The difference between an e-commerce business and a traditional retail place lies in the fact that, in most cases, e-commerce doesn’t benefit that much from traditional (physical) marketing methods. That is unless you’re merely using a digital platform as a mean of providing a product that isn’t available on a local market. Nonetheless, meeting your audience only in the digital world means less contact and somewhat harder visualization of their common traits (at least those that can’t be discovered through conventional online analytics). Because of this, you need to take a bit unorthodox approach to e-commerce branding and there are several things you need to know to make this more effective.
Is your company name self-explanatory?
First off, you need to understand that your audience has some expectations when it comes to the name of your company. Sure, major conglomerates can afford to have names that seemingly have nothing to do with their niche, yet, this is not a risk you can afford to take. Using major keywords in your company name is tricky, seeing as how it probably isn’t available and by using it, you’re making your name sound generic. You should also avoid names that create ambiguous connotations (unless this is what you’re aiming for through wordplay) and have inappropriate acronyms.
Does your brand speak to your target audience?
Another thing you need to ask yourself is the question of what does your brand say to your target audience. Stating your vision and mission is recommended but, in reality, not a lot of people read this, to begin with. So, let’s assume that all that your audience knows about your business is what they can see from your company name, logo, product package and product descriptions. What does this communicate to your target audience? Does it speak to them at all? Different demographics have different cravings and even use different languages (slangs, communication forms and mediums). You need to make sure that your message is the appropriate one for your medium.
Understand your product
The notion of understanding your product is a matter that sounds almost paradoxical. After all, you’re the supplier/manufacturer, who could know it better than you? Well, even if you fail to recognize the best trait of your product, some of your customers might not make the same mistake, which will boost your sales for all the “wrong” reasons. Now, some would argue that if your sales are going up, there shouldn’t be a problem, yet, there’s always the issue of a missed opportunity. If you fail to recognize the main selling trait of your product, you won’t be able to capitalize on marketing it. In turn, you’ll earn a lot less than what was, initially, your potential.
How do you maintain consistency?
Delivering one-time value is a great trend for generating traffic and increasing the number of first-time customers, however, this should never be your main objective. Return customers are more profitable, easier to engage and more reliable in every way. So, instead of a branding method, what you need to do is invest in developing a branding strategy. Unlike the first, this consists of a string of techniques, each of which is specifically designed to cover one major aspect of your public exposure. All of them are working together to create a consistent image over a longer period of time. Still, it is highly unlikely that a first-time entrepreneur can pull this off on their own, which is why you might need some professional guidance.
What is your unique selling proposition?
Most importantly, you need to figure out what is that one thing that makes people buy from you and not your competitors. What is your unique selling proposition? This can be a new angle to the market, an extra feature, a special discount or particularly efficient customer support (or return policy). As you can see, not every proposition has to rest on the price. As long as you manage to convince your audience that they’re getting more value for the same amount of money, you’re on the right track. Finally, you should keep in mind that this can be a brand promise, something they’ll get to capitalize on in the future if they stick around.
The fact that you’re an e-commerce business doesn’t really restrict you in the field of digital marketing but it does direct you towards the most lucrative approach. Methods like social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing and influencer marketing are as available as they always were. Before you start using them, however, you might want to consider the message that you intend to send and adjust it to your branding objectives.