In this era of dichotomy we have both cases - on one side we have e-commerce boom, on the other hand, there are certain unicorns facing the question mark on their destiny. The idea is clear.. we need to follow the "cockroach" theory:
'A cockroach, by contrast, is a business that builds slowly and steadily from the start, keeping a close eye on revenues and profits. Spending is kept in check so that it can weather any funding storm.’ Source: Business Insider
Going by this philosophy, there are certain thumb rules which remain static for any e-commerce brand irrespective of the genre. So, from personal learnings and experience shared below are 7 most important points to build a great online e-commerce brand:
- Finding the need/gap & USP: For the entrepreneur, the journey starts from an idea, followed by great passion and determination. In this process its most critical to identify - the need/gap (on which the complete business can be based), brand/product USPs & scalability. If any of the parameters are missing from the proposition, the idea will die off a premature death.
- Listen, listen, and listen: All stats point out how difficult is it to have audience’s attention even for few seconds. And if the potential customer has taken enough time to visit the site and has something to share, be all ears. Not only will it help in improving the offering but future extensions can also come out of it.
- Creating Brand Ambassadors: To create a brand can be quite a daunting process especially in financial terms. One route which can be adopted is to invest in and nurture the communities. Those who are achievers in their own sense and also reflect the ethos of the brand can be collaborated with, in a mutually beneficial manner. There are various ways in which the power users can be tapped into for B2C marketing.
- Data mining: Yes, the goldmine for all e-commerce players. How well as a brand do we get integrated into our user’s behavior online, without surpassing that thin line of over-killing is the key. Analyzing the data points of visitors, behavior on site, interaction with the brand on site / off site, social media platforms interactions, etc all in a single window efficiently, can give a competitive edge to the brand.
- Brand asset: The Site: Mobile - first implementation, easily navigable, convenient to transact, completely glitch free - are the hygiene level factors. Many brands are introducing AI and other technology pieces to enhance the user experience. It's an ever evolving process to create the complete package for user - brand engagements.
- Content Supremacy: Hail the Content! Yes, CONTENT is the king. Only algorithms will not work. Brands need to become storytellers. By creating content and not ads, brands are hoping that they can reach consumers and build stronger relationships with them.
- Being agile & adaptive: In the extremely competitive environment, a brand needs to be able to try new things but be quick enough to adapt in case it doesn't work. Plan B needs to be in place ‘ALWAYS’.
Finally, how the brand is making the customer feel, is the whole experience that will determine the greatness of the brand.