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7 Top E-Commerce Store Branding Mistakes

The e-commerce retail business is ruthless. In order to operate a profitable online store, one need to understand products, prices, consumer trends, traffic acquisition, funnels and a lot of technical aspects of e-commerce management.

In this article we will focus on branding mistakes we see our customers to commit quite frequently, undermining the profitability and success of their e-commerce projects.

As you might be aware, one of our most popular audit products is the E-commerce Store Brand Audit.

This audit helps to understand what your target customers think about your e-commerce website. Is your product selection in line with expectations? Is it easy to find products that your buyers are looking for? Are your store policies establishing trust and confidence? Is your store branding helping sales or just repelling potential buyers?

Each selected scope of your analysis will add a separate page to your report with the following information:

  1. Score ratings of 4 micro-aspects (1 to 10) by your respondents
  2. Score ratings of similar brands benchmarked with your scores
  3. Comments and feedback received from your respondents

What is this article about?

Branding is a blueprint for how you want the world to view your business. With branding, you get to create an identifiable identity that makes a promise of value. Additionally, branding helps you create a conscious image, bringing about awareness of your eCommerce, leading to your company’s personality. It creates emotions in your audience and encompasses your values which eventually differentiates you from your competitors. Unfortunately, businesses risk marketing and selling products without a clear vision of who they are, without a proper branding strategy. In this article, we will highlight common branding mistakes that eCommerce owners should avoid. 

Brand inconsistency

Brand consistency is the first rule of building a solid brand. According to statistics published via Forbes, presenting a brand consistency across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%. Conversely, an inconsistent company is seen as disjointed, unprofessional, and, worse, untrustworthy. 

Coordinating your visual assets across every platform your company is represented, such as your website, ads, social media, and print materials, is the first step in building consistency. Well, align your visual identity in a reproducible and efficient manner. When your website or marketing materials do not align with each other and are out of date, potential customers may be confused and doubt the integrity of your company. 

Lack of a brand guideline for your online store

It is easier for you to coordinate your content across every platform that your company is represented with a brand guideline. Having good policies in place is essential once a brand is created. Your brand assets and brand guidelines, including typography, color palettes for your brand, tone of voice, and logo files, should be readily available both publicly and within your organization. It is as simple as having a dedicated, simple web page that communicates about brand usage and providing easy access to brand assets. Your message is also cohesive and consistent across all communication channels with a style guide. Furthermore, it also allows you to reinforce your credibility and brand identity. 

Not differentiating your e-commerce brand

To stand out, you must be unique so that people can remember you. No doubt that a good design gives you all of that. Your clients may opt for the cheapest options if you look like all the other companies in your space. Why should they go ahead and choose you if they don’t see a difference? You need to stand out and communicate your value among your competitors. Design is the ultimate differentiator of any business, after all. 

However, the big question is, how do you get to differentiate your e-commerce business from the rest? Well, you have to run background research on your competitors and look for points of differentiation. Go ahead and define who your customers are, how to connect with them, and most importantly, define who you are. Create verbal and visual messages that will help you communicate your value and stand out once you have a clear mission and vision in place.

Not responding to your audience

While you shouldn’t try to be appealing to everyone, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore criticism or feedback. On the contrary, it is vital to listen to how your target audience feels about your work, especially when launching a new product or a marketing campaign. A PWC survey shows that 73 percent of consumers cite customer experience as an important factor in their purchasing. This is why your eCommerce should have great customer support.

Use good social media management and monitoring tools like Socialbakers, Brandwatch, MeltWater, Brand Moran, Talkwalker, Mention, etc. They can help you create a feed using brand mentions, hashtags, and specific keywords. This will narrow down to a single location to check on the feedback. You may also check CRM and customer support tickets in case of a surge of feedback or frequent complaints on the tail of a new marketing campaign. 

Better even, you can use Brand Auditor to drill in deeper to what social listening tools won’t. It will help you measure your target customers’ likes or dislikes about your services, products, branding, and marketing communications. Remember, gathering data and leveraging the response you get from your audience is crucial to help your brand evolve in the right way. After all, branding is an ongoing process!

Lack of a dedicated e-commerce marketing strategy

Despite many companies, more so e-commerce platforms coming up with ideas to establish a brand identity and market themselves, most of them neither have the resources nor a detailed plan on reaching their audience. Also, many companies, when updating or launching their brand fail to leverage their greatest assets, which are the existing customers.

A great channel to project your company’s brand is recurring customers, especially those who speak highly of your services or products. Now, consider having a well-thought marketing plan in place before your branding strategy.

Jumping on trends

While keeping up with the latest design and branding trends is a great way to present your company in a new and fresh method, there’s a huge difference between losing your core identity to pursue the hottest new thing and modernizing your brand. Being swept up in what looks trendy at the moment is very easy. However, it would be best to remember that your brand would need to weather many waves of design trends without looking dated.

Use design trends as a source of inspiration but do not rely too heavily on them when planning your next major redesign. In this era of constant consumption, where social media updates, news, and fast fashion grab our attention, it is wise not to waste resources and time on invaluable returns.

Underestimating the power of brand

How powerful is your eCommerce brand? What is the first impression when people look at your brand? Reports have shown that it only takes 0.05 seconds for people to form an opinion about your website. A strong brand increases engagement, customer loyalty and creates trust. Additionally, consumers are likely to purchase products from a platform or company with a straightforward brand story. As a result, it is easier for them to form an emotional connection with the particular brand. Thus, prioritize branding from the very onset of your business creation. 

Wrapping up

Branding eventually affects the longevity of your business and should be taken seriously. To help you grow your brand the right way and make better decisions, we have highlighted some of the top branding mistakes most online businesses make. So, take the initiative to educate yourself and create the foundation for long-term success.

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