My day job is to look after the product portfolio for Actinic Ecommerce. As well as the day-to-day running of the development team and product strategy I speak to hundreds of small businesses about ecommerce and retail. Increasingly one of the questions I often get asked is how individual merchants can stand out from the competition.
One of the most obvious ways for me is to offer your customers something a little different, or perhaps provide a service or a twist on the product range the larger online stores may struggle to do. I have recently come across a company with a very interesting concept that really demonstrates this point.
The company Men Are Useless has launched a brilliant convenience service with flawless execution. The service provides a monthly aid drop of men’s grooming products (shaving foam, razor, deodorant, shampoo, etc) direct to your home. There are multiple levels of service ranging from the basic essentials, all the way to what I would class as “the full Monty”.
While there are thousands of sites selling these types of products, these guys are trying to be unique by differentiating from the rest on their attention to detail. To start with it’s not a product, it’s a service. I need these things regularly and its subscription model means I can set and forget, perfect for me as I am always running out of shaving foam. The packaging is also well thought through. Designed to fit through a standard letterbox, the package even has a small gift for the postman: a pack of love hearts.
The owner/s have done their research, identified their audience and executed brilliantly into one of the most competitive online markets. It’s a refreshing change.
Merchants all over the world are frantically trying to gear their stores up for the mad Christmas rush. This time around why don’t you look for something that’s going to make your store stand out -- go on, provide something unique.