If this isn’t your first rodeo running an ecommerce business, then you know how cutthroat the eCommerce space is.
Regardless of the niche you choose, even if you spend countless hours or days trying to find a unique niche, chances are there’s more than a handful ecommerce stores already servicing the market.
Whether you need to make a few marketing improvements for your ecommerce business or add some pizzazz to your existing strategies, we got you covered.
To help you set your brand apart from your competitors, we’ll share several tried and tested tips below.
1. Make personable customer transactions and interactions.
Shoppers today crave interactive connections with the brands they already love and are still beginning to explore.
If you’re one of those brands, give your customers unique, personable shopping experiences and post-purchase follow-ups.
But how do you do that?
Let’s consider emails, for instance.
Refrain from sending unbranded, transactional emails with only standard purchase information (e.g., delivery dates and confirmation numbers).
While these emails are practical and important, they sorely lack a memorable personality of your brand. The result? You lose vital engagement opportunities and diminish your brand’s value to customers.
Instead, apply personalization tactics such as inserting attractive digital signatures into your messages — especially customer service emails.
Doing that shows customers they’re interacting with a real person, makes them feel valued, and causes you to look authentic. It then becomes easier to get their trust and patronage.
An excellent tool for creating your digital signature is WiseStamp, which has a free, handy, and user-friendly signature generator. Here’s how it looks like:
Draw your signature with your mouse, touchscreen, or touchpad, customize the color, and enable the option for a transparent background (if you wish).
To redo your signature or delete it, WiseStamp also offers those options at the bottom right. Once you’re done, you can download or add it to your email signature:
Email personalization also includes mentioning your shoppers’ names, greeting them on their birthdays, sending thank-you, cart abandonment, and welcome messages, and recommending products based on their interests.
Adopting a lively, appreciative voice even in your pop-ups for email subscriptions, flash sales, coupon giveaways, event invitations, etc., works for personable approaches.
You can achieve that through platforms modernizing email marketing with behavioral targeting and other personalization features (often powered by automation and artificial intelligence or AI). Just make sure that your email marketing software integrates with these platforms easily. Sendinblue email marketing software can be your best bet when it comes to hassle-free integration.
These platforms can remember and intelligently analyze buyers’ behaviors and preferences and deliver shopping experiences tailored for them.
Besides emails, you can also humanize other aspects of your buyer interaction. Examples include:
- Creating omnichannel buying experiences
- Adding handwritten notes to your packaging
- Inviting customers to post purchases on social media and reposting their content on your site and social pages;
- Upsell in easygoing and not forceful, salesy ways, etc.
Personable experiences like this make your ecommerce brand stand out and appeal to your customers.
2. Modernize your order fulfillment processes through automation.
One of the best practices for purchase order management is automation. Why? Because it streamlines your operations and helps you process purchases faster.
Automation also helps you lessen the possibility of human error and frees up your time for other core business activities.
That said, use modern purchasing software systems (which often have automation features) that suit your ecommerce business structure and operations.
For instance, the tools’ cutting-edge AI algorithms can closely track and analyze your overall purchase order and procurement workflow, including every order’s particular data points.
The AI then rapidly extracts these data sets and reviews any inaccuracies. This enhances your efficiency in controlling supply chain costs and understanding of your business expenses.
Harnessing automation- and AI-powered order fulfillment systems simplifies your procurement, purchasing, and payment processes — both on your business’ and customers’ end.
This leads to enhanced shopping experiences that satisfy your buyers and set your brand apart.
You can also couple these tools with warehouse management systems and supply chain management software. Doing so lets you address more comprehensive matters affecting your order fulfillment tasks and processes.
3. Use eye-catching, impressive online store designs.
According to statistics from Kissmetrics, nearly 95% of buyers say they value visual appearance over any other elements when shopping online.
This shows how high-quality web design helps skyrocket your business performance. One reason is it helps your ecommerce store stand out from other sites.
