8 Ways To Differentiate Your Online Business
The Internet has made it so much easier for entrepreneurs to expand their market reach on a global scale. However, as a result, the competition has also become more challenging. Instead of only having to worry about local competitors, e-commerce businesses must also keep up with brands worldwide. This is especially true for e-commerce businesses in the apparel, food, household goods, and electronics industries.
E-commerce store owners must take radical steps to differentiate their brands from the competition. So rather than copying what everybody else is doing, they should take advantage of their unique value and strengths to make it easier for customers to remember their brand.
Here are eight ways to do to stand out from the competition.
- Highlight Sustainability
Most consumers are now aware of environmental and social issues. They want to know whether brands try to incorporate sustainability in certain aspects of their business.
Thus, adopting sustainability goals can help you become different. When you’re going green in ecomm, it shows that your business is taking steps to reduce its carbon footprint. Some of the ways to reduce your carbon footprint are switching to recycled packaging, sending multiple items in a package, and sourcing raw materials from local farms. Capitalizing on green initiatives will make your brand more appealing to environmentally aware customers and prospects, educate customers, and increases your chances of standing out in your niche.
- Personalize The Shopping Experience
Personalizing the shopping experience is another effective way to differentiate yourself from other brands. Connecting with your customers on a personal level makes them feel special. This will boost sales and even help you scale.
For first-time visitors, one of the ways to personalize the experience is to offer discounts. You can entice them with a discount code if they buy something within a week of signing up. Another way is using behavioral data to know which goods to highlight for each of your frequent shoppers. This level of personalization makes their browsing experience more valuable, driving them to a desirable purchasing decision.
With digital personalization, encouraging brand loyalty has never been more accessible. In other words, consumers are likely to choose your store over others because they feel they’re valued.
- Establish A Mobile-First Store
Most consumers now have their mobile devices at hand. They use smartphones or tablets to research products and services before purchasing. If your site has frequent lagging issues or is unreadable due to a bad combination of fonts and colors, they will be put off and leave your site. This may translate to lost sales and possibly a negative brand image.
But with a mobile-first store, users can easily navigate your website on their mobile devices. A mobile-first design allows visitors to zoom in and out of images without encountering lags or crashes. It also allows them to read product descriptions without straining their eyes. A mobile-friendly website creates a positive user experience (UX) to boost engagement.
You may also consider using mobile-responsive design, which is the method of optimizing a web design to accommodate all screen sizes and automatically adjust according to device capabilities. It includes clickable buttons, white space, and clean typography that improve readability. Creating a mobile-responsive store is another gateway to higher conversions and sales volumes.
- Partner With Influencers
Influencer marketing is an excellent way to establish credibility in your online campaigns. When consumers see that influencers support your brand, they’re more likely to trust and buy from you. This is particularly true for brands with a small customer base or needing more social media presence.
Here’s how it works: You partner with an influencer who has a large following on social media. The influencer promotes your product or service to their followers, and you give them free products or money in exchange for their support. Being influencers, they will have more power to drive potential customers to your brand. This is a win-win situation for both parties: the influencer gets to promote a product they believe in while your brand gets exposure.
An excellent way to find potential influencers is by searching for keywords related to your industry on social media. For instance, the keywords ‘beauty bloggers’ would be appropriate to search for on Twitter or Facebook if you sell beauty products. You can then proceed to reach out to accounts with a substantial amount of following and ask them if they would be interested in reviewing your makeup products. If they like your products, you may start crafting influencer marketing strategies, like short videos where the influencer applies your makeup products and shares their personal opinions.
- Leverage A Live Chat Feature
Customer support is vital to any business, and customers will always want prompt responses. They’ll lose interest if they have to wait hours or days for an answer.
To avoid this, you can use the live chat feature on your website. It allows customers to communicate instantly with an actual human being and get their questions answered immediately. Usually, a live chat feature appears in the bottom-right corner of the website. It means that the store makes its services easily accessible to customers.
Synchronous communication helps you win new customers and keep existing ones happy with quick response times, increasing their loyalty toward your brand.
- Publish Informative Content
Content marketing helps you encourage engagement from your audiences. Unfortunately, most digital marketers forget to offer value with their content. When content doesn’t resonate with the readers, it often results in low interactions.
The solution is simple: deliver informative and relevant content that can be easily shared. The key here is to offer actionable and valuable solutions to your target audience. For example, if you’re selling beauty products online, create blog posts about skin care tips they can use at home.
Just make sure that the content you publish is factual rather than opinionated. Otherwise, it affects your brand credibility.
- Deal With Shopping Cart Abandonment
One of the main objectives of an online shopping system is to persuade users to check out the items in their shopping carts. However, if most of them leave your site before completing a purchase, you may have to reevaluate your customers’ pain points.
Shopping cart abandonment occurs primarily due to the following reasons:
- They changed their minds while they were about to checkout.
- They have data privacy concerns, especially when you ask for too much personal information.
- They encountered an error message, such as ‘Server Error’ or ‘Payment Failed.’
- They forgot about the transaction and left it unattended.
- They were unhappy with the total price.
Once you identify these issues, you can take the necessary steps to address them. For instance, consider sending them emails to remind them of their cart contents and encourage them to complete the purchase. You may also include a guest checkout option so they won’t have to enter too much confidential information. These steps make the sales transaction more effortless and less intimidating for your customers.
Another way to minimize cart abandonment is by offering shipping options. For example, if a customer reaches US$40 in their bill, you can offer free shipping. Adding multiple payment options is also a good bet. Today, the common payment methods are cash on delivery (COD), credit cards, virtual wallets, or electronic checks. Having more payment options allows customers to select what works best for them. This strategy increases sales as well as customer loyalty.
- Invest In High-Quality Visuals
The first thing that most potential customers notice about your e-commerce website is its design and layout. They’ll leave your site if the landing page looks outdated or visually unappealing. This results in high bounce rates, meaning visitors must engage more with your business.
To increase your site’s visual appeal, you need to invest in high-quality visuals. This includes having a well-designed logo, banner ads, and other marketing materials. You can hire a professional photographer to create compelling images of your products. A good one will give you a head start and know how to highlight the value of your brand.
The Internet has provided businesses with countless opportunities to differentiate themselves from competitors.
One of the ways to achieve that goal is to adopt sustainability by using eco-friendly packaging and supporting local farmers. Personalizing the shopping experience also helps establish a solid connection with the customers. In addition, don’t forget to streamline your customer support by incorporating a live chat feature to let your audience know you’re always available to serve them. You may also want to consider evaluating what makes shoppers abandon their carts and then find ways to prevent that from happening again.
Another crucial factor is website optimization. Check whether your website is mobile-responsive or mobile-first. Aside from that, you can tap the power of influencers to improve your digital marketing outcomes. Also, it’s important to ensure that all your content comes from authentic sources if you intend to be an authoritative brand in your industry.
Following these strategies can give you a competitive advantage in your niche. And a better competitive edge always leads to success for your e-commerce store and a higher market share.