Establishing your brand is critical to the success of your eCommerce business. However, with limited funds, you’re probably tempted to compromise on your branding initiatives, thinking it’s only for big businesses with enormous budgets.
The truth is, branding is essential for small and huge enterprises alike. And great news -- you don’t need to spend heaps of money on building and enhancing your branding strategy.
You can grab people’s attention, impress them, and stand out in several ways without breaking the bank.
Check out these four inexpensive ways to amplify your eCommerce startup’s brand:
To bolster your brand personality, you need to express it consistently across your online and offline channels. If you project a certain brand image on Facebook and another on your website, you’ll confuse and repel your shoppers. They won’t patronize and trust you because you keep changing who you say you are, and they can’t recognize the real you.
Be consistent with your brand presentations by creating a brand guide and using your predefined design elements throughout all illustrations. These consist of your logo, color palette, font styles, image types, shapes, etc. They should all align with your brand message.
For example, when creating your eCommerce website, pick premade themes designed for your niche -- be it food and beverages, home and gardening, art, pets, fashion, etc. Select layouts that speak to whether you’re minimalist, dynamic and creative, or somewhere in between.
Then, showcase these design components and overall feel in your email newsletters, social media profiles, content and marketing materials (such as videos and infographics), and others.
By illustrating your brand consistently on every channel, consumers can see only one brand image of your eCommerce store and remember you more easily.
Your Facebook and Instagram bios often limit the space for your brand personality to shine through. This is why creating an “Our Story” page on your site is ideal for elaborating on what your brand is like. (Note: you can also name this as “About Us” or something along those lines.)
Your website is also your eCommerce store itself, so expect first-timers who don’t know you yet to head to your About Us page and get to know you better. Use this page to explain what differentiates your store and why customers can feel great when shopping with you.
You can also showcase your company story through videos to humanize your brand. To make viewers stay throughout the video, keep it visually enticing and your script concise yet impactful. Couple it with other essential and supplementary points and visuals on your About Us page.
Au Lit Linens shows a perfect example of an Our Story page:
Au Lit Linens displays its slogan-like statement, “We Change The Way You Sleep,” on top of the page with micro animations (zooming in when you hover over the image). It then talks about who they are and what they’ve been doing to change people’s lives with their products. The store even divides its narrative sections with visuals to give readers’ eyes a break.
Au Lit Linens then posted a video about its legacy. Below that, the shop shares its story and some testimonial snippets.
Best of all, to showcase its brand, Au Lit Linens has a section explaining how it differs from its rivals. This helps convince visitors to explore and love its store quickly.
To stand out in the cut-throat eCommerce competition, you must become your shoppers’ superhero and offer high-quality customer service. After all, your buyers are your most valuable asset. Plus, if they have a positive experience with your store, they can remember you fondly, return for more purchases, and recommend you to their family and friends.
That’s why you must consistently serve your customers excellently at every interaction and touchpoint. One negative experience can ruin your brand reputation and cause your sales to plummet.
To bolster your personality through your customer service, evaluate it and find ways to improve your shopping experience. Ask yourself how you’re exhibiting your store’s brand and values in your buyer interactions.
You can also consider these and other reflective questions and corresponding remedies:
● Are the checkout and order placement processes easy to understand? If not, revamp your site design and make it more user-friendly and intuitive.
● Is it inconvenient to make a return? Give shoppers a prepaid return label plus straightforward instructions for a smoother process.
The better you enhance your eCommerce store’s shopping experience, the more customers will see you as a business that genuinely cares about them. This results in increased brand patronage, loyalty, and advocacy.
Set your brand as an industry authority by creating high-quality content. Doing this draws customers to trust and choose you when looking for a store to buy from frequently.
Creating content, especially through blog posts, also lets you incorporate your brand voice as you share your expertise. In those pieces of content, you can reinforce who you are and what you can do for customers. This then strengthens your relationships and engagement with them and drives sales and conversions.
When sharing your industry know-how, choose and create the right content for your shoppers. Research on the questions they often ask and answer through your blog posts, videos, infographics, podcasts, and others.
Let’s say you run a local bakery and notice that people have suddenly gotten into bread-baking during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a bakehouse, you are among the chief authorities on the subject -- and this is an excellent opportunity to produce related content. You can publish written and video guides and recipes for making different types of bread and pastries. You can even share interesting science facts about bread and baking, tips for getting the perfect crust, and more.
These topics offer immense value to new and existing customers. As you promote this content, interested consumers will want to flock to your store for information -- and try out your products once they get tired of always baking their bread themselves. *wink*
Engage and include your customers, especially the most avid ones, when promoting your store. As your product’s users, they act as your ambassadors, so it’s strategic to leverage your buyer relationships in amplifying your startup’s brand.
You can do this by encouraging them to post about their purchases on Instagram, creating unique and relevant hashtags to go with the photos, and then showcasing their content on your website.
Bliss shows a creative example:
Bliss featured its users’ Instagram content, and if you click on one of them, you can see the entire post, like this:
This strategy lets you attract more potential customers, boost the attention on your brand, and elevate your online presence.
It shows your site visitors how users love your brand so much they’re talking about it on their social feeds. What’s more, it affirms and makes your customers feel extra-appreciated. That encourages them to keep patronizing and recommending your brand.
Posting unique and distinct content on your site and social media pages helps make your brand stick to your customers’ memory. It makes them curious about your brand, nudging them to keep exploring your site until your business grows fondly on them.
To do that, here are some tips:
Nike gives the perfect example. Their blog posts talk about everything Nike -- from their designs to their merchandise, product creators, ambassadors, and more.
They also have highly engrossing Facebook posts with a massive content following and engagement, such as this one featuring famed professional tennis player Roger Federer:
With compelling content on your site and social pages, people can quickly notice your brand and intrigue them to explore what you are all about.
Another powerful way to distinguish your brand is by linking your shoppers’ purchases to relevant causes.
For instance, if you sell pet accessories, 12% of your profits go to nearby animal orphanages. Or, for every 10 pairs of pup socks bought, customers donate a meal to rescued dogs.
An ideal real-life example is 100% Pure. It produces environment-friendly products and supports several causes related to animal care and rescue, tree growing, and more.
When shoppers buy any of their products, 100% Pure donates the designated allotment to a charitable partner organization.
Implementing a similar strategy, you give shoppers an opportunity to become philanthropists. Knowing your store contributes to world-changing causes warms their hearts and spurs them to patronize your brand.
As you can see, these strategies prove that strengthening your brand doesn’t have to blow your budget -- you can even do so at zero to low costs! You only need to define exactly who you are, express it consistently, sprinkle in some creativity, and leverage your customer and business relationships. In time, you’ll establish your brand solidly and become a popular, must-try eCommerce store in your niche. So, with these inexpensive tactics, go out there and work on amplifying your startup’s brand now.
Marc lives and breathes writing. He writes about marketing, business, sports, cybersecurity, or just about anything and everything under the sun.