While a successful business plan is frequently considered the mainstay of any company, more often than not, the best and only plan you will need is the one you have with you every day. It's with you when you're with your clients, it is with you at meetings, it is with you when you're looking at your profit and loss statement and it is with you as you wander around the mall. To achieve anything in life, you need a strategy and you need to stay focussed on what your strategy is and why you have it. You will never achieve anything in life without a strategy, regardless of what industry you are in.
This is the main strategy that is shared by every one of the top 10 biggest e-commerce brands in Nigeria and you will see it on their websites and every other place you visit. Just like other brands of business, these top e-commerce brands have a simple three-pronged business strategy, focused on products, service and a strong and competitive value proposition, although these have evolved over the years.
As consumers get more sophisticated, they will look for more and more customisation to their lives and this is where the value proposition becomes important, as this differentiates the brand and differentiates the value proposition.
Here are the four key aspects of their business strategy
Products: Most e-commerce brands focus on what they do best: delivering quality goods and services that meet their customers' needs at an affordable price. A standard price is never set for the items offered on their websites and the reason is simple, you cannot price your product below its competitors. There is however a very specific cost to building and running your e-commerce site, which is the cost of creating and delivering a good delivery service.
The reason most e-commerce sites do not compete on the lowest price is because this is just the beginning of the value chain. The difference between the lowest price and a good deal is about customisation, personalisation and the fact that the customer can't buy from other e-commerce sites.
This is the reason why most companies don't do very much special on the first day. Why would you buy your jeans from a company that doesn't have anything special on the first day?
Not only does one have to sell items fast and increase sales, they have to increase the prices, because there is a constant competition for customers in the markets.
What do they do?
When it comes to e-commerce, some brands are focused on selling the new and improved version of the standard product, while some go to the extreme and offer customised products at a better price and some specialise in the middle range.
From the products you can choose to the personalisation, the experience and the delivery service, these companies have something for everyone.
Service: If you are going to purchase goods online, you will want a delivery service that is fast, reliable and consistent. In Nigeria, we are spoilt for choice, as different companies deliver different services, offering the best possible service in the fastest, most convenient way possible.
Even if your purchase is within Nigeria, you may want a delivery service that offers the fastest delivery on the quickest turnaround time possible. The key is to have one company offer you both products and services.
The ability to deliver fast, reliable and predictable service depends entirely on the experience and attitude of the delivery team. If you purchase an item and the website is down, you might have to wait up to 48 hours for your order to be delivered.
To get the best possible delivery service you need to know what you want in advance, before you click that buy button and that is what the companies do, by knowing exactly what you want, and they are always looking to upgrade their delivery services, as this is the opportunity for them to get better and better at what they do.
Value Proposition: The value proposition in a nutshell, is what attracts people to buy from you, what helps them buy the product they want, and how does your product benefit them? The value proposition is the secret of the success of every business. If a company is successful, it does more than just make money; it makes money. However, it is more than money, it is also the service, the delivery, the comfort and even the price of the products.
Customisation: Most e-commerce companies believe the customer is king and that every customer has an opinion. Companies take this idea to the extreme, knowing their customers are the best judge of the brand.
These companies have an opportunity to create something unique and to personalise their products by adding or removing items from a standard order. Customised products also offer the customer a reason to return to the company as they will be able to return their products to be changed with a little more ease.
Customers don't just buy products online, they buy the concept and the experience.
Delivery Service: When it comes to e-commerce companies, it's about fast delivery and reliable delivery, to encourage their customers to stay within the brand and build loyalty and commitment.
Delivering on time is the ultimate goal for most e-commerce companies. However, you have to remember that these customers are coming from a variety of different backgrounds and sometimes they have to be home or in the office when the product they ordered arrives.
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