How to sell online effectively without competing on price

We are living in an age where selling online is nothing new. There are now hundreds, if not thousands of companies in every sector selling products. All competing with you.

It can be very tempting, especially if you are selling identical products to your competitors, to just try to undercut your competitors slightly.

But they're is a much better, and much more profitable way to do business.

As soon as you start to undercut your competitors, you can be pretty sure they're going to fight fire with fire. Before long, you're in a price war and there's no margin left to keep you in business.

Many companies have been destroyed this way, and many industries have been fundamentally changed by this sort of thing getting out of hand.

As soon as you start competing on price, you've already lost.

There are many companies who are doing very well selling online without being the cheapest. Take John Lewis as a prime example. They're not exactly a cut price warehouse, but they're a leading example of how to do e-commerce right.

So, if you're not going to be the cheapest, how do you justify why your visitors should buy from you.

Most e-commerce businesses do the same thing. They set up their website, they get all of the product details from their suppliers, and then cut and paste all of the descriptions onto their website, and upload all of the product photos.

So you have hundreds of online shops selling the same products in exactly the same way. There's nothing to differentiate them...except price.

You must provide more for your visitors than the same old stuff from your suppliers.


If you're buying something online, you'll probably visit lots of websites all using the same product photos. You know they've just come from the manufacturer. And it's really annoying if you just want to see what the product looks like from a different angle. Or if you're looking for a close up of part of the product.

When you eventually find a website that has the extra photos, it immediately builds your respect for that company.

This is what your visitors are looking for. They don't just want the same photos as every other website, otherwise they'll just choose every other website.

So for all of your products, take them out of the packaging and take some extra photos. Different camera angles, close ups, show the product being used.

By all means, use the suppliers photos as well (they're usually high quality images), but make sure you're adding your own.

Product Descriptions

It takes a long time to write your own product descriptions for everything that you sell on your website, so most companies don't.

But if you don't want to be "most companies", you're going to have to do it.

You can start with the supplier's descriptions, and modify them. Or just add more to them. Highlight what differentiates this product from a lower model (and justifies the higher price). Identify what circumstances this would be an appropriate product to buy, and what circumstances a visitor should actually be considering an alternative product.

Add your own opinion. Some websites have introduced a fake personality into their product descriptions, something like "Bob's verdict". We all know Bob doesn't exist, but it gives it some personality.

Bulk it out with as much information as you can think of. All of the extra text is good for your SEO too!


Product videos are so easy now. They're no longer just for the big companies with huge budgets.

By all means hire a professional videographer to do it right and get a good quality result. But these days, almost all digital cameras and mobile phones have the ability to record videos. So if you can't afford to hire a videographer, make do with your mobile phone until you have the budget to re-record them professionally.

Take a look at Simply Hike. They're selling the same camping and outdoor products as everyone else, but they're doing it very successfully. Most of their products have a very basic video where someone takes the product out of the box and demonstrates all of the features, advantages and disadvantages. Judging by the quality, it looks like one of their employees rather than a professional. Which to be honest, probably gives it more kudos than if they'd used a slick professional who didn't actually know what they were talking about.

The quality doesn't have to be spot on. You just have to make the effort and demo the product.

There are many more things that you can be doing to differentiate yourself from your competitors, other than price. You just need to give your visitors a reason to remember you after they've trawled through a dozen other near-identical websites. So that when they're looking to buy another similar product, they go straight to your site first without trawling the search engines for your competition.

OpenGlobal encourage all of our e-commerce clients to steer away from competing on price and provide added value like this instead. Call us today on 0845 269 9624 to find out how we can help you to drive more sales to your website with a comprehensive e-commerce growth strategy.