that you’re selling and able to dig in deep on topics in order to solve the pain points your customers have which make them want the products in the first place. Your experience and expertise on how to solve problems what people are searching for, products are just a way to solve those pain points. You, your sales agents, your customer service representatives….they all have in-depth knowledge about experiences and problems that your customers are experiencing which leads them to purchase a product. It’s well known that “Content is King”…..well, that knowledge and expertise is gold that fashions the crown upon that King’s head. Digest what experience and expertise you have within your business, that is a huge asset you should be taking advantage of and getting to work for you.

Great Customer Service & Responsiveness

When customers are looking at a product and have a question about how it applies to their specific product, they want to ask a question in order to get an answer before they order. On Amazon, they can do this through the product page Q&A feature, but many of those questions are answered by customers. Those customers have other jobs, other duties, and they may not get an answer in the timeframe they want it. That is a problem for them, and you have the tools to solve it.

It’s time to go back to the old fashioned values of business, in putting the customer first and making sure that they love the customer service they’re given. When you mix the product knowledge and expertise that you and your team have as your first asset, with responsive and friendly customer service that focuses on their problems and resolves them quickly…that is the recipe to get those customers to convert for you and prefer that experience. So, make sure you shower customers with ease of asking their product questions and make sure you have friendly and knowledgeable team members answering those questions quickly.

The Incentive to Do Both Well

When it comes to answering questions about specific products, Amazon’s approach is to offer a Q&A feature on their product page where they control the content and it works to their benefit…and many of the questions are answered by other customers. These customers, while creating some quality content, don’t necessarily have the incentive to do a deep dive in order to give the best responses to those product questions.

Guess who does? That’s right, YOU!

With the mix of in-depth product expertise and answering product questions well like it’s your job (because, it is in fact your job), that is a powerful combination where you can simply do it better than they can. All of the things that you need to effectively fulfill those demands are in your corner, and you have the most incentive to make sure that it’s done as best as it can be done. This is something that you have that Amazon’s way of doing things doesn’t always compete well with, and you can take advantage of it.

How to Use those Assets to Thrive

Do you have all the assets above and looking on how to capitalize on them? Good, the next part is relatively easy…and the good news is, you’re probably already doing this in some manner already, you just need to focus those efforts with the right tools.

Let’s summarize your call to action here…

Use your product expertise to service your existing customers well that increases their lifetime value and also drives new customer acquisition.

Now the obvious question. How?

We know this because at Answerbase, this is what we do and we have case studies to prove it. You need to ensure that you have Q&A calls to action and content on your product pages, and in a way that will accomplish these goals. Let’s explain how it works.

By putting Q&A on your product pages allowing your customers to ask their presales questions, respond to them with great answers, and convert those customers. Answerbase sees that up to 75% of questions answered through Answerbase turn into a paying customer. Also, anybody in the future with those same questions that ask through your site see those answers you’ve already posted, and convert as well.

But, that’s just the short term benefit…..ready for the magic of the long term benefits?

Those same question and answer pairings are valuable content that attracts brand new customers to your website through long tail search! Here’s how it works…

You answer questions with great original content based on your expertise and experience. Guess who love great original content if it’s optimized for search?

Answer, Google does! (and sure, other search engines too)

Make sure that the Q&A content from your products are published in a way that Google gobbles it up and leads users who are asking similar questions through search to your site, so they can purchase product from you. You have the expertise, you have the time, and you have the incentive to do it well…..if you get this consistent content creation working in your favor, Google will reward you with brand new traffic that is relevant to your store. How relevant?

New customers acquired through Q&A content are up to 2x more valuable that those acquired in general from organic Google search, and up to 6x more valuable than those coming from Facebook. That’s huge as you get to acquire new customers, more valuable customers, and all while you’re converting existing customers at a higher clip (as already noted above, up to 75% of customers who get their product questions answered through Answerbase turn into a sale).

Of course, the data that we’re sharing in this post is based off Answebase’s customers for merchants using Answerbase Product Page Q&A, so we encourage you to start a free trial and get your knowledge and expertise working for you today.

We hope this post has been helpful and let us know if there is anything we can assist you with in order to grow your business.