Guide to Ecommerce Branding: Why You Need it and How to Do it

The global ecommerce industry has blossomed thanks to globalisation, internet development and a little push from the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, a dramatic shift has happened in online shopping volumes, with up to 5.2 million USD in sales globally. However, even with all these figures, most ecommerce startups (less than five years old) still […]

The global ecommerce industry has blossomed thanks to globalisation, internet development and a little push from the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, a dramatic shift has happened in online shopping volumes, with up to 5.2 million USD in sales globally.

However, even with all these figures, most ecommerce startups (less than five years old) still struggle to break out. Plus, the market is becoming more competitive, and the bigger ecommerce setups with better branding are grabbing larger market shares.

If you’re wondering how they do it, the trick is in their branding; one of the most significant advantage drivers in ecommerce is public perception. This blog examines why branding is essential for your ecommerce business and how to do it.

Importance of Branding for Ecommerce Businesses

The term “Brand” has found application in several industries and businesses pretty much to the point of becoming a buzzword. But primarily, a brand represents an identity, an image or how something presents itself to people.

For your ecommerce business, the brand is your business’s persona to the public. It encapsulates everything the public needs to know about your business. Hence, it includes everything from your visual style (colours, imageries, logos), slogans, communication styles and even customer service.

You must understand branding fundamentals and how it applies to ecommerce to maximise it for your business. Hence, the reason for the quick definition above. That said, let’s examine some reasons branding is important for your ecommerce business. 

Improves Recognition

Ecommerce accounted for over 30% of total retail sales in the UK in 2020. That’s thanks in large part to the volume of players in the industry. However, that also means the competition is fiercer than ever.

So, your work is cut out to get people to buy from you. Not to mention, you’re likely competing with established names in the industry.

A brand name is a fundamental aspect of branding which can go a long way in improving your ecommerce business awareness. As simple as it may seem, a good business name can tremendously affect how customers see your setup.

But it’s not just the name. Other elements of your brand identity all enable people to recognise your business more. Your customers will associate your products with the brand, making it easier for them to relate with you.

Gives a Unique Identity and Sends a Message.

This point is quite self-explanatory and also has numerous real-life examples. For instance, almost everyone recognises the top product brands in the world. You know what they’re all about, and wherever you find their logos, slogans or name, you instantly recognise them.

In the same way, branding gives your ecommerce business a unique identity. That way, once customers find your logo, name or slogan anywhere, they know the products are from your store.

Not only that, it enables you to pass a clear message to the masses regarding your values, goals, and unique selling points. The best part is a strong brand identity publicises itself, so you won’t even need to splurge on pushing publicity for it.

Improves Your Reach

The goal for most startups is to grow exponentially as quickly as possible. Branding is a powerful tool you can leverage to improve your reach in a reasonable time. 

Creative branding strategies can simultaneously push your ecommerce visibility for several customer categories and markets. The only limitations are your creativity and strategy. But then again, if you can’t do it yourself, you can always employ a branding expert to help you. 

If we circle back to the previous point, we mentioned that a reputable brand identity publicises itself. So, you only need to build a reputation; after some point, the brand’s popularity and acceptance will grow.

Stick to Brand Ideals and Build Trust

Branding helps you identify the principles and ideals your ecommerce business seeks to uphold. At the same time, it makes those values your identity and holds you accountable when you fail to meet up to standard. Hence, it serves as your business’s quality check and balance system.

Then again, branding makes your values obvious, not only to you but to everyone who interacts with it. That lets customers know what you stand for and what to expect. Once the customers understand your brand ideals, it becomes easier for them to trust you.

Furthermore, the more you uphold those brand values, the more you’ll encourage your customers to pledge their loyalty to your business. That way, branding can help with customer acquisition and retention. 

Branding Gives You an Edge

Ecommerce is growing at an exciting pace in the UK, and Statista projects it to increase by approximately 14% in 2027. You’re probably selling the same items as huge online stores. 

However, the edge they have over you is they’ve been around longer and built their brand. 

In the same way, building your brand gives you an edge over smaller competitors and can get you closer to the bigger businesses.

Business Asset

When you create and register a brand for your venture, it serves as an identification means and becomes a company asset. Your brand is unique to your business alone. So, no one else can legitimately use it for anything without your consent. And if they do, you have the right to pursue legal actions against them.

But not only that, but as your identity grows, more brands will want to associate themselves with yours. Thus, it brings more publicity and profitability opportunities for your ecommerce business. Primarily, a good brand identity is marketable and gives you numerous advantages in the long run.

