6 Things Successful eCommerce Brands Have in Common
The internet has made the dream of starting a business more attainable than ever. But staking a claim in the eCommerce landscape requires more than a name, a website, and some patience. Online sellers who want to survive for the long haul must build a brand from the ground up—one that resonates with shoppers and offers an optimal buying experience.
Studying existing eCommerce businesses is one helpful strategy. Consider these six things successful eCommerce brands have in common when you’re designing your company.
Unique Selling Proposition
Anyone with an internet connection and an idea can launch an eCommerce store these days, but it also means you’ll be entering a competitive market. How are you going to set your store apart? The quickest way is to identify your unique selling proposition (USP) and communicate it clearly to customers. If you have trouble summing up why shoppers should choose your company in one to two sentences, it’s time to clarify it.
Your USP can convey premium products, low prices, free shipping and returns, eco-friendliness, 24/7 customer service or any other service you prioritize for your customers. Thinking about what sets you apart from the pack is important to properly brand your store from the get-go.
Strategies for Social Media
Social media has moved beyond an optional perk in the eCommerce world. Customers expect brands to have a dedicated online presence across their favorite platforms. Social media can help deliver responsive customer service, promote useful content and drive traffic. Consider incorporating social marketing and social shopping into your strategy—the former entails engaging with customers, while the latter allows them to complete a transaction without leaving a social media platform.
Before shoppers even have a chance to figure out your USP, they’re making snap judgments based on what they see. How strong is your visual branding? You’ll want to design a logo capable of sparking instant recognition. You’ll also want to carefully choose colors, fonts, and visuals in line with your overall brand image. If a picture’s worth a thousand words, an entire website is worth even more.
Secure, Trustworthy Website
Consumers want to complete transactions on websites they deem trustworthy. If your eCommerce store looks unprofessional, generic or sketchy, chances are customers will pass it up for a competitor. Your eCommerce store must offer a secure, PCI-compliant payment system. You can further boost trust by displaying site security seals, which improve perceived security in the mind of the customers.
The more steps you place between customers and checkout, the lower your conversion rates. Simplicity is always best. Avoid forcing users to register for an account before they can complete a transaction. While mandating more work may cause shoppers to bail before paying, allowing them to check out as a guest with the option to make an account later will help streamline their experience. Convenience is especially important, as more and more users make the jump to mobile shopping.
Timely Order Fulfillment
Delivery times have sped up in the last few years, and will likely continue to do so. eCommerce stores need to figure out how to offer affordable, timely shipping to satisfy their customer base. Before working with a third-party drop-shipper, make sure they’re equipped to send out packages fast enough to reflect well on your business. If you handle order fulfillment in-house, give customers the options they need to get their goods when and how they please.
These six things successful eCommerce brands have in common will help you build a strong foundation. After all, branding, marketing, cybersecurity and order fulfillment are always going to be important when it comes to launching and growing an online store.