It is estimated that, by year 2021, around 63% of Internet users will have made at least one online purchase. We’re close to two billion active online e-buyers already (Statista), and in just five years time, the profits of the retail e-commerce sector have quadrupled (Statista). With such a projection ahead, it’s easy to think that starting an ecommerce business is a great idea…
But wait, is it?
Well.. Yes and no. On the one hand, figures are encouraging; Internet sales are actually the future and its market niche is huge. On the other hand, you’ll have monstrous players like Amazon and Alibaba among your competitors, which together account for nearly a billion active clients. That is, almost half our target audience.
If your intention is to make money with your ecommerce, then the main challenge you’ll have to face is surviving in a world of unrelenting competence. How do you achieve that? With some spectacular branding strategy, ready to convey your value proposal at once.
So, how should you implement an outright branding campaign for your e-commerce? That is exactly what we’ll discuss in this article today.
What is branding and why is it important for any e-commerce?
Branding means, basically, “making a brand”. From the most simple approach, we can define branding as a set of strategies used by companies to become renown and preferred by consumers.
As it happens with someone whose outstanding personality is hard to forget and leaves a deep positive impression on others, a brand with good branding becomes part of the lifestyle of its audience thanks to the added value it has developed for its product or service.
Doing branding for your e-commerce means precisely providing your brand with that irresistible personality so that it stands out among a thousand other options to buy products through the Internet. That can be achieved by means of some strategic actions that include considerations such as targeting, design, user experience, etc.
Let’s see some of the most relevant of these considerations and how you can work them out in the best possible way with no extra expenses by resorting to freelancers.
1.- Buyer persona and Brand persona
What is it that you’re going to sell? Which is your target audience? Which is the best way to connect with what they want and need?
In order to start an e-commerce with some prospect of success, you’ll first have to be very clear about your market niche. The more competitors in it, the bigger the value proposal of your brand should be.
For instance, if you start an e-commerce to sell fashion products and clothes from China, you’ll be in a market with lots of potential clients, but also with lots of competitors. To be successful, you’ll have to start from a very specific Buyer persona. Maybe, x-sized Latin women identified with some counter-culture.
If, instead, you start an ecommerce specialized in tools for homemade woodwork, for instance, your Buyer persona is much better defined and your value proposal will focus on offering tools or reviews which might be hard to find anywhere else. Your audience will be much narrower, and so will be your competitors.
The first step is, then, identifying your Buyer persona, and, based on their needs and expectations, building your Brand persona, or your brand personality. Its history, its philosophy, the tone of its communication, its rationale and vision. Each of these elements is complex since it implies taking into account the needs of both the company and your target audience.
Resorting to professional freelancers experienced in developing the concept and personality of a brand is much more affordable, fast and efficient than hiring a corporate marketing team or even outsourcing to an agency.
2.- Design and branding
The visual design of your ecommerce is not just its logo. It is definitely not a good idea to have it designed by some nephew of yours who can use Paint. Branding means that every visual element has to match the tone, colors, objectives and concept of a brand. These criteria are not set on some sort of whim trying to convey uniformity. Just like the most interesting or attractive faces cannot be easily forgotten, brands with a more appealing design remain longer in the minds of consumers.
Some of the design elements of branding are:
- Color palette, font and clipart types
- Website design
- Templates for email marketing
- Design of ads and banners
- Content design (infographics, videos, articles, etc.)
An expert on visual branding goes beyond designing. Their expertise also involves psychology, navigability and usability, user experience, brand identity, web design, etc. At Workana you can pick among many experienced freelance designers.
The best you can do to find the right designer for you is creating a project in the platform once your Buyer persona and your Brand persona are well defined. Browse through the work portfolios of every freelancer sending you a bid and choose the professional you think might add more value to your project.
3.- Branding in your ecommerce, what are you supposed to do?
Building the concept and personality of your ecommerce is a huge step, but there’s more to it. Now it’s time to tackle technical issues related to putting your website to work, optimizing the navigation experience, establishing customer service protocols, etc.
Actually, the above mentioned aspects apply to just any e-commerce business and are not straightly related to branding. The trick is to make each of them serve as a customized proposal reflecting your brand personality.
- How can your purchasing process be different from the others?
- What should you do to align the overall experience on your site to your brand philosophy?
- How do you facilitate payments and protect your clients’ information and safety?
- How would you improve the user experience in case of returns or complaint procedures?
- How do you make a simpler and faster site so that the e-cart takes no longer than 3 seconds to update the new products and thus you avoid losing a client over slow operations?
These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself when dealing with the responsible for your website settings. At Workana you can find web programmers with a branding approach, who will work along with your designer to achieve an ideal synergy between concept, usability and design.
4.- Marketing and branding strategy
Now that your e-commerce with a great brand personality is fully operating, it’s time to make it known to the world. We refer to having it positioned to get more traffic, attract leads and develop a lead nurturing campaign, generate loyalty, produce branded content, etc.
Among the many questions you need to ask yourself as regards good branding digital marketing are these:
- How should you do good SEO positioning to lead you straight to your Buyer persona?
- How will your email marketing be strictly different from SPAM?
- Which content do you need to create to convey your brand values and where are you supposed to promote them?
- How are you going to become an essential part of your clients’ lifestyle -and not just some other brand they occasionally buy from?
Just remember it’s very important to follow the branding process step by step for your e-commerce. Hiring professionals for content creation is useless if you don’t have your mind well set and clear about the previous steps.
Some of the most outstanding freelancers in Workana are real experts on this and can certainly assist you throughout all the stages of your branding. You might also prefer to hire a team of many specialists each with a different expertise.
The decision will depend on your needs and budget. In the meantime, your job is creating one or several projects on the platform to start browsing through the available professionals, their fee range and the quality of bids.
Lots of luck!