The benefits attached to branding an ecommerce business are numerous. Aside from the ones mentioned above, you’ll continue to discover many perks as you improve on them and see the results. Hence, branding is an excellent strategy for moving your business forward.

Ecommerce Branding Guide: Tips and Best Practices to Get it Right

You can find ecommerce business branding easy or challenging depending on the strategies you employ for it. But regardless of your approach, it requires consistent effort. 

The following ecommerce business branding tips will help you grow your business.

Define Your Brand Identity and its Elements.

The first step in branding is to identify your ecommerce brand identity’s makeup. Primarily, you need to map out the different elements of your business that customers can pinpoint and reference. 

Below are the integral aspects of your brand identity that you must consider at this stage.

Brand Name

The first and most crucial element in your business is the name. It is the name you legally registered for the company and the primary identifier for the venture. Your brand name must be unique and not something customers can easily confuse for another.

  • It helps if the name is relevant to the ecommerce niche. For example, consider how Shopify iterated on the shopping theme for its brand name. But of course, feel free to get creative with it and make it catchy and easy to remember.
  • If you already have a brand name that needs improvement, it’s never too late to change it. But when choosing a new name, make sure it’s short, simple and sensible. 
  • Consider the possible social and cultural implications of such a name. You want to avoid having a brand name that sparks controversy in conversation.

Brand Logo

A logo is your brand’s insignia and carries as much visual impact as your brand name. To understand a logo’s importance, imagine Nike without the swoosh or Apple without the bitten apple. They just don’t feel right.

A well-thought-out name and a great logo will influence how most people will initially react when they encounter your ecommerce business. So, your logo must also be attractive to the viewers. 

When selecting a logo for your brand, you want to pay attention to a few key things.

  • Logo colour choice: Your brand logo should reflect the overall colour theme your brand is going with.
  • Logo and Name Integration. It’s not compulsory that your logo directly reflects your brand name. However, it shouldn’t conflict with it either. The best emblems can stand independently and still play well with the brand name. Overall, it’s wise to use a logo that can work in your brand name.

Brand Slogan

The third primary brand identifier is the slogan. It’s primarily a catchphrase that goes with your brand identity. An excellent example is Coca-Cola’s “Open Happiness.” 

A slogan gives the customer something to identify the brand aside from the name or logo. It also creates more appeal and a different way to connect with the audience. 

Be strategic when choosing a slogan for your ecommerce business. You shouldn’t just come up with something that sounds cool — ensure it’s sensible, relevant and easy to remember. 

Identify Your Target Market and Position Yourself

The UK has approximately 64 million people who can access the internet anytime. Sounds awesome! But not all of them are your customers, and thinking they’re all your market is hustling backwards. 

Instead, you should identify the segment of the populace you want to tailor your brand to and create a game plan for them. This will be the market your business is targeting. 

Having a clearly defined target market makes your ecommerce branding efforts easier. Not everyone will like your brand, and you shouldn’t try to make everyone like it. Instead, you should find the people your brand message will resonate with and tailor it to them. 

  • It helps to examine the traits and behaviours of past purchasers to understand the personas of your target market. 
  • Consider using analytics tools and surveys to analyse the data. 
  • Design branding and marketing strategies to target this market based on concrete data analysis.

Research Your Market Space

Many businesses make the mistake of creating a brand on what seems cool at the moment. The main problem with that approach is that trends are constantly evolving. 

And if you start a brand off a trend, what happens when the times change?

Additionally, don’t simply brand your business in some way because someone says that’s how it should be. Do accurate research into the competitive market space and create a brand based on your results.

As a business seeking to break out in the market, it’s easier to target something that falls under any of the following three categories.

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Best customer service
  • Essential or luxury Items sale

Once you figure out what is already available and what’s missing, your ecommerce business branding strategy should focus on filling the market gap.

Get and Use Customers Feedback 

You must leverage user-generated content when branding your ecommerce business. Feedback from customers and the general public helps you identify the things you’re doing right and the ones needing the most improvements. 

In your branding efforts, too, you must consistently get customer feedback. That’ll help you know how they feel about the message you’re passing. 

Customer feedback means immediate affirmations or negative reactions to your efforts straight from the source. And then, you’d know if you should continue or reconsider your strategy before going too far.

Branding is about creating an image. So, by asking for and utilising customer feedback, you’ll let your customers know their opinions matter. And, of course, working on the reviews and feedback helps you serve your buyers better.

