What Makes a Successful eCommerce Brand?
eCommerce is one of the fastest-growing markets in the UK, with online spending expected to surpass £52bn in this year alone – more than any other country in Europe. Customers now expect their favourite brand to have an online store, and alongside giants like M&S and John Lewis, smaller, online-only names are finding success in the market.
But it’s not all as simple as it seems. Achieving success in the age of digital commerce takes skill, and many start-ups fall at the wayside, failing to grab the attention of customers in the vast market. So, exactly what does it take to be a successful eCommerce brand?
A great website
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Where shop windows were once the way to catch customers’ attention, it’s now the homepage of a brand’s website which attracts people to browse the store. Ensuring an online store is user-friendly is the bare minimum, with attractive design, interesting product descriptions, and speed of checkout all contributing to a customers’ final decision to make that purchase.
Making sure your online store looks great for everyone is also important. Responsive design is being adopted by a rising number of sites to comply with new devices, platforms and browsers. And creating a site optimized for mobile is crucial, with UK online sales coming from a smartphone or tablet growing 4000% since 2010.
Friendly (and future-proof) feedback
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Without a physical store for customers to ask staff questions, it’s incredibly important for eCommerce brands to communicate in a helpful, friendly, and accessible way. And while a sound telephone system is still necessary, it is important to move with the times, and provide answers for a new generation of customers in a way they might be more comfortable with.
Instant messaging, live-chat systems are becoming increasingly popular with both small and large businesses, providing customers with an almost immediate response. Better yet, these systems can lower overall costs, while improving efficiency. All while ensuring your brand is at the top of its communication game.
Which leads us to…
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With giants like Facebook and Twitter showing no sign of going away any time soon, it is essential that every business embraces social media as a communication channel. Social media allows brands to really showcase their personality, and provide news and updates in an easily digestible way.
But it’s not just about sharing fun updates from the office - with social media, the more you put in, the more you get out of it. Engaging with customers directly takes time to get right, but can work wonders for the image of your brand. Replying to questions, favouriting mentions, and retweeting pictures of happy customers shows that you really care, and crucially, helps build brand loyalty.
Image Credit: Greg Rakozy
The next big thing is always just around the corner in eCommerce, so it’s important to stay on trend, and more importantly, stay relevant to your customers. Hoverboards (or self-balancing scooters) might be the hottest product right now, but this time next year it will be something else – so you need a team who can identify current trends.
Constantly evolving your website, social media output, and even products will help you stay topical in a constantly changing market – and in doing so, will ensure you’re around for years to come.
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