Jose Palomino

Value Propositions for the Online Retailer

December 6, 2012

Original Post: How to Develop a Value Proposition in eCommerce
By Pawel | November 26, 2012

One of the greatest threats to an online store’s existence is similarity…A strong value proposition thus becomes one of the most powerful weapons you can employ to defend but also help expand your online business.

This is an interesting take.  As I generally work with business owners that directly offering their product/services, it’s interesting to see “value prop creation” from the point of view of a store owner — and not just any store, but an e-commerce store.  Pawel makes a valid point that without a clear value prop, the customer could easily go elsewhere since they might see every e-commerce website as the same.

Some stores that I believe have capitalized on their value prop:  Amazon (offering speedy delivery and excellent customer service) and Zappos (offering virtually every shoe you could possibly want and the easiest return policy I’ve ever seen).  Both of these stores limit the risk for ME, the customer — just as you said.

It’s important that store owners also look at this as an opportunity to differentiate themselves.  It’s not just about lowering the risk — it’s about standing apart from the competitor.  Zappos has the best return policy, which makes perfect sense for an online shoe store since you can’t try them on before you buy.  Who else has differentiated themselves in this way in the shoe market?  So that’s something else e-commerce store owners could ask themselves: If I lower the risk for my customers in this way, will it differentiate my business?  Who else is doing the same thing, and what else can I do to stand apart (or, in other words, to “offer value”)?

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