Creating Branding Strategies in E-Commerce
Branding is about bringing positive experiences to your customers — from the story behind your company to the appearance and quality of your products to the caliber of your customer service. It aims to improve customers’ perception so you can increase the value of your business. Below, explore the different branding strategies in e-commerce that you can adapt for your business.
What is a brand and why have a brand strategy?
Your brand makes your business different from countless other sellers in the e-commerce space. Its function is “to create a recognizable entity in the market that, in the mind of consumers, adds value to the product,” Dr. Bobby J. Calder, Professor Emeritus of Marketing from the Kellogg School of Management, said in a statement.
To be recognizable, you need to build a consistent brand starting from what makes you a company towards your messages across different marketing channels. Creating a solid brand strategy enables you to present your e-commerce business to your target audience in a memorable way so they will prioritize your brand over the competition.
Branding strategies in e-commerce
Bring out the unique character of your business through these 5 e-commerce branding strategies.
Share your story
Why should consumers care about your brand when there are several other e-commerce stores that sell the same goods you’re selling?
Humans are emotional creatures. Often, we rely on stories to remember and connect with others. And it works on business, too.
Your prospective customers are complex people with complex emotions. They have different perceptions of your company, including your culture. When you’re sharing the story behind your business, you enable your customers to see the hidden parts of your business. In return, it elicits greater and deeper insights among your prospects and makes them feel closer to your brand.
If storytelling is so important, how should you shape your narrative to capture your audience’s interests, tap into their emotions and ultimately, propel them to buy from you? Here are some elements to include when storytelling:
- Why did you start your business?
- Who are the people behind your brand?
- What do you care about?
- What do you advocate for?
- Why do you advocate for it?
- How does it affect your customers?
Once you identify the reason/s behind your business’s existence, find out who among the market can relate to your story and at the same time, need your goods. They can be your target market. Segment them into different personas to determine what motivates them. Again, repeat the process of telling your story to fit the narratives of each persona.
Highlight your USP
What will customers miss if they buy from your competitors and not from you? Identifying your unique selling proposition (USP) equips you to stand out from the competition, but it requires intense competitor analysis to identify what you offer that they don’t have.
For example, the chocolate brand M&M’s, is known for their infamous slogan-slash-USP, “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands.” Meanwhile, the e-commerce technology company, Amazon, is famous for its unquenchable thirst for innovation and growth which enables it to jump leaps and bounds ahead of its competitors.
When determining your USP, looking at your price structure, placement strategy, customer service and product qualities can be a good starting point. Figure out any unique attribute that would make customers think they’re getting the better deal. Once you identify your USP, make sure that it’s visible in your marketing copies.
Increase your visibility
How can your prospective customers be familiar with your brand if they’re not aware of your existence? Whether you’re fully operating in the e-commerce space, or you have a physical presence, you need to be visible online to attract customers. In fact, 97% of consumers are searching for local businesses online. This means apart from the existence of your actual store, be it in a marketplace or on your own website, you should still advertise your brand using various online channels, such as:
- Social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, etc.)
- Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business)
You can also place ads on Google, Facebook and other channels to boost your visibility. Working with micro-influencers whose audience belongs to the same niche as your target audience can further increase awareness of your brand.
The more they become aware of your brand, the higher the chance they’ll try out your products on their next shopping day. Just remember that you should always deliver what you promise. In the end, your customers’ feedback will dictate whether you’re a reliable brand or not.
Develop a solid visual identity
Of course, your visual identity also plays a key role in solidifying your brand. When people search for your company online, it’s one of the first things people will notice.
Your visual elements should match the preferences and expectations of your target audience. If you position yourself as a professional service provider, for example, you must also use designs (e.g., visual styling, colors, font, typography) and even language that exudes professionalism.
When setting up your e-commerce website, you may want to consider working with UI (user interface) designers to structure your web pages based on your users’ anticipated actions. Doing so will help online shoppers access and navigate your site with ease.
Putting together brand style guides for visual design and content tone can also be helpful to ensure you’re consistent in communicating your brand even if different teams are working on it.
Offer excellent customer service
What do you want your e-commerce store to be remembered for? Definitely not bad customer service.
For most consumers, customer service is a deal-breaker. In fact, even after a mistake, 78% of consumers are willing to do business with a company again if they’re provided with excellent customer service. On the contrary, 65% of customers switched to another brand due to a negative experience.
But do these numbers matter? Yes, they do. 87% of consumers read online reviews. Any negative reviews, be it about your product or service, can affect your potential customer's perception of your brand. This means even after pouring your best efforts into the e-commerce branding strategies enumerated above, if you fail with customer service, your branding efforts can be impacted negatively.
Make sure that your front-end employees are aware of customer service best practices to ensure your customers have positive experiences dealing with your brand from start to finish.
Get accurate numbers and business reports
Numbers don’t lie. But to make them useful, you need to know what they mean — whether they’re reports on your sales, marketing, customer service, business costs, external industry trends or brand valuation.
Our e-commerce accountants can help you extract, process, record, communicate and interpret the impacts of your numerical data on your business operations. Through this, you can make smarter business decisions so you can move forward toward growth and profitability.