Online shopping is taking over the internet. As an eCommerce brand, you must be wondering:
How to stand out from an endless ocean of other brands?
Why should shoppers buy from you vs. a competitor?
It can feel hard to stand out, especially since the digital market got even more crowded as countless brands have transitioned online. However, as smart companies show, with well-thought-out tactics, it’s possible to do great business online.
Here are the 3 key elements of an effective eCommerce strategy our customers follow to succeed online.
1. Show Shoppers Your Brand is Trustworthy
What do all of your favourite brands have in common? You can trust them to be reliable, accountable, and work with integrity. Undoubtedly, the foundation of any successful marketing strategy begins with brand trust.
According to Microsoft, 85% of consumers say they’ll only consider purchasing from a brand if they trust them. Meaning it’s vital to build an authentic relationship at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
How can you show shoppers your eCommerce brand is trustworthy?
Focus on Transparency
Nowadays, eCommerce brands will be rewarded for communication, accountability, and authenticity. That’s why, when it comes to shipping timeframes, product availability, and delivery fees – integrity is the best policy.
In order to build brand trust, your customers need to have all the information necessary to make a well-informed decision. According to a study by Baynard, 17% of shoppers abandon their cart because they couldn’t see the total order cost upfront and 19% because delivery was too slow.
Tip: Don’t conceal major delays or high shipping costs in a small, dark part of your checkout page. Instead, inspire confidence in your brand by showcasing crucial details and addressing any concerns in a highly-visible area of your website. All businesses experience tough times and complications. Don’t hide behind the struggle; lead with it.
Example: Out of Stock Notification
Thank you for your order! We’re honoured that our product has caught the eye of countless customers, but unfortunately, we are temporarily out of stock. We’re deeply apologetic for the inconvenience.
This item should be available again in about a week. When it’s ready to ship, we promise that you’ll be the first to know. We’re so appreciative of your patience and understanding!
The truth is, your customers will thank you—greater transparency results in lower cart abandonment rates and happier customers.
Be Detailed With Your Product Descriptions
Many eCommerce brands tend to overlook the importance of detailed product descriptions, which is a huge mistake.
According to a report by SaleCycle, 64.2% of shoppers returned an online purchase because it didn’t match the description.
Considering shoppers can’t touch and hold a product as they could in a physical store, well-written product pages are the perfect tool to bridge that gap.
A good eCommerce product description will:
- Spark imagination
- Outline important details
- Highlight key benefits
- Address questions you’re thinking but shy to ask
And most importantly, the information should be relevant and up-to-date. More time invested in crafting product descriptions that sell at the beginning of the process leads to better conversions over time.
Our team developed in-depth product descriptions to sell luxury hanging loungers for an eCommerce brand, Mauna Sway. Each section of the description is carefully crafted to engage the shopper in different ways.
Section 1: sparks imagination by allowing the reader to imagine their life with the product.
Section 2: Outlines essential details and highlights key features and benefits.
Section 3: Answers any remaining questions.
This format engages the shopper while describing every aspect of the product clearly and concisely. This results in more trusting buyers and less time answering questions.
Show Social Proof
No one wants to be the first or the only one buying from you. It isn’t easy to trust a company that doesn’t have honest reviews from countless customers. Most shoppers won’t buy a product that doesn’t have reviews.
A survey conducted by BrightLocal shows that “79% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends or family.” Knowing the value of feedback, it’s clear that collecting and showcasing customer reviews should be a key element of every eCommerce strategy.
Don’t be afraid to ask people for their honest opinion on your products. You can reach out to old customers through your mailing list and social media platforms, and set up streamlined follow-up alerts encouraging new shoppers to offer their feedback.
2. Focus On The Customer Experience
Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer. How do you want them to feel when they’re on your eCommerce website?
Creating a quality customer experience goes well beyond your branding and product selection. In reality, the buying journey begins long before they even consider adding an item to their cart.
How can you provide a positive experience that keeps them coming back for more?
Make Your Website Mobile Friendly
To put it bluntly, eCommerce brands with slow, outdated websites will struggle to stay afloat in a world where consumers expect instant gratification. In particular, because shoppers are now more likely to make a purchase on their smartphones, retailers need to make sure that every aspect of their website is mobile-friendly.
When it comes to optimization, your website should have 3 key things:
- Mobile-friendly design
- Easy-to-navigate layout
- Fast loading time
By keeping your website clean, quick, and easy to use across any device, shoppers will have a better experience and feel more secure making a purchase.
Jackman’s is an eCommerce brand we’ve worked with to increase conversions by optimizing their site for mobile use. Here’s what the site looked like before and after we implemented changes:
Make Shopping Easy
Our attention span is rapidly shrinking these days, and many of us can lose focus faster than a goldfish. That’s why purchasing products from your website should be simple and straightforward, requiring as little energy and concentration as possible. A complicated, multi-step shopping experience is just one more barrier to buying.
