If you want to get ahead of the competition, whether in business or not, you have to think outside the box. For some gaining a competitive advantage could mean keeping the overheads to the minimum, while for others, exceptional customer service and high-quality products turn them into market leaders. For Brandless, taking on Amazon head-on demands that they offer what customers cannot get on Amazon. For instance, the online store prides itself in simplifying shopping by providing only one choice for each product. Besides, it sells all its products for $3 since they have eliminated brand tax by producing and selling directly to the customer. Last year, it decided to give Amazon a run for its money by raising $240 million through a Series C funding round with SoftBank Vision Fund being the lead investor. Still, money is not everything, so they say, but did it help the company in turning things around? Let’s find out.
We have always heard that businesses should treat customers like royalty and the customers repay them with their loyalty. Well, Brandless has not been treating its customers like kings and queens. Some of the customer reviews are angry customers complaining that they could not get hold of the customer service department through the telephone because it was disconnected. Still, even when you choose to be patient and reach them through email, they fail to reply, and if they do, then you may have to wait for over five business days. However, some customers applaud the company for their quick and kind responses.
It can be frustrating to order an item and eagerly wait for it but instead few days pass and you wonder if your order was canceled without any notice. Some customers have had the luck of getting their orders delivered to their doorstep within a few days of ordering. Unfortunately, others have had to deal with delays running up to 10 days. The slow shipping can be difficult to understand with one customer wondering why it takes Brandless 4 days to put six products into a box and send. Further, with the extra investment, you would think they can deliver to the entire United States, but they do not ship to some states which limits the customer base.
Moreover, there have been a few incidences about mixing up of products. Some customers get the wrong package, but if you can successfully reach Brandless, they will correct their mistake by sending you the right one. For some, it is not about mixing up of packages but ultimately failing to get their order. While some customers got their orders eventually, others have had to wait for months, and still are waiting, despite making inquiries with the customer service department. Additionally, sometimes the shipping is not careful causing the cans to dent and some to break open spilling the contents onto other products.
Brandless offers several products including organic products and gluten-free products. The gluten-free products such as the coconut cookies have had their share of complaints mostly regarding the amount of salt they use, most claiming it is too much. As for the organic products, you would expect that natural food will have a great taste, but it does not. Their Garbanzo beans may be non-GMO and low in sodium, but that is all there is to them since their flavor is not pleasant. Besides, some customers have complained about getting old items and some contaminated products. Some of the utensils may work fine, but they may not be as strong as you would expect despite buying them at $3. However, the chinaware has received some praises; although it is only available in white, it is high-quality and does not stain or chip. Their knives are also high quality giving you the feel of much more expensive ones, and they come well packed.
$3 may seem cheap at first when someone says everything is going for the price, but some of the items Brandless sells are not worth that price. For instance, the coconut cookies, weighing 4.5 ounces sell for $3, yet you can finish the entire pack in one sitting. Alternatively,