Pro Tips For Branding Your E-commerce Business in 2023
Branding is the key to success in any business. It is what elevates a company above its competitors. For e-commerce businesses, it can be the difference between a customer walking out with a purchase or having merely perused the store and left.
Branding is about creating an emotional connection with customers and making them feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. The importance of branding will only increase in 2022 as more and more people turn to the internet for shopping instead of going to physical stores in the last few years.
Just how important branding and brand loyalty are is clear from a statistic found in the book Marketing Metrics, eCommerce email. The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%. On the other hand, the probability of selling to a new customer was noted to remain at a low of 5-20%. In the culture of viral content, the trends are ever-shifting, and with them the tastes of potential customers. Here are a few things to focus on in 2022 in terms of branding your e-commerce business.
Don’t think linearly. Don’t focus your attention on one platform. Don’t even focus just on multiple platforms, but separately. Meld it all into one seamless journey. An omnichannel retail experience includes brick-and-mortar stores, app-based options, online platforms, and anything in between. For instance, a brand might sell its product on its website, on Instagram’s “Shopping” tab, on Amazon, and in the physical store.
- Omnichannel payments. Flexibility is key here so think about including as many payment options as possible. Cashless alternatives such as cryptocurrencies, virtual credit cards, and mobile wallets are on the rise.
- Consumer Journey. Make it all flexible right up to the end. Consider the product delivery options. Buy online, pick up in-store; buy in-store, ship home; buy online, return in-store. Anything and everything to make things more convenient for the customer.
- Contactless transactions. These have been on the rise lately, and they are here to stay.
This one is really a matter of scale and can quickly grow out of your control, so make sure you can keep up with everything you are including and that you can keep track of all the data, especially your product shipment, as that is the core of it all. It’s important that the core of your operation functions like a clock and that all the added layers do not get in the way and create confusion.
Blogs provide another venue to deliver your brand’s message. They are a way to connect with your audience through a topic that’s meaningful to them. Pair this with good video marketing to really keep the blog interesting and you will have truly captured the customer.
Gymshark’s blog is a very good example of branding through blogging done right. Determine which topics are right for your target audience. You may want to stay away from topics that are too hot, or, depending on the brand image you are looking to build, you might be looking to enter the fray. Either way, make a conscious decision and build the image.
Another oft-overlooked aspect of your brand. Whether the potential customer is experiencing issues or is unsure about something, they will appreciate having a great customer service experience. 73% of people love a brand with customer support.
Whether you invest in a really good bot or hire a great team or a combination of both, make sure the experience feels accessible and efficient, and that it’s in line with your brand’s identity. Above all, make sure it gets the job done. As much as 27% of customer service frustration is due to a lack of effectiveness. When the customer is interacting with service, they are interacting with the brand.
Consider the mobile users. Unique mobile users are currently growing at a steady pace. However, hundreds of millions of people have upgraded to smartphones in the last year. All of them are your potential customers.
That means optimizing the website itself as well as your SEO practices for mobile is a key thing to focus on in 2022. A good place to start is by checking your website with Google’s own tool. Furthermore, because the visual aspect is the first impression of your brand a customer forms, it’s important to make the mobile experience appealing.
There is a major shift going on in PPC advertising. Apple’s recent update has sapped Facebook’s ability to track your activity outside Facebook, now Meta, itself. Their data collecting system is a major component in its advertisement program, which used to be able to provide unprecedented targeting. This change has made them practically blind to the activities of many millions of users and should inform your brand strategy in 2022.
Branding e-Commerce Business: Facebook
It has been able to track a user’s behavior thanks to its Pixel system. Tracking who took action based on an ad helped them refine their targeting. Facebook is still a huge platform and Meta is not blind there, so there are a couple of workarounds to this issue.
- Facebook lead ads – these look just like a regular conversion ad, but it doesn’t take the user out of the platform. Instead, a form is delivered on Facebook itself, allowing them to record the conversion and thereby keep optimizing your targeting. There is an added benefit of cheaper ad costs because you aren’t driving traffic away from the platform at any point.
- Retargeting – It’s a good idea to keep engaging with customers who are familiar with your brand. Because Meta is now unable to track them outside of Facebook, you may want to keep engaging the audience you’ve already built on the platform as a way to retain them. Run an engagement ad that you think will resonate with the audience best and create engagement. This will give you an audience to work with and Meta its ability to gather data – what converts and what engages.
Take it from Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram – Instagram is no longer an image-sharing platform. It’s shifting to video, following the lead of Tik-Tok and YouTube. The trends clearly favor video as more dynamic and engaging content and Instagram is following. So should you.
Instagram reels are becoming a necessity and a good way to get started. Start short and think small. Just enough to familiarize an audience and tease them. Edit the video to your linking – or keep it simple, whatever you think will work best for your audience. You don’t need to chase the latest trends here. Use these to deliver your brand’s message as succinctly as possible. It’s better to keep it consistent, meaning posting several times a week, to keep the audience warm.
Branding e-Commerce Business: Tik-Tok
The rising star and a brand new home to influencers. The platform is growing rapidly and was at 1 billion monthly active users as of September 2021. This makes it a good place to engage and reach out to a large audience. Instagram is working hard to compete and retain both users and influencers but there’s no doubt that Tik-Tok’s short video formula works well and its algorithms are on point.
- Establish a brand presence through your Tik-Tok page and start engaging the audience. Many brands still don’t have a Tik-Tok presence yet, so there is great potential here.
- Tik-Tok influencers. Find the rising stars whose audiences and personal image map onto your brand. Work with them to grow together.
Like videos, but better. The audience feels like they are there, a part of it, part of the moment. Engaging with random people in the chat in a casual (but tasteful) manner while live streaming will do wonders for rapport. An added benefit is that live streaming is much less time-consuming than trying to get that perfect video. People are much more lenient with quality when it comes to living to stream.
A live video will retain an audience for much longer than a prerecorded one and they will engage with it more. This is because they feel something is happening right now and they can be a part of it. So don’t be afraid to just go live and deliver your message, chit-chat with people and be down to earth with them, or whatever else is in line with the brand image you seek to build.
Branding e-Commerce Business: Conclusion
2022 is a year of many opportunities, riding on the waves of recent changes and upcoming trends. Keep an ear out and be an early adopter for maximum mileage. The trends are clear and not exactly new, so there’s no reason to not risk it – it’s not a risk, it’s an investment. Adopt as many of these practices as you can, at your own pace, and reap your reward by the end of the year as you watch your brand get miles ahead of the competition.