How to Build an Ecommerce Brand that Lasts
Building an ecommerce store is easy with available platforms & templates, but building a brand that lasts is a worthy challenge. There are more than 24 million ecommerce sites around the world, with more being created every day. The good news is over 2 billion digital buyers are looking for quality products & services.
Of course, not all of those millions of sites serve their customers well or have built a sustainable & in-demand brand that will endure. Now is the time to elevate your brand and with a value-driven, customer-obsessed ecommerce brand that lasts. Here’s how to get started.
Use a Sustainable Platform
Choosing the right platform to build your ecommerce brand may sound like a no-brainer, but is often the first mistake ecommerce brands make. Signing-up for an ecommerce platform because it’s cheap, free, or you stumbled into it could lead to chaos. Use a proven platform with a history of seller success & quality customer service. Try Etsy, Shopify, Or Fulfilment by Amazon to get started.
Keep in mind Shopify will likely offer the most flexibility & integrate with seller’s apps that can help you grow your business. And the good news is even if you’re not tech-savvy, you can use Shopify’s pre-set templates & tools to get your store up & running the same day.
Pick the Right Niche
Picking the right niche is a crucial part of how to build your ecommerce brand. The process requires balancing your passions, skills, and the demands of the marketplace. Studying what’s selling well on Etsy & Amazon is a start. However, asking friends, acquaintances, your social media followers, and colleagues:
- What products do you wish were in the marketplace but aren’t?
- Which products do you use the most?
- How much would you pay for those products?
- What are your favorite brands?
You can also ask those closest to you which of your skills stand out the most. It can take time to narrow down and refine your niche. Although there’s no rush in deciding, analysis paralysis can also keep you from moving forward when building your ecommerce brand.
Refine Your Inventory & Fulfillment
No matter how spectacular your product offerings are, your ecommerce business will struggle under the weight of inadequate inventory & fulfillment processes. You can connect directly with a manufacturer or third party supplier to directly serve your customers. Your immediate profit margins will likely be a bit higher, but you’re also renting storage space for your inventory & increasing your overhead.
You also need to fulfill the orders yourself or spend money on hired help. There’s also the likelihood your manufacturer may have delays during crucial selling seasons. There’s not as much control as you think when dealing with inventory yourself.
Or you can try a drop shipping service with a twist—CustomCat’s services white-labels your designs with over 300 products. We also handle all of the production, fulfillment, and shipping. We’ll even send your customer tracking information so you can focus on growing your business.
Define Your Unique Value Proposition
You may not think your value proposition really matters to customers, but it’s often the first thing people see. Telling your customers nothing about your business will lead them to fill in the gaps themselves to mixed results.
Instead of making customers guess or not having a value proposition at all, define it for all to see. Birchbox’s value proposition is “Beauty for Real Life.” Customers automatically understand their products and services offer an approachable path to beauty. Apple’s iPhone proposition is, “The Experience IS the Product.”
If you’re not sure what your value proposition is, spend some time thinking about what sets your products apart from the rest, who your target audience is, & what makes your company unique. Your unique value proposition can also be about you, your story, and how you serve your customers.
Share Your Story
If you feel like there’s too much competition in your niche, remember you have something no one else does: Your story. How you built your ecommerce brand, how you accomplished your goals, your desire to serve others, your adventures, and your passions are all ways to connect with your audience.
Your story also offers endless content marketing opportunities for social media and beyond. Consider sharing your story & what’s going on behind the scenes in your business through:
- Instagram Stories
- Facebook Ads
- Blog posts
- YouTube videos
- Pinterest Pins
- LinkedIn Pulse shares
You don’t need to post on every social media channel around. Instead, pick the ones that you’ve already mastered & are comfortable using. Or hire a Virtual Assistant to help maintain & grow your channels.
Offer Unbelievable Value
Leaders across all industries talk about offering value for good reason: It works. Focusing on value from your products to customer service & content is key to attracting & converting a loyal audience.
Beyond the products, remember your customers may need some help. Create video tutorials on using your products or talking through your favorite items. Detailed gift guides & a self-serve FAQ section also offers value. The best part is you can use the simple question, “Does this offer value to my customers?” to make both simple & complicated decisions when building your ecommerce brand.
Create More Video Content
If you’re not sure what type of content to create, choose video. Studies show that 97% of marketers reported video increased user understanding of a product or service, and videos helped make more sales.
Try a video on your landing page showcasing your best-selling products or sharing more of your brand’s story. Using video to show how your products work, who they’re intended for, and a behind-the-scenes look at your company are all engaging ways to connect with potential customers.
Obsess Over Customer Service
Building an ecommerce brand falls short without an obsession over customer service. Treating your customers as if they’re the superstars of your business creates a fiercely loyal fan base. Remember, your entire business is about happy customers buying your products. Empower your team to problem-solve on behalf of your customers’ best interests. Focus on lightning-fast responses & learning from your customers’ feedback, whether it’s negative or full of praise.
Build Something Bigger Than Yourself
If you want your ecommerce brand to last, it’s crucial to build something bigger than yourself. Your business can only scale so far if you’re the one handling the majority of the tasks & are the sole decision-maker.
Instead, focus on outsourcing repetitive tasks & making sure your business can run without you. Whether that means using CustomCat to produce & fulfill your inventory needs or hiring a top-notch customer service guru, you need to strategically outsource or delegate to grow. The end result is a sustainable business where your customers are thrilled, and your revenue keeps growing.