E-commerce has fundamentally changed the way we sell goods and services. It not only saves time and money spent on shopping and shopping trips, but also adds value. Who would want to pay more to buy it in a store if it was delivered to their home cheaper?

You need to create, deliver and communicate value to your customers. Here are some ways.

customer acquisition: Find ways to expand the pie instead of fighting to divide it. An average online retailer would send a brochure with the purchase that lists the items being sold, as well as a phone number. Next, look at your incentives. If you are offering to sell the same products at the same price over the phone, you need to hire people to answer the phones. The eCommerce model was built on a basic premise and that is to eliminate retail overhead, which adds no value to customers. The best thing to do is to adopt a policy similar to that of Travelocity, which charges an additional fee to its customers who book by phone. The bottom line is that shady competitive practices are benefiting traditional channels as they see their sales being saved, despite their inefficient model. E-retailers should aim to take market share away from traditional channels, rather than fight each other and resort to measures that squander the cost advantage of e-commerce.

customer loyalty: One measure of this that has become very popular among mega corporations is called customer lifetime value. Basically, you calculate the profit you would make if the customer kept buying from you for their entire life. It is essential that e-commerce-based businesses undertake more loyalty-based programs, such as phasing out prices with every purchase or points that can be redeemed for gifts on an annual basis. The correlation between customer loyalty and success is undeniable.

Customer service: Executives and small businesses have changed the meaning of this phrase to fit their own definitions. Some think that simply setting up a toll-free helpline will suffice. The reason behind this is that small businesses are often preoccupied with sales in mind. Most seldom think about customer service, but it is critical that an entire procedure is developed to provide consistent and timely service to customers.

Operations must be monitored and random customer surveys conducted to verify efficiency.

Brand management: Again, this is where large corporations and retailers outperform the average e-retailer. People buy to satisfy psychological needs. Just take a look around when people are shopping. How many people would consider how durable a shirt is and how many would buy it because it’s fashionable? The best advertisement is the one with souvenir value. The focus on sustained customer relationships is lacking in eCommerce and this is where traditional retail scores. So if you can build a brand and have a large group of customers, you can reap the benefits as well. All it takes is some deep thinking with a little creativity.

content management: Articles that look like cheeky advertisements are doing the rounds in credible places on the internet. This would jeopardize the entire trust-based selling, as customers would understand the ulterior motives. Content management needs to find ways to constantly bring innovative information to the audience. To do this, they need to keep a close eye on customer behavior and product usage, as well as the keywords they use.

“Content is king,” and content is not attractively placed keywords.

Global versus local: One of the reasons e-commerce caught on was because you could have the world as your marketplace. But if you have a local focus, you can have a much better optimized supply chain and serve products at low cost and you can also conduct surveys frequently to discover changing trends and patterns. A strictly defined vision is essential for your organization. This isn’t true of all e-retailers, but if you’re competing on price or service, having a local focus will make you the smartest salesperson on the street.