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e-Commerce Industry News

May 29, 2013
2 ways to compete with Amazon
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May 29, 2013
Many new entrants into the eCommerce field instantly bristle at the thought of competing with Amazon, the long-standing king of the hill. With millions of low-priced products, a firmly entrenched supply chain (that continues to grow) and a market share that seems impossible to budge, Amazon poses a formidable challenge for any other company brazen enough to encroach on their turf, be they a physical retailer, web-only seller or branded manufacturer.

Of course, the situation is not so bleak. Amazon has thousands of competitors, and some of them are doing quite well. More shoppers are flocking to the web than ever before, which means that demand will likely grow sharply for the foreseeable future and that it is more than possible for intrepid companies to scoop up a piece of the growing pie.

Of course, embarking on this ambitious mission is something that shouldn't be left up to chance. Just as tech companies have had to adjust their strategies to compete with Apple, online sellers have had to come up with specific plans to fend off - or feed off - Amazon.

So, for those Davids with their slingshots at the ready, here are two good ways to slay this particular eCommerce Goliath.

Novel products
Amazon has essentially cornered the third-party retailing market. Using committed partnerships, a huge lead in market share and a willingness to accept incredibly low profit margins, Amazon has built a retail foundation that is essentially impermeable. If you want to sell Nike shoes, for example, or Panasonic TVs, you are going to have a difficult time undercutting Amazon's notoriously low prices.

But there is another solution - selling unique products that Amazon can't - or doesn't - offer. According to Forbes, finding a way to co-exist with Amazon means selling one-of-a-kind products - that you either make yourself or have a direct, unshared pipeline to.

"If you make your own stuff, there's no way Amazon can deliver it at a cheaper price because they can't even get it," Jeremy Levine of Bessemer told the source.

Flash sales
If you're intent on selling third-party products, there is another option. For all its dominance in other areas, Amazon hasn't really staked a claim in flash sales. Companies that are able to promote themselves effectively and find low-priced - often over-stocked - goods have a good chance at carving out an Amazon-free niche.

Of course, both of these strategies require a strong and flexible eCommerce presence. Utilizing a total commerce solution to help handle everything from shop to ship is one of the best ways for these creative companies to compete in the shadow of Amazon.