Why E-commerce Is Getting Harder - And What You Can Do About It

July 20, 2023
Mary Kilmartin


Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Ecommerce has grown rapidly over the past few years, with global sales expected to reach $6.5 trillion by 2023. While this growth presents an exciting opportunity for businesses, it also means that competition is intensifying. As an ecommerce marketing manager, you may have noticed that it's getting harder to stand out in a crowded market. Here's why.

Increased Number Of Ecommerce Businesses

One of the most obvious signs that ecommerce is becoming more competitive is the sheer number of businesses entering the market.  As Statista reports, global ecommerce sales more than doubled between 2017 and 2022, from $2.3 trillion to $5.7 trillion. This growth has attracted a flood of new businesses looking to capitalize on the trend. With more competition, it's becoming harder to get noticed.

Higher Customer Expectations

As ecommerce has grown, so have customer expectations. Consumers now expect higher levels of service, convenience, and personalization. They want fast, free shipping, easy returns, and a seamless shopping experience across all devices. Businesses that fail to meet these expectations risk losing customers to competitors who can provide a better experience. As an ecommerce marketing manager, you need to understand what your customers expect and find ways to deliver on those expectations.

Growing Dominance of Major Players

While there are more ecommerce businesses than ever before, a few major players are dominating the market. Titans like Amazon, Alibaba, and Walmart have a huge share of the ecommerce market. This dominance can make it hugely challenging for smaller businesses to compete effectively. The big players have the advantage of economies of scale, meaning they can offer lower prices and a bigger range than smaller businesses. To compete, you need to find ways to differentiate your business from the major players and offer something unique. 

Increasing Investment In Ecommerce

Large brick-and-mortar retailers are increasingly investing in their ecommerce capabilities, making it even more difficult for smaller businesses to compete. For example, in 2021 Walmart first announced its plans to invest $14 billion in ecommerce and technology. This enormous investment has allowed Walmart to improve its online shopping experience, offer faster delivery, and better compete with Amazon. As an ecommerce marketing manager, you need to find ways to compete with the larger players without breaking the bank.

How To Beat The Competition

So, what can you do to stay ahead in an increasingly competitive ecommerce market? Here are 5 tactics for success:

  1. Differentiate your brand: Find ways to differentiate your brand from the competition. This could be through unique product offerings, exceptional customer service, or innovative marketing campaigns.
  1. Focus on customer experience: Understand what your customers want and find ways to deliver on those expectations. Offer fast, free shipping, easy returns, and a seamless shopping experience across all devices.
  1. Invest in analytics: Upgrading your analytics capabilities can help you gain a competitive edge by understanding your customers better and optimizing your marketing and sales strategies. Learn more about what the Incendium analytics platform can do for your business. 
  1. Optimize your website for mobile: With more and more consumers using their mobile devices to shop online, it's crucial that your website is optimized for mobile devices. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and offers a seamless mobile shopping experience. Check out our mobile optimization guide for expert tips and examples.
  1. Leverage social media: Social media can be a powerful tool for e-commerce businesses, allowing you to reach a wider audience and engage with customers on a personal level. Use social media to promote your brand, offer exclusive discounts, and build relationships with your customers.

Wrapping Up

So yes, ecommerce is getting harder, but there are lots of things you can do to stay ahead of the competition. One of the biggest opportunities is in upgrading your analytics capabilities. You can gain a deeper understanding of your customers and optimize your marketing and sales strategies much more effectively than your competitors who are mostly using mass-market tools. Focus on these areas for the biggest wins:

  1. Attribution: Use analytics to understand the impact of your marketing efforts, including which channels and campaigns are driving the most conversions and revenue.
  1. Audience segmentation: Segment your audience based on demographics, behavior, and other factors to deliver personalized experiences and targeted marketing campaigns.
  1. Retention campaign optimization: Use analytics to identify customers at risk of churning and optimize retention campaigns to boost customer loyalty and reduce churn.
  1. Gateway product optimization: Use analytics to identify your most popular products and optimize your offerings to attract new customers and drive initial purchases.
  1. Product offer optimization: Use analytics to identify the products that are most likely to be successful as part of an offer or promotion, and optimize your campaigns to increase sales.
  1. Customer lifetime value optimization: Optimize your campaigns for customer lifetime value (LTV) over initial purchase ROI to ensure sustainable growth and long-term success. This means focusing on retaining customers and encouraging repeat purchases rather than solely on driving new customer acquisition.

Click to watch the video below and learn what Incendium can do for your business. Want more content? Subscribe to our blog for the latest industry updates and expert tips, or explore more ecommerce content here.

Share this post
This is some text inside of a div block.