6 Sharp Ways To Grow Your eCommerce Business
“If you build it, he will come” is not the philosophy successful eCommerce businesses use. If you don’t get your products and online store in front of the right people, they most certainly will not come to you out of nowhere.
In order to be successful, your eCommerce biz has to put in the work to build a solid identity, voice, personality, website, image, and product. Have a little more ambition than Kevin Costner had–built it and get it out there for your audience to see. In case you didn’t catch on, we’re talking about a brand here, not a baseball field.
The eCommerce world is booming! Everyone loves a good online purchase and, believe it or not, 25% of the world’s population is doing the majority of their shopping online. Basically what we’re getting at is it’s the perfect time to start. Whether you’re trying to grow your eCommerce business that already exists or you’re starting one from scratch, a solid brand will help build your business.
Here’s a look at 6 ways a kickass eCommerce brand can help your business thrive.
Share Your Story
When it comes to eCommerce, conversion often happens long before a customer gets to know who you really are. If they need or want your product, they’ll buy it. But what about when they dig deeper? There’s got to be something there to catch their eye and make them want to stay.
Here’s where your eCommerce branding story comes in. When a customer is digging deep into your website, they’re searching for something–they might not realize it, but subconsciously they want to see the spark of your brand. So give it to them! Call out why your eCommerce business is there in the first place. Who are you and how’d you get started?
Here’s a hint: your ‘About’ page should have a lot more depth than “I sell these types of products”. Don’t be afraid to show your personality and state what the heck you stand for. Consumers will be more drawn to your brand–and to come back to make future purchases–if they know who you are and can feel your energy.
And if you say “I’m just a boring, old online store that sells t-shirts … I have no story,” then you’re wrong. Every brand has a story–a purpose, values, a life behind its webpages. Dig down deep and let yours be discovered.
The Change You Stand For
Not every brand is going to have a “World Peace” type of campaign, but you must stand for something–you created an entire business around a problem that you felt needed to be solved. Whether or not the change you’re creating is big or small, let it be known. It can become a link between you and a customer–if you both believe, stand, and support the same thing, you’re likely to draw their attention. We have an example to paint a picture of this concept for you.
TOMS – The moment you open TOMS’ website, you see the giant block letters “STAND FOR TOMORROW”. If that doesn’t scream what they stand for, then nothing does. Now TOMS is a large-scale, trying-to-make-a-worldwide-change kind of example, but they’re clearly making their point and it’s drawing customers in. By showing their purpose in just about every aspect of their brand, they’re creating external meaning in every one of their sales. The brand is basically saying: “We as TOMS stand for this cause, and so do you because you purchased from our company.” Makes you feel like you’re making a difference right? And guess what? Making you feel good about buying their product doesn’t hurt their sales numbers either.
TOMS is a hefty example, so don’t feel like your small eCommerce brand needs to take a stance that’s going to change the world. Start with something small and see the type of customer relationships you build because of it.
Be Clear And Consistent With Your Expectations
Having a consistent brand that is clear with its expectations is key to loyalty and long-term relationships. When it comes to expectations, we’re mostly referring to policies, promises, legal disclaimers, things of that sort.
If you as a brand can’t deliver, then don’t make a promise. We can’t think of a more detrimental turn for your eCommerce biz than when you promise something to your customers and you can’t live up to it. You break their trust. When trust is lost with your existing customers, the skepticism spreads like wildfire. The last thing you want is to become associated with false promises.
OK, enough with the negativity. How do you stay consistent and clear so you don’t run into the broken promise scenario?
- Make shipping and return policies noticeable, and explain them clearly.
- Don’t leave holes in your policies. You might think something will never be a problem, but it’s best not to gamble when it comes to this. Include it anyways.
- Make the boring stuff fun! Liven up your legal policies, disclaimers, and dull contract writing with fun language that fits your brand. We mention something about huffing and puffing and blowing your house down in our legal disclaimer.
When you’re consistent and clear about what customers can expect from you and what you can expect from your customers, you create an honest bond that will last. It’s meaningful when a customer has the utmost respect for your company, and guess what a customer like that will do? Spread the positivity around and help grow your eCommerce business.
Focus On What You Do Well And Let It Grow
It becomes overwhelmingly exciting when your brand suddenly experiences its first busy eCommerce day. Your business owner mentality starts thinking of all sorts of new ways to expand and be even bigger and better with new products. Pump the breaks and focus on what’s going well right now.
Keep the focus on your core audience and let that market grow. They obviously already love you, so make them come back again and again for additional purchases before drastically expanding to new audiences too quickly.
Make sure to also have clear, consistent messaging that speaks in your brand’s voice throughout marketing materials. Your message should always point straight to the audience you’re trying to sell to. Then, consistently get in front of those people as often as possible to make your mark in their mind.
When eCommerce life gets crazy, just remember to slow down and recognize what you’re good at. Focus on what you’re doing well right now before going off on a tangent that could blur the line between who you are and who you’re clearly not.
Be Consistent When It Comes To Creating Content
We talk about content a lot, but it’s because it matters. Content is the powerhouse to any successful brand, especially an eCommerce one. We’ll say it again … “Content is key!” Whether you’re repurposing content, creating it, curating blogs, or podcasting for your eCommerce brand, the most important component of content marketing is consistency.
Consistency doesn’t just mean posting a blog every Friday at 1:00 pm or sending out a newsletter on a monthly basis. Consistently has to do with your brand as a whole–voice, personality, timing, design, images, all of it.
In order to grow your eCommerce business, you have to be consistent with your content–the two go hand-in-hand. Every customer, potential customer, anyone who might come across your brand should see the harmony in every marketing aspect you have out there. They like to know what they can expect from you, so when you serve it up to them on a silver platter they’re bound to stick around and be a part of your growth.
Let Your Visuals Do The Talking
As a brick and mortar business, you might need depth to your online copy to reel in customers to get them to walk into your store. eCommerce brands don’t work this way.
With an eCommerce business you want to let your visuals do the talking as often as possible. When someone comes to your website to potentially purchase a product, they want to see it, not read long blocks of text about it. Too many words can be a turn-off to online shoppers.
As with content and expectations, visuals need to be consistent and appealing to customers too. You’ll want all of your graphics designed by a professional so they are high-quality and work well with one another. All website and social media images should be high-res and appealing. And your colors, fonts, logos, and any other visual material needs to be true to your brand.
If every visual you present to your audience is appealing, approachable, and desirable then there’s no need for much explanation online–your visuals will do the talking.
Need Some eCommerce Branding Help?
Branding can be a beast in itself, and it can become an even bigger one when it comes to eCommerce. eCommerce brands solely rely on their online presence to make their sales, so having a consistent, steady, powerful brand is that much more important.
If you’re looking for a team to brand your online business, we’re your guys (and your gals)! Buy us a beer, let’s see if we can bring your eCommerce business to life.