Just think of all the amazing companies whether its Google, Nike, Apple, Puma, Starbucks, BMW, Amazon.. etc. The reason behind their success is not only their brand logo or name – branding is far more than just visual elements, it includes product design, packaging, and customer service, to web presence, social media, marketing, and much more.
Do you know: According to Statista in 2016, 58.3 percent of global internet users had purchased products online? And it is expected to grow to 63% in 2019 and 65% by 2021.
If you’re serious about building a brand “successful-brand” on eCommerce than this article may help you achieve your goal.
I have also shared a few insights into what actual business owner think or do for scaling their brand on eCommerce channels or marketplaces.
Here are a few tips that would let you know what your brand needs to ensure to be the best in online marketplaces.
Jennifer Crespo who is a Coach & Public Speaker share some lovely and practical insights on the topic. She says…
In today’s high tech world there are new brands popping up every single day! How can you, make your brand stand out from the rest?
The issue is that usually there is no human interaction when dealing with brands, it will pop up on your screen during a search, while shopping online or while browsing.
In order for a brand to stand out from the competition, there are several things it needs, which are:
The brand should evoke a feeling on the potential client. How do you want your client to feel when they see your branding? Excited? Calm? Energized? this is very important and should be directly tied to what you are selling!
If they do not go hand in hand, it could bring up the wrong feeling and completely throw off your brand.
Once the feeling has been determined then you need to establish a branding palette…
- Energized? Go for oranges or reds.
- Peaceful? go for calmer shades like lilac and blues.
These color will make sure that feeling is tied with your brand.
Jakub Kliszczak of CrazyCall, says that this way you’ll make sure that anything you publish – whether it is a Facebook Post, LinkedIn article or a short Tweet or sound the same among all of the social media platforms. It will create a sense of coherence that will help your audience distinguish your brand’s updates as well as identify with what you (as a brand) mean.
Being unique doesn’t come easy and requires a lot of brainstorming from each of the employees. You have to find out what your company is like. Is it funny? Is it serious? Is it professional? Is it casual?
Try to find out your voice and your vision of the brand. This way you’ll be one and only and being one an only is the way to stand-out among the competition.
“Remember, a purple cow is what every company should strive for” 😉
Have an original logo that ties into the color scheme and is memorable! Not something overwhelming and do NOT try to imitate the competition. On the contrary, being more original and different makes your brand more impacting and therefore memorable.
A brand logo is an identification tag for your business – and without one, customers across any channel will have a difficult time interacting with your business and understanding what you offer.
The best strategy in ensuring your business can stand out amongst competitors is to ensure that you have brand consistency. Many small business owners will have their business written one way on their website, but it will be written differently on social media pages.
This creates brand confusion. A unique logo design can help your buyers avoid brand confusion as long as you use the same design across every marketing channel, including your website, promotional products, social media, email, and even your storefront.
Showcase your brand at the right platform
Place your brand where your potential clients can see it. Make sure you are using several social media platforms to get your message out. Nowadays not everyone uses only 1 platform so try several. There are a lot out there that you can get started on for free.
Try facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, create a website to refer people back to, give out a freebie related to your brand to educate customers, create ads that focus on your target audience to maximize exposure! Verify the engagement, play with different times to post to see if your target customers are more likely to view these in the Morning or Night.
Keywords! –Type your branding, video, photos, logos and promos to keywords that will have a higher impact and come up when people are searching for these brands.
Try. Refine. Try again! Never give up! If you feel something is not right, change it up a little and try again. You can change the font, or try several different ones and also with the colors to see which promos resonate better. Do not get discouraged if the first time is not a home run, remember it usually never is, the trick is just to get started!!
Have your “Own-Webstore”
I am not saying it’s worthy to sell on other eCommerce marketplaces like Amazon, Myntra, Etsy, eBay, it’s totally good and you should.
But the thing is when you sell on those marketplaces your brand doesn’t get the recognition, as all the credit is soaked away by the websites you sell. And in a crowded marketplace, your product might not necessarily stand out.
Even more, your competitors may target visitors who visit your listings and place advertisements for their products on your pages. You may not get the exposure or easy sale that you’re hoping to achieve when millions of shoppers who are searching for similar products like yours in crowded marketplaces.
Also, the people who are buying your product from the different online channels may not even know you or your brand exist. Having your own online store gives the ability to:
- Establish and maintain full control over your brand
- You can retarget your visitors for converting to loyal customers
- No restrictions on what to sell, when to sell & how to sell
NOTE: It’s better than good to sell on multiple marketplaces, but having your own online eCommerce site where the buyers can actually get to know your brand is like cherries on top.
Strengthen Post Sale Communication/ Customer-Service
Danielle Kunkle Roberts, Co-Founder of Boomer Benefits shares her experience on the topic and says…
“One of the ways that we have worked on standing out from our competitors has been to develop world-class back-end customer service support and then ask our clients to share these experiences with our team on various reviews channels like Shopper Approved, Facebook and Google. The financial investment has been significant but the authority building for the brand has also been enormous.”
Hamna Amjad Community Manager at Ridester says…
Work on getting substantial feedback from the customers since buyers always compare the ratings and reviews of different products before making a purchase.
The online shoppers naturally gravitate towards products with higher ratings. Don’t just wait for reviews to happen. Be proactive about it.
For instance, you can request for a review in the thank you email which you send after they’ve bought something.
Pre-sales teams are trained to communicate with “honey-tongued”, but what about the post-sale interaction? Post sale communication can bind buyers to your brand for a long time. But if practiced unprofessionally, you may lose your customer forever.
