E-commerce branding 101: where to start
Your brand reflects who you are and how you want people to remember you.
A memorable e-commerce branding strategy will help you:
Attract the right customers to browse your product or service
Create a personal connection with your customers and maintain loyal customers
Drive immense value as a marketing tool that converts unique audiences, enabling you to grow your brand
When global online sales are estimated to reach $5.4 trillion in 2022, more businesses will invest in branding - the first impression your customer will have of your business.
This article will discuss quick ways you can brand your e-commerce business and how you can get started today.
Thanks to low-cost and easy-to-use design tools (i.e., Canva), e-commerce branding is now an essential part of running a successful e-commerce business. Some may even argue that it's the most important, as well as most difficult, part to nail.
From a consumer's perspective, a strong brand, inclusive of brand image, tone, and positioning distinguishes you from your competitors to thrive, even if you don't have unique products.
Let's run through some reasons why branding is essential for e-commerce businesses:
Builds customer trust and loyalty
Branding can help you build trust with your target consumers and keep them coming back for more repeat purchases.
According to a study done by Bain & Company, a 5% increase in retention correlates with at least a 25% increase in profit.
Provides a frictionless e-commerce shopping experience
reveal the reasons why your customers should care about your brand and why they should make a purchase.
Is your brand style more minimalist or heavy on storytelling? Is it colorful or monochromatic?
Picking a distinct brand style results in a visual representation of your brand that your customers can relate to, allowing them to share a curated shopping experience.
Shapes customer expectations for your product or service offering
Branding has a huge factor in shaping customer expectations.
Consider big brands, like Amazon.com, who have spent billions of money on making sure that you associate their brand with being extremely customer-focused.
Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Amazon strives to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, Earth’s best employer, and Earth’s safest place to work.
Amazon Who We Are statement
Top e-commerce brands examples and best practices
Consequently, consumers expect a speedy and hyper-personalized experience when shopping on Amazon. And when Amazon is able to deliver, customer loyalty grows exponentially.
As we've mentioned, building a brand strategy requires more than having a great logo or website design.
Once you start building your brand, you can create your own branding guide to ensure your marketing efforts align with your core offerings and values. Keeping your branding consistent can help your customers identify your company and know what to associate you with.
For example, if you sell premium products, you want your branding to reflect that while also helping shape the customer's experience, so they're prepared to pay a premium for a better product or service.
When coming up with the best e-commerce branding practices, here's what you need to consider:
Consider your audience
Before you get started, you need to know your buyer persona. Knowing your customer can help you develop a brand based on the people who will buy your products and serve as the foundation for a successful branding strategy.
To learn more about your audience, you can use social media analytics to help you understand your customer demographic. Learn about them through your competitors to discover their gender, interests, education, location, etc.
Once you learn everything you can about them, you can anticipate their needs and craft compelling messaging that appeals to them.
A quick way to collect data as you engage with your audience is by using a live chat widget on your e-commerce website. A live chat does not only make sure that your customers get instant support, but also provides real-time tracking and analytics that can show you your customers’ preferred pages and the time spent on each page. You can then improve the style and tone of your brand accordingly.
Find out more about the benefits of having a WhatsApp-Live Chat widget on your Shopify store.
Install SleekFlow Live Chat for free on your e-commerce website.
Define your brand positioning
Brand positioning is how you want the world to view your brand. It tells people how you compare to the competition by telling them your unique proposition and the benefits people should know about. To determine your brand positioning, you can consider whether your product is different from similar products, how you solve problems differently, and your price point.
Consider how your brand is different from the competition to help you begin crafting a positioning that allows you to stand out from the crowd.
Establish your mission
Every successful brand has a mission statement that consists of its core values. Your mission statement is your reason for existing and why it's essential. By having a strong mission, you can begin developing trust with your audience and creating bonds by aligning your values with theirs.
Establish a unique brand persona
Your brand persona is the personality of your brand. It can help you communicate with your audience. Brand personas vary greatly depending on the type of business you operate and who your target customers are. For example, a professional omnichannel chat management SaaS company will have an experienced and knowledgeable tone, while a pet company might be more playful in how they market products to the public.
Social media is a method commonly used to showcase brand personas. Follow through the sections below for more about branding on social media.
Create visuals that represent your product or service
Now is when you'll start thinking of your logo and other visuals that people can use to recognize your brand. Visuals are especially crucial for e-commerce brands because people will need to focus on visual elements to decide whether or not to shop with you. You can first start by designing a logo.
There are many different types of logos, so do your research to develop a few options before you hire a graphic designer to bring your vision to life.
Consider the persona you have for your brand and who your target audience is.
Next, hire a graphic designer and provide them with all of the necessary information, including what your business does, who its customers are, and what type of logo you think would look best.
LinkedIn is an excellent platform for finding talented graphic designers to work with on your eCommerce branding project. The site has a comprehensive directory of professionals, and you can use the email finder tool to contact potential candidates directly about the opportunity.
Choose colors that represent your product or service
If you don't have a background in design, you might again choose to work with a graphic designer who can explain which colors evoke which emotional responses.
Each color is embedded with rich meaning, so finding the perfect color theme for your company can amplify your brand presence.
For example, you may have noticed that many websites are blue. That's because blue symbolizes trust, authority, and calmness, so it's a great color for just about any type of business.
Create original content that reveals your brand narrative
Once you have your visuals down, you'll need to create content, including web copy, product descriptions, and blogs. Your content should have a consistent brand voice depending on who your customers are. For example, pet companies may have a friendly, playful tone, while B2B e-commerce stores must use industry-specific terms and remain professional at all times.
Other than your company’s website itself, social media content plays a critical role. With 4.62 billion social media users worldwide, branding on social media is an aspect not to be overlooked. Different social media channels require each of their distinctive content styles, for example, Instagrammers prefer aesthetic photos while TikTokers won’t waste even a second of their time on videos that don’t catch their interest. Therefore, extra research online is vital for setting the tracks ahead, and improvements must be made after observing the performance of the content created.
Finally, it's essential to share your brand story with your customers. You can put your story on your "About Us" page on your website so people can learn about who you are and what you represent. This is a great page to point out the unique benefits of your brand and why you're better than everyone else in your space.
Another essential space to share your brand story is again, on social media! Depending on the type of your business, certain social media platforms may be better for you to create the best strategy.
Customer experience is where the heart of your brand, including the values, the purpose, and the ideas comes alive. When you establish an emotional connection and leave a good impression, your customers will promote your brand to those around them.
One of the greatest ways to offer exceptional customer experience is through the integration of live chat on your e-commerce site.
Here’s a scenario: A customer enters your website, and they obtain immediate assistance for whatever inquiries they have about your products and services using the live chat. This is where the excellent first impression lies.
After that, they request to talk to a real agent, because yes, customers favor human interactions over virtual assistants and chatbots, as proven by research on Hubspot. So, how do you make sure that your customer agents can react fast enough so you don’t lose this lead?
With an advanced tool like SleekFlow, multiple channels can be made available on the live chat widget installed on your e-commerce website, so that the customers can choose their preferred messaging channel.
Besides that, even after your customers leave the website, you or your customer support team can still reach out to them or send replies through the SleekFlow inbox.
With over 2500+ platforms for integrations, this frictionless process completes the perfect customer experience, boosting your e-commerce branding in the competitive marketplace.
Building a brand from the ground up can be one fun aspect of starting an e-commerce business, but you must spend enough time thinking about your company's benefits to stand out.