Some quick, actionable tips for a seamless shopping experience include:
- Create clear product categories
- Add search filter functionalities
- Enable a guest checkout option
More than anything, it’s important to think about how your customers shop for your products. For example, would they benefit from sorting your items by colour, size, or other distinguishing details? Focusing on creating a user-friendly experience is just one more proven way to boost your sales.
Create Impactful Content
High-quality blogs and guides have the power to attract new customers while also nurturing current ones. People often use the internet to find responses to pressing questions and solutions to complicated problems – so it pays to be the one with the answers.
Help your customers throughout their buyer’s journey by creating educational guides and thoughtful blogs that address common concerns and help them in their decision-making process.
We regularly craft captivating educational content for the majority of our eCommerce brand customers. Each piece is clear, concise, and answers one or more specific questions in detail.
Additionally, by incorporating strong industry keywords and creative call-to-actions, regular content creation can help you rank higher on Google and drive more qualified visitors to your online store.
3. Leverage Perceived Value
Have you ever thought about how your customers perceive your brand? For example, do you seem smaller than your competitors? Or perhaps you appear bigger and hence more reliable?
It’s essential to understand how your customers perceive you. Many eCommerce brand owners tend to forget that, more than anything, shoppers just want you to be human.
Connecting with your audience on a more personal level can help remove stubborn barriers preventing customers from buying your products or even recommending them to others.
What objections do people have to buy from you? Overcome the hesitations by being a real person.
Be Active on Social Media
A core element of any eCommerce strategy is social media marketing. However, just scheduling up a handful of posts won’t drive the amount of website traffic you need. It’s important for eCommerce brands to remember that social media platforms are two-way communication channels – and that engaging with your audience is key.
The eCommerce brands that achieved the most success were the ones that showcased their unique personality across their social networks by creating thumb-stopping content aligned with their shoppers’ needs.
Maintaining a visible presence, replying to comments, and resharing follower content are all tried and true tactics to establish brand trust and show your customers that you care. But most importantly, consistency will always bring better results instead of haphazard or random social bombarding.
Respond to Reviews
Many eCommerce brands may not realize that engaging with reviews is a wonderful way to continue nurturing a customer relationship even after the sale has been made.
Customer reviews tend to fall into 2 key categories – and both require personalized responses:
- Positive: Thanking your customers for sharing their kind words is an essential step in solidifying a trusting relationship. This engagement is a great way to wrap up a positive experience, show your appreciation, and encourage these shoppers to recommend your products to their friends and family.
Example: Positive Review Response
Hi [name], thank you so much for sharing your wonderful experience with us! We’re so glad that you’re enjoying life with our product. Please don’t hesitate to send us a message if you have any other questions – we’d be more than happy to help!
- Negative: Use these types of reviews as an opportunity to regain trust and find a solution that works for everyone. Empathizing with their problem and offering a direct line of communication shows current and future customers that you value their input and prioritize quality.
Example: Negative Review Response
Hi [name], we’re so sorry to hear about your experience. We understand your frustrations and would like to help. Our customer support team will be in touch with you shortly to learn more about your problem and find a solution. Thank you for your patience!
By taking the time to write thoughtful responses to both glowing testimonials and even unhappy shoppers, you’re showing your audience that you’re listening and you care. These small yet powerful actions are essential to the growth of your eCommerce brand.
We work with our customer, Planta Greenhouses, to provide a positive post-purchase experience for their customers. When it comes to reviews, the strategy is solution-focused.
Utilize Your Mailing List
Unsurprisingly, email marketing is one of the easiest and most effective ways to connect with your customers. By reaching out to an already engaged audience, your messaging can make a profound impact at a low cost, resulting in increased brand loyalty and higher sales.
People want to hear what their favourite eCommerce brands are doing to combat shipping delays and provide a seamless, reliable online shopping experience.
However, aside from sending operational updates, your email marketing needs to include clear value for your customers. That’s why it’s important to share educational experiences, send regular offers, and create captivating content with a dash of your brand’s personality.
Not to mention, giving email list subscribers exclusive deals and personalized discounts can drive conversions and engagement in ways that no other channel can.
Accelerate Your Brand With a Team of Experts
Strategies and tactics aside, each eCommerce brand has unique evolving needs. Before implementing any shiny strategy, take some time to understand the individual and evolving needs of your business. A marketing strategy should lead to clearly defined and measurable outcomes. Without clarity, you’ll drown in a creative mess that leads nowhere.
That’s where we can help. Our team of eCommerce experts are trained to support and elevate your brand.
From content creation to website development, we take the guesswork out of digital marketing and help grow your brand in a sustainable way.
Let’s hop on a quick Zoom call to see how we can help your business thrive.