Although beautiful, brand-specific designs often call for a considerable investment, it’s worth taking because of its massive potential returns in sales and customer loyalty, among others.
Millie’s shows a stunning example:
Their pretty, uber-colorful homepage stimulates your visual senses (and taste buds) and makes you feel light-hearted and cheery — aligning with their business’ brand personality.
Like Millie’s, design your ecommerce store in a way that makes visitors love you at first sight, remember you, and want to keep coming back.
Here’s another example by Recess:
Recess employs a colorful yet minimalist design to represent the calm, cool, and collected vibe its brand and products evoke. It even designed the site creatively with micro animations from top to bottom.
This makes their site and brand amusing, visually appealing, and distinct — enticing visitors to return and become loyal customers.
4. Turn your buyers into philanthropists.
People feel good when they do something that benefits society.
Leverage that by weaving charitable initiatives into your ecommerce business and inviting your customers to get involved.
Here’s one way to do it: for every purchase from your ecommerce store, a portion of it goes to any society-benefiting activity or community.
When you do that, more potential buyers, especially the cause-driven ones, are likely to flock to your shop and patronize your brand among the rest.
Not all ecommerce stores do it, so using this strategy solidifies your brand and sets you above your rivals.
Other charitable or advocacy-oriented initiatives you can do are obtaining your products’ design and materials from local, indigenous, and sustainable sources, just labor, and fairly acknowledged intellectual property.
Additionally, consider telling interesting stories to give your audience more insight into the company they’re dealing with.
When done right, marketing storytelling can be a great way to connect and engage with your audience while sparking their interest in your brand and your offer.
5. Build your store’s own mobile app.
Creating an app for your ecommerce store boosts your brand visibility and recognition in the marketplace. Your app can reinforce what makes you stand out, engage more shoppers, and bolster customer patronage. Statistics even show that 59% of buyers consider the option to purchase on mobile a crucial factor for brand selection.
To set your brand apart, invite more shoppers, and prove yourself worth selecting, develop your app with stellar user experience. It should have features such as:
- Smooth navigation and interface. Make your app’s destinations quick to access (applying as few screen taps as possible) and easy on the eyes. Putting negative space and using readable font styles can help achieve this.
- Quick login and checkout. Apply options to log in via email or social networks or offer auto-complete features (ask first for permission to store information), so users don’t need to fill in their credentials manually every time. Have a seamless checkout as well by minimizing unnecessary steps.
- Brand consistency. Display your branding identity elements in the same manner throughout your app (and other channels). Keep a stylebook so you don’t lose track of your store’s predefined colors, typeface, image and photo styles, etc., (or similar).
Now, building your brand doesn’t stop at developing your app. To maintain your positive reputation, you have to maintain its security from threats such as hacking, system malfunction, and accidental deletion. Remember, losing your code and data can destroy your bottomline and customer relationships, land you in hot legal water, and even shut down your business.
Secure your app by backing up your code and data frequently. If you built your app with Microsoft Azure DevOps, use automated backup tools such as Backrightup (designed specifically for Azure DevOps).
Every day, Backrightup instantly duplicates your pipelines, wikis, work items, etc., and sends updates on your dashboard. With this tool, you won’t have to worry about securing your app and performing this time-consuming task. You can instead focus better on executing your brand strategy.
Set your ecommerce business brand apart.
No matter your niche, you need to set your ecommerce store apart from your rivals by nailing your branding in the head.
If bolstering your ecommerce brand sounds daunting to you, start slow and small, but be deliberate and optimistic. Take your time in carefully building a concentrated, sales-driving brand strategy.
Through these and other techniques, you can create a likable, memorable brand and be better positioned for lasting success in the ecommerce space.
Jimmy is a freelance writer and the owner of the GuildofBloggers.com. He has contributed to several reputable websites like SEMRush, SeachEnginePeople, and Business.com.