eCommerce is bigger than ever. With more ways to sell your goods than ever before, and more people throwing their hat in the ring, it sometimes feels like eCommerce has taken over completely.
But that’s not the case. There’s still so much more room for eCommerce to grow and mature, which means there’s plenty of opportunities for you to get in on the goods.
Obviously you’re not the only one to realize this however. So how are you going to make sure your goods, services and store stand out from the rest? By building the best brand you can. It all starts with an earnest value proposition, smart customer insight, and consistent messaging and design that new digital customers can learn to trust.
The Opportunity is There
In 2018 eCommerce is predicted to make up about 11.9% of total retail sales according data via Statista. That may seem surprising considering the shadow casting presence of companies like Ebay, Amazon and Shopify, but it is a pretty massive increase considering where eCommerce was ten years ago.
In the past decade eCommerce has grown from 3.5% to 11.9%, and is expected to reach 17.5% by 2021. That is significant growth that shows no signs of slowing anytime soon, which is why so many young brands and companies are eager to cash in. What’s somewhat surprising is the slow uptake in eCommerce from established brick and mortar shops and established brands. They are missing out on a huge opportunity to cash in on what they already have.
Know What You Do Well, And Expand
Entering the eCommerce market place isn’t about reinventing your business or changing who you are. In fact is quite the opposite. If you are already successful selling offline try and offer a similar customer experience online. This is where it’s important to have firm understanding of your brand, as well as a consistent strategy to share it with the world.
Certain platforms make this easier than others. When it comes to presenting your brand to your customers few platforms provides as much flexibility as Shopify. With the ability to customize your online store with purpose driven themes and functions, Shopify allows you to fully control how you present your brand.
Amazon on the other hand, while representing 37% of eCommerce sales, offers relatively few ways to present what your brand represents. Without the ability for most companies to customize their store or product pages, your only options are unique product photography and descriptions. These help, but are far from ideal.
Implementing Branding Into Your Online Store
If you’re seeing success in your business offline, then odds are you’re familiar with the principles of strong branding. Even so, it’s always good to revisit what makes for good brand strategy, and how it informs a targeted content strategy that captures and engages consumers. Those strategies should guide how you inject your brand into your online presence.
After your actual products, the visual and user experience design of your eCommerce store may be the most piece of turning leads into customers. The thing about web design is that when it’s good you it might go unnoticed, but when it’s bad it will send customers for the hills resulting in poor site activity. Providing your customers with a pleasant visual experience and user journey makes all the difference. Check out these 15 tips from Shopify design experts for an idea of what works.
A key tenant of good branding is that customers don’t buy what you make, they buy why you make it. That is completely true, but it’s also important for people to know what you’re selling! Investing in quality product photography gives you another means of controlling your messaging and brand presentation. The better your products look, the more compelled customers will be to select that buy button.
With all the focus on design these days copywriting often gets overlooked, but it so important in sharing your brand with visitors to your store. Smart, playful, attention-grabbing copy engages and builds emotional connections with your customers. Create taglines, headlines and product descriptions that capture your brand persona and invite visitors to build a relationship with your products, and you’ll be reward in customer loyalty.
The Future of Shopping
The growth of eCommerce in the last decade is impressive, but it’s nothing compared to what the next ten years will hold. As users become more comfortable buying online, and business owners become more savvy with digital marketing tools, eCommerce will continue become a larger piece of retail sales. By leveraging strong, strategic branding in an eCommerce store you can set your business apart in a booming marketplace.
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