People are rapidly turning to online shopping, which makes it a perfect time to start an online business. However, there are probably hundreds of companies out there offering products that are same, or at least similar, to yours.
The good thing is that branding and web design can be a lifesaver for your business. You have to stand out from the crowd and show people why they should purchase your products, and not the products of your competitors.
Your products might be great, and your website appealing and well-optimized, but that doesn’t mean that you will succeed. According to statistics, 55% of all eCommerce sales are done through branded stores, while 45% are done via marketplaces. Therefore, you have to build a strong brand in order to beat your competitors.
It’s time to take the first step towards your success.
Personalized, but safe service
Customer data points are very useful for personalization. The data is your gold because you will know what your customers want before they do.
So, include those data points in your eCommerce business:
- Shopping Cart – recommendations based on the current content of a customer’s wish list or cart
- Search Queries – recommendations based on search terms
- Purchase History – recommendations based on a customer’s past purchases
- Social Behavior – recommendations based on product rating, shares and likes
You can also recommend products based on geographic location and customer segmentation, such as demographic. Use this data to provide your customers with the best service possible. This will help you understand your customers and their relationship with your product and brand.
Are your customers mostly gift-buyers? How often do they buy products from your website? Look for patterns in your customers’ behavior because that is precisely what will point you in the right direction. Also, it’s always a good idea to personalize your product packaging. Many brands are doing it, and people seem to love it.
Since, as an online business, you will collect and retain sensitive personal information about your customers, you have to show them that their information is safe with you, especially when it comes to payment and delivery.
You can make your brand trustworthy and reliable by using payment card industry data security standards (PCI DSS). These standards apply to all organizations that store, process or transmit cardholder data, so your business should have PCI DSS compliance, too. However, keep in mind that, even though you are operating online, you still need to adhere to your federal and state privacy laws.
The impression you make on people who come in contact with your brand for the first time is very important. Therefore, you should make sure that they see your brand in the best light.
First, you have to ensure that your customers can see and feel that they can engage with your brand.
Always ask your customers for their opinion. Give them an opportunity to review your products and chat with you. Use these options on your website and social media pages. 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend that brand to others. So, this will help you both increase brand engagement and attract new customers.
Next, you can turn your customers into brand ambassadors who will help you share your amazing story all over the internet. They are a powerful tool that will help you raise awareness about your company. The reason that brand ambassadors are so credible is that they don’t actually work for your company but are only huge fans.
Emotional connection with your target audience
If you want others to share your story, you have to give them a reason to do so. Tell them your story and engage with them on an emotional level. By giving customers a strong “why” you will provide them with something to believe in. Try to answer these questions:
- How did you start your business and why?
- What are your values?
- What makes you different from your competitors?
People like to hear a story behind the products they buy. Get them to fall in love not only with your products but your brand as well.
For example, if you use your lifestyle as an inspiration for your brand image, you will attract people with similar interests.
If your vision matches your customers’ opinion, your fans will be dedicated to you. Actually, if you include this vision in your posts on social media and newsletters, they will be happy to share that with others.
Consistency as a branding tool
Did you choose your style? What about the color, design, style of writing, and other elements of your brand? Do your social media channels, emails and adds follow your style?
Once you determine your style, it’s important to stick to it. Use it consistently in all of your marketing efforts in order to become recognizable.
Your style represents your brand’s personality. It can tell more about your values then you think, and it can engage people on an emotional level.
Whenever you want to share something, ask yourself – is this consistent with your brand story?
Remember, your employees should also understand your style and vision. They have to represent your brand in the best possible way.
If you miss the opportunity to build a brand today, it can cost you your business. Products come and go, but if you build a personal brand, people will keep coming to your web shop.
Remember, brands are not established in a day, but these tips will help you get one step closer to success.
Guest author, David Webb, is a Sydney-based business consultant,online marketing analyst and a writer. With six years of experience and a degree in business management, he continuously informs the public about the latest trends in the industry. He is a regular author at BizzmarkBlog. You can reach him on Twitter or Facebook.