The last few months have taught us a lot about business. Specifically, they’ve shown us which business models lend themselves well to change, and which do not. At a time when most of the consuming world has had to remain indoors, the retail sector in particular has had to face some particularly hard truths.
Many brick and mortar retailers, especially, have thought twice about embracing eCommerce. A prospect to which they may have been resistant for the longest time. Likewise, many who have long thought about trying their entrepreneurship may use this as the impetus they need to start their own eCommerce brand.
But in an era where the online marketplace is more bustling than ever, how do you stand out among legions of competitors? It’s not as easy as you may think. Here are some tips to get ahead.
Know what you’re selling and who you’re selling to
No matter how awesome your product is, it’s not a case of “if you build it, they will come”. You’ll need to carry out meticulous market research. You’ll need to know who you’re selling to, and why your product is appealing to them. This will inform virtually everything your eCommerce business does. It will inform your branding, your marketing and the product ranges you offer.
Invest in awesome UX
It goes without saying that you need a gorgeous website. A website that’s responsive and looks amazing both on a desktop computer and a mobile device. Your own app will also be a good idea if you expect to engage digitally savvy consumers.
However, looks aren’t everything when it comes with web design. You’ll also need to build in a satisfying and intuitive User Experience (UX) element. UX can drive sales, improve conversion rates and help you target shopping cart abandonment. An ecommerce agency will help you to get the most out of your website’s UX as well as ensuring that you make all the right impressions with the consumers who will be your loyal customers.
Have a great incentives / rewards scheme
In a time of stiff competition, it’s not enough to assume that your products are better than those of your competitors. Heck, depending on the consumer, it might not even matter. You need to provide an incentive for consumers to try your brand at the expense of your competitors. And if you’re targeting value-conscious consumers, your rewards / incentives scheme might just be your USP.
Ideally, it should encourage repeat custom and referrals, providing rewards both for customers who refer their friends, family and colleagues to your business and for the newly referred customer.
Embrace brand storytelling
Finally, it’s not enough to have clever marketing. Your branding needs to tell the audience a story. We human beings love stories. We’ve been using them since time immemorial to make sense of the world around us. Video platforms such as YouTube and, of course, your social channels can be a great way to tell stories that align with your brand, as well as providing a talking point that encourages engagement with your brand.