Hence, personalization is the key to unlock your success while doing post-sales interaction. Greeting your clients with their name, sending them regular offers/deals can calm the communication from both sides and smoothen future sales as well.
Founder and Director of Werner and Media, Kelly shares her personal experience on what not to do while interacting with already customer.
Recently, I was locked out of my account on a major investment network platform. I have sent five emails to their staff, only to be responded to days later by a rep who outlined what the problem was, but provided ZERO solutions! That is unacceptable.”
NOTE: If you’re a customer service rep, don’t always keep on outlining the issues/problems that your customer already have. Instead, provide them with an optimal solution possible, which resolves their issue.
However, in many organization, post-sales is not practiced, which is a negative aspect, but for your brand its chance to grab the opportunity and do high sales.
The numbers of sellers who ship their product on marketplaces by themselves can be counted on fingers.
Because the first thing a seller would think for shipping is that– why would I invest more and exercise my mind for the facility, that is already provided by the marketplaces, that too pretty efficiently. Isn’t it?
Well, having full control over the shipping has its own benefits – in abundance. While self-shipping your orders, you take care of the entire process of shipping.
This includes everything from printing of the shipping labels to pasting it on the delivery box (here you can do your branding), attaching a handwritten personalized ‘Thank-you’ message, to actually shipping the item on or before time.
However, remember that keep the shipping and handling cost to as low as possible. As per the survey carried out among 2,921 Web buyer who abandoned the online shopping cart– shipping and handling cost topped the list with as high as 44 %.
Self-shipping can be made efficient by utilizing shipping management softwares, which eventually help you in :
- Cutting down operating expense
- Automate your whole shipping and order-fulfillment process
- Enhanced inventory visibility
- Just-in-time inventory
- Strengthen the supplier-manufacturer relationship
Try offering free shipping by setting a minimum order amount or a minimum number of items (like Amazon does). This may kick up your average order value and help you have more profit dollars to apply the shipping and logistics cost against.
Leverage your Buyers Experience & Testimonials
When is the last time you bought something because an advertisement told you to? Tough to recall? Now when is the last time you bought something because a friend or family member referred you to? Shoes, a party dress, dinner, a gym membership… Many?
It’s all about social proof. Today, most people do not listen to company’s self-proclaiming advertisements but they are more likely to buy something based on good user reviews or references by someone known or influencers.
Mark from Lasting Trend says that the experience-sharing by people who have used your products/services and have got desired results from them is the most powerful tool you can utilize for advertising & branding.
Word-of-mouth and social proof marketing if done correctly gives you the best ROI – at literally no cost. It is indeed also the best way to get your branding message to stick – because people trust people more than they trust businesses. It has your brand your business as one that is customer-centric and not greed centric, which is the idea a lot of consumers tend to believe.
Here are some ways to go about it:
- Use case-study as your weapon– tell them how your product solved the issues for your existing customers. Then create a brief and easy to grasp case-study using their reviews regarding the product experience.
- Share your user review on social media channels, where your target audience are present.
- Everyone is on a hunt when it comes to a unique and actionable ‘Quotes’. #MondayMotivation on Twitter is proof. Create a quote or catch your prospects attention instantly with quotes blended well with customer testimonials.
“To stand out in today’s economy, do less talking about yourself. Instead, talk about your customers and let your customers talk about you.” — Alex from Handykith
Automate, streamline your inventory functions
If your customers choose to buy a product but later find that it’s out-of-stock, their overall experience would be negatively affected.
This would simultaneously trigger your marketplace ranking downwards, further affecting your brand visibility; and further sales. Hence, ensure that your inventory is always up-to-date.
An affordable cloud-based inventory management tool is a must-have for any growing e-commerce business – to effectively manage everything – be it order categorization, shipping, purchase, invoicing or returns.
In order to avoid this kind of crisis, companies prefer to have safety stocks in their inventory.
Provide personalized omnichannel experience
Josh Brown is a Digital Marketing expert at Helpjuice he says… One thing that brands (companies) can do to separate themselves from competitors while operating on multiple channels is to provide an omnichannel customer experience.
This means that not only should customers be able to address issues and contact support through multiple channels (such as phone, email, live chat, knowledge base or even social media), but that every channel interacts seamlessly with the other channels.
So if a customer first raises an issue via live chat and then follows up on the issue over the phone, there is no breakdown in the process.
The support teams for each channel are able to seamlessly pass the process (and problems) from one channel to the next without information being lost or getting confused.
The result is a seamless and potentially personalized support experience for the customer in which they feel like a valued person which enhances their experience with your brand.
Subscribe & Save option
Subscribe & Save is a way to buy items like ‘Detergent powder’ that we never seem to realize we’re running low on until the last minute. Hundreds of thousands of items on Amazon FBA are ‘Subscribe & Save eligible.
Basically, when buyers purchase these items you can either buy them normally to ship with your next manual Amazon order or your buyers can add them to your Subscribe & Save list. This list sets up scheduled delivery dates — from monthly to every six months — whatever fits your buyers’ needs.
So the ongoing process and an attachment for your product or brand would be automatically created in buyers mind, without literally doing anything. Hence its recommended having subscribe and save option on your eCommerce site and any other marketplace where it is possible.
Finally, consider ways to under promise and over deliver. Going beyond one’s expectations in even a simple way can really garner you clout in their eyes.
The key to standing out online in a world of chatbots and price-centric matches is authenticity, you may not win at the price game but you will win, every time by delivering in ways that are personal to you and your customer base.
And, the development of brands is a risky business and it takes a long time to get a good rep and first acknowledgments.
So be patient and abolish latent!!