The Importance of ‘Brand’ in E-Commerce Today

As online shopping increases, the importance of a brand has never been more necessary. Consumers are shopping online more and technology continues to drive it forward, but it’s also making it more competitive for e-commerce players.

So, how do you stand out, scale, and retain shoppers?

On the one hand, you could compete on price, bidding against your competitors until you’ve won the sale. But that’s going to be a long battle, eating away at profit margins.

Your brand, on the other hand, has the ability to build trust, connect with shoppers, and gain long-term loyalty. Helping you grow and maintain a solid stream of sales.

Many people believe that when presented with a world full of choices, brand loyalty would decrease. After all, we’re connected almost 24 hours a day seven days a week with the ability to discover and research products in an instant. But that’s doing something different.

New research by InMoment shows younger generations finding themselves more loyal than the generations before. Revealing trust and loyalty as trends this year alongside the craving for experiences and not just purchases.

Turns out, the brands we engage with, like our Snapchats and Instagram posts, are actually an expression of our identity. A way to say ‘world, this is me’. And when we discover a brand aligned with that, 34 percent of us will reportedly change our buying behaviour because of it.

Think about it. Young Australians use social media every day to express who they are. What they believe in. And who they want to be… more so than older generations. So why not the brands we purchase? The fact is, one in three consumers believe the brands they buy are an important expression of their beliefs, and it’s now part of our decision-making process.

Take for example Nike’s Colin Kaepernick ad. It re-sparked national, if not global, debate but also boosted Nike sales by more than 27 percent in the days following the campaign’s launch.

There were no product placements in the ads… Solely a close-up black-and-white image featuring Colin’s face with the words ‘Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,’ written across it. It wasn’t a campaign to promote products – although it was part of their ‘Just do it’ 30th anniversary. It was a campaign that made a statement. And one many consumers believed in.

But it’s not a one-time type-of-thing. Eighty percent of consumers say they grow to love a brand over time, making every touchpoint an opportunity for your brand to connect or disconnect with consumers. A brand can’t simply run campaign after campaign standing for mixed messages and expect to have longevity.

There’s certainly a lot to think about. How will you align product to the brand as you scale? Enhance the customer’s shopping experience? Or simply hold your market position and maintain growth while managing picking, packing, and sending all the orders.

It’s easy to understand why e-commerce players like ECHT, Frank Body and many more choose to partner with a fulfilment provider. Their fulfilment provider can manage the logistics of processing orders while they focus on strengthening and building their business into the future.

If you’re considering choosing a fulfilment provider so that you can focus on these areas, it’s important to nail the pick, pack, and delivery experience yourself first. While a fulfilment provider can manage the process, they’ll need to understand how you want to package your products. From the way items are placed into packaging, to the way you label it, even right down to the way you apply stickers, notes, and ribbons. It’s all part of the experience.

When you’ve got this process down pat, you’ll need to find a partner that can take your packaging and ‘pick and pack’ process and replicate it for scale. Keep an eye out for whether they offer delivery options your customers want, custom packaging, and have a vision for delivering your brand.

Only brands who consider all moments important will triumph. They’ll consider their website, social channels, delivery notifications, order confirmations, and even fulfilment an opportunity to strengthen their position and connect with shoppers.

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