The Five Things You Must Consider Before Creating an eCommerce Website: Your Digital Brand

August 12, 2016

Quick… give me five adjectives that describe your brand? If your brand were a person, what kind of music would it listen to? Does your brand feel most comfortable wearing a pair of Air Max’s, Birkenstocks, or Gucci? If you were able to answer these questions quickly, congratulations; you likely have a pretty solid grasp on your brand. However, the truth is that many business owners do not take the time to sufficiently develop their brand’s identity. While many small companies are able to scrape by with just a logo and a tagline, the digital marketing world demands a much more comprehensive approach and strategy.

If you’re a business owner, you’ve likely started developing a brand identity and may not even know it. Do you use a distinct voice when posting to social media? Is your logo consistently displayed? Do your marketing materials use the same fonts and colors? All of these factors are part of your business’s brand identity. When it comes to building an eCommerce website, your brand must evolve from a witty weekly Facebook post into a consistent, strategic, and reputable digital salesperson.

Is Your Digital Brand a Waiter or a Sales Guru?

David Rekuc, an eCommerce marketing director, proposed this question as a way to illustrate the issue that many businesses run into when creating their digital brand strategy. Think for a moment about the different approaches of a waiter and a salesperson when it comes to serving at a restaurant.

Waiter:
  • Waits patiently for a customer to arrive at the restaurant
  • Makes food suggestions only when asked
  • Treats the customer well, but no authenticity in the relationship
  • Says “thanks for stopping in” as the customer leaves
Sales Person:
  • Actively seeks out new customers and reminds them that they are hungry for a hamburger
  • Suggests the restaurant’s exclusive famous hamburger and provides a detailed description about what make it so legendary
  • Works to develop an honest connection with the customer that makes them look forward to coming back to
  • Says “Can’t wait to see you next time” as the customer leaves then follows up to remind the customer that the restaurant still has the best burger in town

Which approach do you want your digital brand identity to emulate?

Step 1: Create a Great eCommerce Website

You restaurant could have the best burger in the world but if your dining room is a mess, the menu is confusing, and your staff is rude, sales will be few and far between. This same principle holds true for an eCommerce website strategy. You want people to look forward to and enjoy interacting with your digital brand and your eCommerce site should be the heartbeat.

No eCommerce website design is the same, nor should they be. The purpose of this blog series is to help you get a feel for the many factors that affect the success of an eCommerce website and guide you towards what those factors look like for your specific business (if you haven’t already, go back and read Blog 1 and Blog 2 in this series). While it’s important to let your digital brand shine through, here are several things that all of the best eCommerce sites have in common:

Consistently Consistent Consistency

Every time a customer interacts with your brand they need to have the same experience. When a business decides to move into the digital marketing realm, brand consistency is no longer an option. Social media, PPC, website, consumer reviews, comparison shopping engines, third-party sellers – wherever someone crosses paths with your digital brand, the experience must be the same.

 

Learn more about creating a consistent brand identity here!

 

Support, Reinforce, and Drive Traffic

Once your brand is locked in on your eCommerce website, it’s time to spread it around. But don’t lose track of the ultimate goal for any brand: sell. Unfortunately, the digital marketing world is where most brands fail and lose track of the waiter/salesperson analogy. Below are digital marketing strategies to actively support, reinforce, and drive traffic to your eCommerce website through various online avenues. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. should be your ultimate customer relation tool. Don’t just post a link and sign off till next week, but:

  • Build conversation among customers
  • Cultivate a distinct and engaging culture
  • Use the targeting power of social advertising
  • Address customer concerns and questions authentically

Ahh the Google machine. When done right, PPC campaigns can be a growing eCommerce site’s most powerful tool for acquiring new customers.

  • Create specific landing pages for different ad groups
  • Exploit niche and non-brand keywords
  • Negative keywords are diamonds in the rough
  • Actively monitor campaigns and make adjustments to promote better performing ads or ad groups

As stated earlier, customers trust other customers more than you. So give them every opportunity to let them market for you! Make sure your business has a presence on:

  • The BBB
  • Google Business
  • Yelp!
  • Angie’s List

Actively monitor these sites and quickly thank customers for great reviews or resolve any issues that come up. A timely response to a complaint is the most powerful damage control a business can take. Your business has the best quality product at the best price, right? So prove it! Get your products and website on relevant comparison shopping engines ASAP:

  • Do research to find which shopping engine is the best match for your company and which holds the best potential for a high ROI
  • Make sure you can compete with other companies’ prices
  • Choose which products you post carefully – you may have to adjust pricing
  • Be thorough and consistent in every product description (see Consistently Consistent Consistency)

If you’re not selling on Amazon, Etsy, or eBay there’s money on the table. Align your digital brand with the popularity and reputation of these eCommerce sites to draw more traffic to your products and website.

So You Don’t Believe in Email Marketing? That’s Cute.

For the active digital marketer, acquiring the email address of a potential customer is like getting the phone number of the cute girl in homeroom. While you may not have made a sale yet, you hold the key to prove to them that your business is the one for them and win their heart forever. Though it may not be the latest and greatest tool, email marketing remains an incredibly effective tactic for retargeting visitors to websites.

Depending on the industry, eCommerce conversion rates typically stay around 2-3% for new visitors. The goal then is to convince the other 97% to come back and that’s where email marketing comes in.

How to Get the Coveted Email Address?

  • Offer exclusive deals or coupon codes in exchange for a visitor’s email
  • Businesses with a brick-and-mortar presence can gather emails by offering free WiFi
  • Create a birthday club and give deals to all that sign up with an email address

Just a Drop in the Digital Marketing Bucket

Building a digital brand is essential for any business hoping to create a successful eCommerce website. eCommerce sites most often fail to generate revenue as a result of business owners failing to develop a consistent and thorough digital brand and digital marketing strategy. That’s where we come in.

Brandography’s digital marketing professionals and brand identity experts have helped craft successful (and profitable) online presences for all types of businesses and we look forward to guiding you through the digital branding process next! Let us know your eCommerce goals and let’s work together to develop a digital brand that will actively support your business and grow with your eCommerce website.

Contact our Minneapolis digital marketing agency today to get started!

Stay tuned for the next blog in this series The Five Things you Must Consider Before Creating an eCommerce Website: Your Team

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