Why an eCommerce website is not enough for your brand

Why is having an eCommerce Website not enough for your brand?

In 2022, there were approximately 24 million eCommerce websites were active and publicly accessible worldwide. How many of these websites have achieved success today?

According to a report by Fundera, 85% of eCommerce businesses fail within the first five years. Merely having a website doesn’t ensure success or increased revenue.

Your brand is more than just a logo and your website. It’s the sum of all the experiences your customers have had with you. How do you make them feel? It’s how you build and nurture customer relationships over time.

Solidifying your online presence, boosting sales, and enhancing brand value require a comprehensive strategy beyond an eCommerce website. Let’s explore these aspects further in this blog.

Branding misconception: An eCommerce website is enough

Today, a website is the face of the brand. It is a verified central hub to receive authentic information about a brand and its services. But unlike the Shakespearean quote, “Clothes maketh a man”, a website (alone) does not maketh a brand. 

An eCommerce website is a digital storefront where customers can learn about a brand’s products and services, make purchases, and contact customer support.

However, a website is just a vessel. It is up to the brand to fill it with meaningful content and experiences that will resonate with customers. And a website is just one part of a brand’s identity.

A strong brand is built on trust, reputation, and customer loyalty. It takes time and effort to build a brand, and it cannot be done overnight. An online eCommerce website can help you reach a wider audience and sell your products or services, but it is not enough to build a successful brand.

Take a leaf from brands like Apple, Nike, and the relatively new Tesla. Although they have a strong website that offers top-of-the-line features and immersive experiences, neither of the brands solely depend on their websites to generate sales. Along with their website, they invest heavily in brand-building activities to maintain and further strengthen their position in the market.

Apple customers are more likely to feel a strong emotional connection to the brand than customers of any other company

Millward Brown

The Multi-Channel Approach to Branding

To magnify and harness the true power of your website you need a multi-channel approach. A strategy that leverages the power of social media, influencer collaborations, content marketing, brick-and-mortar stores, and a customer-centric approach, to build a connection with your customers.

1. Leveraging social media

Social media marketing in tandem with your eCommerce marketing strategy can be game-changing for business. 

A study by McKinsey found that companies that use social media effectively are more likely to be profitable and grow faster than their competitors. The study also found that social media can help businesses to reach new customers, increase sales, and improve customer satisfaction.

The key here is consistency, along with high-quality content that is relevant and engaging to their target audience. You can redirect the customers to your website and positively turn them into customers with the right content and tailored social media marketing strategy.

73% of consumers say that they have made a purchase based on something they saw on social media.

Retail TouchPoints

2. Influencer Collaborations

Believe it or not, this is the age of Influencers.

According to the Influencer Marketing Hub, the average influencer marketing ROI is $5.78 for every $1 spent. 72% of Gen Z and Millennials follow influencers on social media which is the target audience of 93% of marketers today, as per Sprout Social.

Influencers have built a deeper connection with your audience, your existing and even potential customers trust and rely on influencers and their opinions and recommendations. However, it is crucial to understand your target audience and the suitable influencer to join forces with.

Finding the right influencer, creating collaborative content that ensures high impact, and tracking the results of the collaboration are tasks, well-suited for eCommerce digital marketing experts.

3. Capitalizing on content

A study by the Content Marketing Institute found that 68% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company that creates high-quality content. The study also found that content marketing can help businesses to generate leads, increase sales, and improve customer satisfaction.

Content is an all-encompassing term that includes information you put out on your website, social media, emails, and other channels. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can help you reach out to your potential audience through high-quality content and the use of relevant keywords. 

Content is not limited to articles and blogs, it can be in audio, visual, and video formats as well. Depending on your brand voice, guidelines, and persona you choose the channel that’s well-suited for your brand and leverage the power of content marketing.

4. The resurgence of brick-and-mortar stores

Contrary to popular notion, research findings indicate that customers still prefer and enjoy the experience of shopping from a physical store.

A study by Deloitte found that 32% of consumers prefer to shop in-store because they can touch and feel products. It is not just about the touch-and-feel aspect, a brick-and-mortar store is an experiential space that speaks volumes about a brand.

Customers who shop from an online eCommerce website for the first time are more likely to forget about the brand, even if the product and experience were satisfactory, but customers who visit a physical store are less likely to forget the brand because a store offers a real-time, immersive experience like none other.

The average customer spends 33% more money at a brick-and-mortar store than they do online.

Retail Dive

5. A shift toward customer capitalism

Customer capitalism is a business philosophy that focuses on putting the customer at the center of all business decisions. It is a move away from traditional capitalism, which is focused on maximizing profits for shareholders.

When you put your customers at the heart of everything you do, they become your biggest advocates.

Winning on Purpose by Fred Reichheld

Companies that adopt the customer capitalism approach believe that by focusing on customer satisfaction and loyalty, they will ultimately be more profitable in the long run. This is because satisfied customers are more likely to become repeat customers and recommend the business to others. The customer capitalist manifesto is adopted globally by brands like Amazon, Costco, Netflix, Southwest Airlines, and many more.

Customer capitalists invest in customer research to understand their customers’ needs and wants. They also use customer feedback to improve their products and services.

Customer-centric companies are more likely to be profitable than companies that are not customer-centric.

Bain & Company

6. Building a connection with customers

Customer engagement is more important now than it was ever before. The influx of start-ups and the pace at which customers are constantly exposed to new businesses and brands is challenging for any business. What truly makes a brand stand out, is its relationship with its customers. 

