The Small Business Guide To E-commerce Branding

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The Small Business Guide To E-commerce Branding

E-commerce offers unparalleled advantages for small businesses. 4 out of every 10 people has purchased products online and 6 of every 10 people has carried out research on the internet before buying products on and offline.

Branding is one of the most important elements in building a sustainable e-commerce business. Unfortunately, most e-commerce business owners end their branding efforts at acquiring a logo. Many of these owners don’t know what exactly a brand is and how to get started developing one. If you are going to succeed in your e-commerce business, you need to know about branding.

Related: Common Reasons Why E-commerce Businesses Fail

To know how to brand, you need to know what a brand is and what it represents.

A brand is the image of your company or product. A company can loosely be defined as a single entity that is legally recognised and authorised to act as such. This simply means a company has almost the same rights and privileges as a person, with a few exceptions like voting.

Since your company can be recognised as a legal entity, your brand will be your company’s personality and character. It will be the image people recognise when they interact with your business or products.

For most start-up entrepreneurs venturing into e-commerce, the first choice is to sell other peoples products online through several of the exiting e-commerce platforms. While this may bring in a comfortable income, you have to constantly working on standing out from the large crowd of other sellers who all have similar products to yours. Lowering your price would be the easiest strategy to make more sales.

Building a strong, loyal and emotional connection with your customers will give your business the advantage to stand out from the crowd without having to lower your prices. In order to benefit from branding your e-commerce business, your goal should be to create a longstanding and likable image for your business and product. The purpose of this article is to guide you through the process of creating this image.

Know your target market and work on serving them exclusively

The first step for you is:

Decide on what your business wants to be for your customers and develop a  that improves the customers experience and surpasses their expectations.

Developing a marketing strategy is hard work, implementing it successfully is harder. Tailoring your marketing to effectively grow brand awareness is best achieved when you know who your target audience is, there shopping habits and product preferences.

This means that you need to identify and define your market so that when you speak to that market, it’s in a way that speaks to their desires. Understand who your market is, and isn’t, so that you may develop your brand around their preferences. Not everyone is your target audience and not everyone may find your message, and products, appealing.

We wrote a guide on how to build an audience for your small business that will guide you step by step through the process of defining your target audience and becoming the preferred e-commerce business in your niche.

Identify or develop your strong selling points and give your customers reason to purchase from you

For most e-commerce businesses, they operate in a crowded marketplace, were customers have easy access to numerous stores across the street. These stores are more accessible and possibly cheaper than your e-commerce business. In order to stand out, you need a compelling differentiator to make an emotional connection with your target audience.

If your customers can associate with the problems that you’re trying to solve, then your marketing communications have more likelihood to go viral.

Since you cannot compete with the larger more established retailers on price, look into ways to impress your customers on a personal level. Go for memorable first impressions. Whenever a new visitor interacts with your brand, make sure it’s a very good experience.

Adjust your website to reflect your brand persona, let the colours, navigation and layout make it easy to find their way around the site. Offer assistance were a challenge is anticipated.

When they make their purchase, impress then with personalised packaging that make them feel valued and appreciated.

Focus on product quality

One of the tangible differentiators between your e-commerce business and your competitors is the quality of products you choose to ship. Many online sellers choose to stock the averagely prices brands that produce products which barely satisfy the average consumer. In a consumer survey report, 71% of consumers would be willing to pay a higher price for better quality.

To stand out from the crowd, stock the best quality brands you can find that fit within your customer’s budget. Remember, quality stands above price for the customer in most sectors.

This way, your customers can be guaranteed a better product at a price similar to your competitors. Clear approval marks and quality seals awarded by national authorities or 3rd party companies will serve to ensure product quality.

When a visitor arrives on your website, they start to interact with your brand. Their experience using your website and products will ultimately define the feelings customers develop towards your brand.

Their user experience will be the sum of what they see, hear and feel throughout these various interactions.

Each visitor and customer has personal expectations when interacting with e-commerce businesses. These expectations are continuously, through a personal methodology, evaluated for each of the various elements of a brand. These evaluations form the basis of your visitor’s or customer’s user experience.

Take the time take to interact with your visitors and past purchasers. Look through the analytics and reflect on experiences you’ve your brand has had with the customers. These insights will give you the basis of improving user-experience.

Deliver what you promise and don’t promise what you cannot deliver

Customers absolutely hate disappointments. Do not over promise on your business. The promise you make to your customers should outlines the distinctive benefits that customers can expect with every interaction with your brand. When you do not deliver as promised, your e-commerce brand will be associated with false promises.

Failure to deliver as promised will destroy the trust you worked so hard to attain.

It is important to identify all the bottlenecks in the e-commerce process and address each one immediately. Provide all information and details to the customer to enable them make advised decisions when purchasing from you. Be clear and honest. Offer support before, during and after purchase. Check on your customers regularly to make sure you delivered as promised and use their feedback to adjust your e-commerce communications.

The common failures to deliver as promised stem from user experience shortcomings. Regularly check the website to make sure only items in stock are displayed and available for purchase. For items that are processed when ordered, properly communicate the delivery date and when necessary keep the customer aware of any changes to the order status.

Build a relationship with your customers

Go where your customers are. Be it social media, forums or real world locations. The more you connect with your customers on a personal level, the stronger your brand will become.

People buy from brands they know, love and relate with.

Customers will emotionally connect and better remember your brand if they know the story behind your e-commerce venture. Tell them why your brand exists and how it hopes to meet their needs. If they know your story and understand your mission, then they’ll give you their money and not any other of your competitors.

Do not reserve communication with your customers only when you are launching a new product or when their subscription is due for purchase. Maintain a continuous conversation about their needs and wants that your business is positioned to solve. Provide them with tips at no charge, continuously and consistently building your relationship

Get feedback and act upon it

The only way to measure the success of your branding efforts is to reach out to your customers and hear from them. Letting them describe your brand will give your insight into what you are doing right and what needs improving. Continuously assess the image your customers have of your brand against your businesses vision and mission.

From recent studies, it has been noticed that each dissatisfied customer will typically share their unsatisfactory experience with 10 other.

The more a customer engage with a brand, the more likely they are to return and purchase. We all like to be valued and supported along the way as we research, purchase and consume products. The brands that do this best convert and retain more consumers.

In order to constantly adjust your brand experience to meet your customers expectations, you have to knot the Ways E-commerce Businesses Get Customer Feedback.

Conclusion

E-commerce offer tremendous benefits for small businesses but without creating a branding strategy and following it consistently, it is extremely difficult to create a sustainable business.  Every time your visitors and customers interact with your e-commerce business, they are interacting with your brand. Use that opportunity to improve your brand in their eyes.

Remember, branding is a constant ongoing process and not a one-time activity. As for other business processes, branding is effective when revisited every few months to make sure it still portrays your intended message.

This article has shared strategic tools and methods as a guide to developing your own e-commerce brand. If you are considering starting an e-commerce business or are already selling online, we hope you have learnt something new to help you along your success journey.

Related: Common Reasons Why E-commerce Businesses Fail

 

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