Posted on July 18, 2018 by staff

Take on Amazon by being different


The only way eCommerce businesses can compete with Amazon is by showing visitors what makes their website unique.

That was the advice of Paul Rouke, founder and director of optimisation at  Manchester-based PRWD, a digital agency which helps eCommerce businesses improve revenue.

Earlier this week Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was revealed to be the world’s richest man with a £113bn fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index.

Speaking at BusinessCloud’s ‘Adding Rocket Fuel to Retail’ roundtable, Rouke said because it was impossible to compete with Amazon on size the key was being different.

“It’s up to smaller businesses to work harder to demonstrate what is different about them, whether that is in the quality of what they do, or it’s hand-crafted, or if the product is unique to their business,” explained Rouke, who delivers training courses with Google’s  online marketing training platform ‘Digital Garage’.

“More and more companies are coming online, but most businesses don’t really understand what is unique to them and their service proposition, and what is most valuable to their customers.”

Rouke’s agency, founded in 2004, helps eCommerce websites to improve their conversion rate optimisation (CRO), which is the percentage of visitors which go on to make a purchase.

The agency’s clients include The North Face, Schuh and Bensons for Beds.

“People often land on a business’ website and there aren’t those unique value propositions which encourage people to stay on that website, continue browsing and potentially go on to buy,” he explained.

“There’s a misalignment with what the company is doing and what their customers want and value.”

Rouke believes that businesses need to reroute more of their budget into creating unique customer experiences, rather than increasing traffic.

“There is a complete disparity between customer acquisition spend and spend in conversion optimisation,” he said.

“90-95 per cent is typically spent on acquisition.  Adjusting that balance, even to 80/20, means that you can invest in genuine marketing spend on experience.

“Continuing to keep the funnel wide at the top and having the same conversion rate coming out the bottom is not a long-term strategy.

“Take a step back and realise that at some stage you do need to start improving your customer experience and digital user experience.”

Rouke was speaking at a roundtable sponsored by PRWD.

The other attendees were   David Judge, managing director, Cormar Carpets;   Jeremy Dodd, Business Development Manager, GoInstore; Matt Carr, director, Carrs Pasties;  Karl Sandor,  CEO, The Killing Tree;  Rebecca Rhoades, founder, Rebecca Rhoades;  Keith Hanshaw, managing director, Hanshaws;   Andy Poar, director, Eat My Logo; Elizabeth Clark, CEO, Dream Agility; and Chris Moran, head of IT  delivery, Advanced Supply Chain.