A study by Deloitte states that 93% of consumers say that customer experience is one of the most important factors when deciding whether or not to make a purchase. 89% of consumers say that they are more likely to do business with a company that is known for good customer service. All the research and data point to the fact that customer engagement and customer experience play a key role in buying decisions, worldwide.

Building an Iterative Strategy

Now that you are acquainted with high-impact approaches, it is time to plan and design an iterative strategy that boosts your online eCommerce website. 

1. Going beyond the transactional aspect of eCommerce

Sure, at the end of the day, you want to see leads translate to actual sales, but, it’s almost 2024 and to truly capture and win over your audience you need to go beyond the transactional aspect of your online eCommerce store.

You need to push the envelope and go beyond simply selling products and services, and offer your customers something truly meaningful. This could involve offering educational content, building a community around your brand, or providing personalized shopping experiences.

For example, you could create blog posts or videos that teach your customers about how to use your products or get the most out of them. You could also host social media contests or giveaways to engage your audience and build excitement around your brand. Or, you could use data analytics to personalize your product recommendations and marketing campaigns.

The possibilities are endless and it will only help to improve your brand value in the long run.

Building-an-Iterative-Strategy

2. Responding to data-driven insights 

Everyone wants data but not everyone knows what to do with it. Data can supercharge every campaign and strategy if you understand how to use it to its full potential. From understanding buyer persona, customer preference, and purchase patterns to identifying the right marketing channels for your brand, and personalizing customer experience, data can help you in almost every aspect of your buyer journey and improve Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). 

The key is to be prompt and use data wisely to understand customer behavior and the quality of customer experience. Customers today have no tolerance for intrusive marketing activities, so responding to data-driven insights in a smart, non-invasive, and impactful way is crucial.

An experienced and reliable marketing partner or eCommerce service provider will take care of the technicalities for you and design data-driven marketing strategies that have high ROI.

3. Fostering customer loyalty

Experts at Research Gate and Harvard Business Review agree that customer loyalty is the only sustainable competitive advantage today. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an average of 4.4 million new businesses are started each year in the United States alone, it is safe to say that the competition intensifies year on year. The only differentiator between successful and unsuccessful businesses is how customers respond to the brand and how much they trust and value their relationship with the brand.

Building and nurturing customer loyalty is an ongoing process that involves a variety of sustained activities like offering prompt services, excellent customer support, great after-sale experience, brand loyalty, and customer loyalty programs. There is no set formula to make customers loyal, the key is to truly care for your customers and ensure maximum customer satisfaction (without expectations) every step of the way.

Customer-centric companies are not simply focused on customer satisfaction. They are obsessed with customer loyalty.

Loyalty Rules! How the Best Leaders Build Customer Loyalty by Fred Reichheld

4. Upgrading and routinely adopting new technology

Upgrading and routinely adopting new technology is essential for businesses of all sizes in today’s rapidly changing digital landscape. A 2023 study by Forrester found that businesses that invest in technology are more likely to be profitable and have higher customer satisfaction.

By staying ahead of the curve and investing in the latest technologies, businesses can improve their customer experience, streamline their operations, and boost their bottom line.

However, it is practically impossible for businesses to stay updated and routinely upgrade their technology. Companies like ewiz commerce and Powerweave ensure that your business and eCommerce website are supported with the latest tech that is secure and delivers high-impact CX and maximum returns.

5. Encouraging an ongoing dialog with the customers

Thanks to technology, we have the means, the platform, and bandwidth to engage our customers full-throttle. Instead of simply bombarding your customers with information, it is time to truly engage and encourage a meaningful dialog with them.

Brands like Zomato, and Netflix India have truly built a connection with their audience just but initiating conversations.

Companies that are able to build strong customer relationships achieve revenue growth that is 5% higher than companies that do not.

McKinsey & Company, 2023

Frequent social media polls, engagement in the comment sections, feedback forms, and emailers among others are perhaps the most easiest and effective ways to extract information and more importantly, make the customers feel heard and seen.

Companies with strong customer engagement have a customer satisfaction rate that is 12% higher than companies with weak customer engagement.

Zendesk, 2022

6. Incorporating ‘values’ into brand identity

While it has become easier to reach out to your customers, the real challenge is to stand out in the crowd and have a distinct brand identity. Your brand logo, tagline, and design may only take you so far when it comes to increasing brand recall and reinforcing your brand identity. This is why your eCommerce marketing strategies must echo your brand values.

A study by Cone Communications found that 87% of consumers have a positive perception of companies that are committed to their values. It is your brand value that will give you a competitive advantage in the long run.

Incorporating your brand values into your brand identity is an art, best left to eCommerce digital marketing experts like ewiz commerce. Designing campaigns that enunciate your brand values, living your values through your marketing activities, and incorporating them in your brand voice can help you create a strong brand identity and increase recall value significantly.

To Summarize

Building a brand is not just about creating an online eCommerce website and selling products. It’s about creating a holistic experience that connects with customers on an emotional level. It’s about building relationships, telling stories, and creating a community. And it’s about doing all of this with a human touch.

To start your brand-building journey in the true sense and supercharge your eCommerce website with the right tools and strategies, connect with the eCommerce digital marketing experts of ewiz commerce.  

Schedule a call with ewiz commerce for a free consultation.

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