Ecommerce has already swept the business world like an incurable viral fever and businesses of all sizes and niches have fallen under the wheel of this eCommerce craze. The number of online shoppers is increasing by millions every few months. So, that won’t be an understatement if we say that the future of business is eCommerce or mobile commerce. That future is already here.
But in spite of the impressive success stories of eCommerce, not all online brands are equally successful. This is precisely why optimizing eCommerce brands with clear strategies is so important. Here we will explain the most effective and time tested strategies for eCommerce brands.
Strategy #1. Establish Your Brand Identity
For the vast majority of successful brands, products come only after their robust brand identity. Every product displayed on billboard and media ads represents a brand but not all of them have equal robust footing as the leaders of their respective niches. So, branding is not just about creating an eye-catchy design. It is a value statement that represents your business in every aspect, from the logo, products, customer service, website, your mobile app and even the email sent to the customers. What this brand value is made of? Well, let’s explain one by one.
- Define your identity: What your business is all about? What specific value does it create? What special things do you offer that your competitors don’t? What are the key strengths of your business?
- Know the audience: Who are the people most likely to show interest or buy your products? Who are the people to need your product most?
- Recognize the aesthetics and impression: What kind of impression you want to make in the mind of your audience? How do you want them to recognize and remember your business? What kind of emotions does your business want to arouse?
By approaching these questions and answering them, you have the elementary guidance about the design and development of your branding elements. From designing logos to typeface design and choice of colors, every element will follow these guiding principles.
Strategy #2. Share Your Story
People are born storytellers and they have a natural inclination towards narratives told with emotional input. Naturally, any advertisement or media campaign that can tell stories to its target audience get better traction than so-called product statements and rhetoric. Telling the story of your business brand also results in building trust. This is why eCommerce stores should also utilize storytelling as part of their branding strategy.
The story of your brand can relate to the hidden or less known inspiration that shaped your brand or the people who shaped your brand with their inputs. If there are hundreds of online businesses, very few of them are actually capable to stir the heart of the audience with compelling stories and that’s exactly where the success story of the brand takes a start from.
Brand stories told in a stylish fashion and with a distinct tone actually help to answer serious questions that are frequently asked by every customer on any eCommerce store. Obviously, there are many products that are simply loved irrespective of the brand or the backdrop they are representing, but for most products it is the brand identity that plays a crucial role.
Some of the crucial things that your brand story should try to explain include the following.
- Describe the inspiration and the thought behind starting with the business.
- Explain who you are and how you landed on the business idea along with your earlier background.
- Explain the values and principles you care most about.
- The business principles and brand values you stand for.
- What are the key reasons or inspirations for standing for these causes or principles?
- Apart from the above-mentioned attributes, you can mention and explain other aspects related to your branding and value proposition.
All the aspects mentioned above should be part of the online branding strategy and depiction of the brand to help you stand apart from the rest with a distinct identity and value proposition. It is most effective to pitch a brand story to the media and other concerned people in the industry that creates awareness and makes more people inspired. It is always advisable to draw inspiration from other brand stories from reputed businesses across the niches.
Strategy #3. Equip Your Branding with a Content Strategy
Branding is not just about talking about the brand story and giving marketing messages. It is also about a solid and effective content marketing strategies to create a distinct brand identity. Customers always develop a soft corner for brands that make them more informed and knowledgeable about various aspects. The content also builds credibility and the trustworthiness of a business brand.
If you want to build customer loyalty for your business brand, you need to understand how content marketing helps your branding. With quality content published across the channels, it creates more avenues to engage your audience while creating a solid and irreducible impression. Content marketing also helps your brand reach a wider audience and create awareness. It is also the most effective way to engage in conversation and dialogue.
From the social media presence to the email marketing to promotional content to targeted marketing via the business website, the content remains to be the king across all marketing channels. Without having a content strategy you simply cannot take advantage of all these platforms.
In this respect, we must emphasize the need of delivering a mix of content to our audience instead of just sticking the text or product images. More you diversify your content strategy with various types of content, better visibility, and interaction you can expect from your content. From white papers, e-books, blogs, and articles to case studies, infographics, images and screenshots, you should take advantage of all types of content.
A Robust Email Marketing Strategy
Email marketing is still one of the most effective measures to reach out to your audience and boost your branding strategy. Email marketing helps you to make customers aware of your brand. Don’t fall into presupposition by thinking that email marketing is not for my business. From small business to big business, brands of all niches and sizes get help from email marketing. Let’s look at the key benefits of email marketing that make it an invincible candidate among the branding strategies.
- Email marketing offers a cost-effective way to reach out to your brand message.
- Email marketing allows precise targeting and retargeting of customers.
- Email marketing is helpful in driving revenue.
- Email marketing easily allows you to evaluate and measure the marketing output.
- Email marketing helps in nourishing and nurturing the audience.
- Email marketing helps you reach an audience far and wide.
- Email marketing is extremely simple to start with and share.
- Email marketing is great to make promotional offers and rewards to customers.
Email marketing works for all businesses irrespective of size and niche. In fact, this branding and marketing tool basically offers a level-playing field for all sizes and kinds of businesses across the spectrum. It works great when you have a precise list and target those audiences with a carefully articulated message loaded with some lucrative offers or promotions. With 4.2 active email users spread all over the globe, the power of email marketing cannot be undermined.
Strategy #4. Brand with A Social Cause
Every business basically sells something and make a profit. That is not something that makes people genuinely interested in brands. Some brands apart from focusing on quality products and services to their target consumers also associate their brand closely with some social cause. Such brands become part and parcel of social awareness.
For example, the milk product brand Amul in India is widely known to be the outcome of a cooperative venture of small milk producers in the state of Gujarat. By adding value to the lives of millions with their business model, Amul is also seen as a harbinger of social change and a responsible business model. Similarly, a business brand of organic agricultural products can associate its brand message with health awareness and well being.
By associating your brand message with a social cause, you can easily grab attention and make people attached to your brand story in a natural manner. This can be done by highlighting the organic, healthy or socially responsible products you are producing or marketing or thus can also be done by highlighting the business process that creates employment for millions. The brand message can also highlight the ways it nourishes talents and helps keep a tradition alive.
To give your eCommerce brand a facelift with the trusted, tested and most effective measures, the above-mentioned strategies can be highly useful. Though the exact way of positioning your brand value and brand message will depend on the nature of your business, most of these strategies have been effective for businesses across the niches.
About the Author!
Atman Rathod is the Co-founder at CMARIX TechnoLabs Pvt. Ltd., a leading web and Magento development company with 13+ years of experience. He loves to write about technology, startups, entrepreneurship and business. His creative abilities, academic track record and leadership skills made him one of the key industry influencers as well.