Is it possible to avoid price traps and successfully compete with (much) larger competitors like Amazon that, sooner or later, tend to copy everything that is successful in the market at a (much) lower price? Clearly difficult but not impossible. In short: create and build on something that big competitors would rather not copy as it undermines the core of their strategies and business models. On HBR.com Thales Taxeira mentions two interesting examples that succeed in doing so.
Wayfair is an e-commerce company that sells over 14 million furniture and household items. It takes its own unique pictures of individual items as well as attractive combinations of items to help customers design their interior (like IKEA does in its stores). With over 3 billion items, Amazon does not want to copy this approach and uses standard, mostly rather boring pictures provided by manufacturers. Selling women and children’s clothing online, Zulily is another examples successfully conquering Amazon. Whereas Amazon pushes suppliers to lower their selling prices, delays payments to them or bluntly copies their products at a lower price, Zulily offers suppliers high-quality service and fair purchase prices in exchange for exclusive supply deals so it can offer novel and unique items to its customers.