The presence of numerous competitors – in a single industry – signifies one thing: you need to put in more work if you want to make a mark.
But you also need to understand that a saturated market does not imply an end.
There will always be an untapped market, and you will be at an advantage if you can find and capitalize on it. You are not restricted; you can change your business approach if your goal is to make your product or service/stand out.
This is how to maintain your position and hold your ground in a market that is saturated:
Develop your product through innovation
You will certainly have the upper hand if you are better than your competitor. Take time to learn new technologies and techniques that will work to your advantage and implement them.
Product development entails coming up with newer and better ideas through research. Overall, innovation will ensure consistent business results.
Create a greater perceived value
First look at your product and determine what it provides that competitors don’t. Focus on the main differentiating factors you can market to increase perceived value to your customers.
Offering value-added services and incentives is another thing to consider. Offer dedicated customer care, rewards, and buyer programs. Customers who perceive more value in your goods are likely to pay more.
Market Pricing strategy
This plan works best in a market where the price is sensitive. It involves lowering prices with the motive of increasing the volume of sales.
However, before engaging in a price war, you need to think and evaluate all your options. Keep in mind that overpricing may stimulate curiosity. The leading global supplier of bearings, SKF, continues to demand 30-40% premium despite competition from other companies.
Establishing a new submarket
As a business, you need to uncover unfilled needs in an already existing market. Customers will often have needs that are not being met in an industry, and meeting those needs can elevate your business.
The best way is to talk to customers to understand their needs, which others have ignored. Satisfy these needs by adding value to your existing products. Alternatively, you can create entirely new products to fill those gaps.
Success is imminent as long as you can solve problems within the industry. Once you have discovered what customers are complaining about, fix it.
Create a panel of experts
Consumers are becoming smart by the day and untrustworthy of brands. Instead, they trust real people because they can relate to them. A good example is when a soft drink company like Coca-Cola launches a new product; everyone will expect the company to claim they have the best drink. But if your friend or doctor approves then you may actually consider the claim.
This is true for business. Creating a small – and trusted – group of experts who can vouch for your products will increase your revenues significantly. The panel needs to be convincing and trustworthy. While making your choice, consider influencers, celebrities, or experts in your line of products.
Stay on top of trends
Consumer demands keep changing no matter how saturated a market is. Therefore, it is rewarding to be on the lookout for any changes that may position you for success.
This strategy is a necessity if your industry is subject to rapidly evolving trends. As a smart business, you need to act on any new trends and update your inventories accordingly.
Look at the trends as opportunities that you need to capitalize on.
Simplify the buying process
Simplifying the buying process can attract and retain customers because it reduces time wastage.
As a smart strategy, you are better off seeking additional payment methods like an e-commerce website or the use of a mobile app. Both approaches will ease your customer’s shopping experience and will increase your revenue.
Variety is key and is another way of tapping into areas that have been neglected by competitors. Ensure you capture every part of the market, especially by paying attention to niche markets and diversification.
Competition is already high, and it will not hurt diversifying on your product.
Focus on solving problems related to your products/services
The main difference between maintaining and losing customers in a saturated market depends on the quality of your service delivery. You need to survey your goods and services objectively to identify the problems or issues that surround them before deciding on a solution.
Once you have applied your solutions, your market is bound to expand.
Penetrating a saturated market poses its challenges and benefits. By creating perceived value, focusing on solving problems, and always staying relevant, you will gain a competitive advantage.
About the Author
I am a regular writer for Forbes, Inc., Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Media (among others), as well as CEO and Chairman of Alumnify Inc. Proud alum from 500 Startups and The University of San Diego. Follow me on Twitter @ajalumnify