Lastly, displaying good reviews will not only look cool on your website, but they’ll also encourage visitors to patronise you. 95% of customers read online reviews about a business before purchasing items from it. In that regard, having bad or no reviews may be detrimental to your business’s profitability.

Overall, customer relations and feedback are inextricably tied to branding, especially in ecommerce. You can only create a lovable brand image by mixing in good customer opinions. 

Let your customers describe the brand they want. That way, you can create an identity that’ll resonate better with customers’ expectations.

Incorporate Emotional Appeal

Emotional buying is real; even the most rational human being can often fall prey to their feelings during buying decisions. 

Hence, a good ecommerce business branding strategy will incorporate elements tailored to appeal to the customers’ emotions.

Your brand’s makeup is one part what you put outside and the other part what the buyer feels in their gut. Shape your ecommerce brand’s identity with communication that resonates positively with the buyers’ sentiment. 

Or at least, it should favourably influence your website visitor’s emotions.

Two tools can help you in this regard;

Your brand story

Excellent storytelling is an excellent way to capture people’s hearts. With the right story, you can give visitors memorable experiences of doing business with you. But, of course, this is something that requires expertise. Hence, it’s advisable to find an ecommerce branding expert to guide you in that regard.

Visuals Cues 

Brand logos and colours serve as your brand symbol. But they should also incite some sentimental response from your users. 

Ecommerce branding is beyond simply trying to sell some commodities to people. Nowadays, people want to create relationships and connect with their favourite brands. 

Hence, make that easier for them by incorporating the necessary elements in your early branding efforts.

Make Everything Consistent

The branding process will cut across every aspect of your ecommerce business, from your website design to customer service and logistics. It’ll also cut across all your sales channels. 

But a common pitfall you should watch out for here is unknowingly compromising consistency. 

Building an image that cuts across all aspects of a business can be challenging. As a result, you may sometimes face the temptation to do a little tweaking here and there. But it’s best if you stay consistent. 

Your message, colours, slogans, logos and other branding elements must always be consistent. Mixing it up too often can cause customers to lose track of your identity and confuse your business for another one. Or they may get mixed messages from your brand communications which may lead to distrust and affect their loyalty.

Of course, there’s always room for creativity. But in all your expressions, never deviate from your brand’s core values. 

Ecommerce business branding is not a one-time effort. It takes time to build an identity, and that’s where the real battle is. 

You must stick with it for a long time. Be flexible but don’t be unstable. Always stick to your brand message unless you’re doing an overhaul.

Keep Engaging Your Audience

Branding brings popularity, but for that to happen, you first have to publicise the identity you’ve created. Essentially, you must keep putting it out there for people to see what your business is all about. 

Note we’re not talking about marketing and advertising; those are necessities for profitability in today’s world. Instead, we’re talking about making the audience know you. And the simplest way to achieve this is by consistently engaging people.

  • Social media presents an excellent opportunity for you to achieve this. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Tiktok enable you to reach millions of people with curated content. So, you get to engage these people without really looking for them.
  • Again, note that you’re trying to drive brand popularity; it’s different from trying to sell. Hence, you should tailor your content towards increasing your ecommerce brand awareness and getting more people to know you. 

But of course, we’re not saying you shouldn’t leverage these platforms for sales and marketing. However, you shouldn’t try to sell with every opportunity you get. Instead, use some to build relationships and awareness. 

Not everyone will be your customer, but you can get non-customers to do free word-of-mouth marketing for your ecommerce business with the right branding strategy. Hence, you must engage your audience consistently but not necessarily with promotional or sales content.

Utilise Ecommerce Branding Professionals

As much as we attempted to make the ecommerce business branding tips seem straightforward, it’s pretty technical. You’ll have difficulty putting everything together unless you have prior knowledge. Hence, involving an expert will help you save time and effort.

Of course, ensure you go for a professional with years of experience branding ecommerce businesses. They’ll be better equipped to provide efficient solutions for your venture. 

That said, getting a branding professional will cost you some money. If you’re working on a tight budget, consider settling for services that charge cheaper rates. However, if you can afford the best, consider it an investment towards improving your business.

Grow Your Ecommerce Business with Branding

Now you know what ecommerce business branding entails. It’s left to you to put the ideas into practice. Try not to miss or skip any of the tips discussed above. Incorporate everything as best as possible and test your results.

Axis Shift can help. We partner with struggling ecommerce businesses like yours. And we use our wealth of experience, strategy and ecommerce know-how to turn your business into a profit powerhouse.

Contact us today at 020 805 05795 to learn more about how we can grow your ecommerce business.  

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