Nov 20, 2018 - 11:39 AM
While waiting for a proper answer from a pro since im also curious: Personally as a consumer I don't care if it's Amazon or a custom site that is selling me what I need. I'd actually prefer a smaller shop to Amazon because I don't want to support a monopoly in the making. in Europe Amazon is certainly not faster than most local shops, but cheap they are indeed...
Nov 20, 2018 - 03:42 PM
The key is in the value proposition equation, which challenges this:
If I am your ideal customer, why should I buy directly from you rather than Amazon?
Before I put together a very detailed response on how to answer that, I’ll provide a quick answer from my personal experience that answers this equation.
So why do I buy my tea directly from Harney and Sons website and not from Amazon? I LOVE their tea and when I run out I hate it. (My fault) But I choose to wait on their shipping rather than use my Amazon prime. And I choose to pay any difference to them rather than save an extra buck on Amazon
1. I noticed that the tea I get directly from Harney and Sons is much more fresh and potent... whereas everywhere else, it doesn’t seem as fresh, even though it’s the same exact brand and the expiration date is far from near (could be just my perception too..)
2. Loyalty points for free tea / stuff in the future. Can’t get that through Amazon
3. I get free random tea sachet samples in every shipment. It is one of the joys of getting a box from Harney... cause each time I get to sample a new tea and hope I get an extra sachet I really like for free
4. Exclusive site-only new flavors. When they release a new one, or a popular flavor is no where to be found, they will be the first, and as a customer, I am first to know.
5. Catalogs and special deals. They don’t just do %off deals... they do other unique promos including free special infuser mugs and stuff. I love that. Can’t get that from Amazon, and the price differential isn’t enough for me to buy it separate.
6. Special relationship - if going directly to the source isn’t enough, they treat me like I’m the first to know and first to get.
So... it all comes down to answering the value proposition question. The common denominator here for Harney is tangible relationship benefits on top of the freshest version of their product.
Some people will buy from their friends store rather than Amazon because they are their friends. If a company can create that expectation and maintain that feeling, that’s how they beat monster superstores. It goes back to construal theory and our need to belong and also distinguish.
But you can’t assume people will figure it out. You’ve got to spell it out.
More to come...
Nov 22, 2018 - 06:58 AM
Jon's response settles it all. While we would use cheap stuff all the time, that feeling of being affiliated to a small brand by far overrides cheaper faster shipping from Amazon.
Nov 24, 2018 - 04:16 PM
No one brags about a delicious McDonald's meal. But everyone has eaten one.
Nov 24, 2018 - 02:11 PM
I think Jon is answering a somewhat different question. Many Shopify stores are reselling products, not creating their own. I believe the original question is why would someone buy one of these products from a Shopify store instead of Amazon, given better prices and faster shipping. The answer is that, in most cases, they won't.
Nov 25, 2018 - 09:34 PM
Sidequest: Funny thing is... I first bought Harney and Sons tea to try by ordering from Amazon (prime), even though I initially stumbled upon on their direct site.
Once I knew I liked the tea, they did a good enough job communicating on their site to convince me to go through them direct instead of go through Amazon. And because my wife saw some flavors and configurations (amounts) she wanted to try not on Amazon.
And they know this. That's how they USE Amazon. And then they had me at the welcome series email campaign. My wife swears to me that the actual Mike Harney (president) emailed her. I, as an email marketer, know the truth... but the impression hit her hard and she still fights tooth and nail with me on that.
So the point... if you're going to have a small shopify store selling products that are also available on Amazon for slightly cheaper and faster than you... you BETTER have some sort of value proposition if you want to really stay alive over the long term. And it needs to dip into the subliminal a little bit, preferably in the playing field of construal theory.
Jan 22, 2020 - 02:39 AM
I think for commodities that you'll know what specific product you're searching for, Amazon is going to win out in those situations....there is not a lot of "value add" that store owners can add for commodities. But....if the customer doesn't know exactly what product they're looking for, and they're just searching for a solution to a problem that they have.....and a product is a way to solve that problem.....then shopify store owners can win in that situation. If customers are searching on Google about how to solve a problem....they get to a shopify store that is communicating how to effectively solve that problem with a product....and give a way to easily purchase that product and their pricing isn't unreasonable...they should get a percentage of those sales. There are different ways communicating about those problems plays out and is done well....and with established companies will typically come up as part of an overall ecommerce conversion rate optimization strategy or seo strategy.....but whether it be through a blog post, video or product Q&A.....they ensure they're focused on solving real world problems where products are the solution...and make that content available online.
If a Shopify store has even one great original offering that provides purchasing traction on their site....where they are the only one that provides that product or a quality product in a category...that creates a situation where customers will seek out and find that shopify store and purchase from there. Then....you have convenience kick in....where other commodity items can be simply purchased along with that item in that same process....and the buyer simply isn't interested in doing price checks, checking out on another site, etc.
May 05, 2022 - 09:26 PM
As a buyer, I'd love to spend more with not-Amazon and get comparable service. I'm increasingly disappointed with Amazon. It's full of knockoff crappy products with unrelated 5 star reviews. That eroding trust in Amazon is pushing me to smaller brands who have a face and stand behind their product for key purchases. This move by Shopify will just accelerate that transition away from Amazon. Just waiting for the search bar to shop every Shopify store so I have a viable alternative to Amazon to buy whatever I need.