In recent years, physical retail stores have been declining, resulting in “layoffs, store closings, mall reconfigurations, and even bankruptcies,” according to the Harvard Business Review. This has left room for e-commerce companies to thrive, and at the top of that pack is, of course, Amazon. The e-commerce mega-brand offers a one-stop shop for anything from groceries to surfboards, all with the promise of free two-day shipping for those that are Amazon Prime members. In order for companies to compete with Amazon, they must learn from them. What’s that old saying, again? If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

Constant Connection: Companies looking to rise to Amazon’s level (and let’s face it, who isn’t?), should offer the same connection to consumers. Amazon is known for their direct relationship with customers, such as their 24/7 customer service policy.

Motivate Consumers: There should always be some sort of motivational aspect to your brand. Today’s consumers want more than a product, they want a meaningful experience. Whether that means implementing a new benefits program or streamlining your process to make usage easier, your brand needs to find a way foster a loyal relationship with consumers.

Stay Data-Driven: This part can get a little tricky. While it’s important for brands to understand who their ideal consumer is, many customers can be turned off if they feel like their personal information is being exploited. However, knowing your consumer is key to understanding what your brand is doing right and wrong.

For the full story, head over to Harvard Business Review.

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