If you’re a digital user (and judging by the fact that you’re reading this right now, you probably are!), odds are that over the last one month, you’ve gone online to book a ticket, order a meal, buy a product, or hail a cab. From mobile apps to e-commerce websites, India is the world’s fastest growing market for e-commerce. In 2016, India’s online market was worth 16 billion US dollars. In 2021, it is estimated to grow about four times to a whopping 64 billion US dollars.
With this huge growth, there are tons of companies across the country trying to cash in on this trend. This has led to price wars, low profit margins, low quality and lookalike products. Numerous online markets are cluttered with competition and it is often difficult to tell two online stores apart. Some big brands like BookMyShow, Zomato, Flipkart, and Ola Cabs have managed to differentiate themselves from the clutter. Huge contributing factors are their strategies to differentiate their online store.
It’s not always easy to differentiate your e business from competitors, so here are 7 tips on how to differentiate your online store:-
- Clearly Define your USP
Logging in to a website is a lot like window-shopping. You need to immediately tell your customers who you are and why they should engage with you. The customer needs to know why they need to be there and what separates your brand from any other.
- Tell a Story
Don’t tell your customers what to buy- tell them who they’ll be when they buy it. Rather than describing your product- make your audience envision themselves with that product. For example, BMW is as likely to highlight the lifestyle of a BMW user, as they are to get into the manufacturing or features of the car. This is an extremely unique and effective ecommerce business differentiation strategy
- Define your Brand Identity
Your brand identity goes beyond just your name and logo. Branding also encompasses the ‘feel’ and ‘tone’ of the brand– the type of language used, the colours etc. Today Facebook’s brand is perceived as ‘friendly’. A lot of work goes into creating these perceptions in the minds of users, so building your brand identity is important in today’s world.
With today’s technology, it’s more than possible to personalise content for your audience. Just think about when you log in to Amazon or Flipkart and see products that you’ve shown interest in. Or when Zomato sends you a notification from that restaurant you always eat at. You’re always more likely to purchase that product as you have some use for it. Tracking customer data and personalizing your online storefront accordingly is one of the most effective ecommerce brand differentiation strategies.
- Content is King
Yes, it may be an overused cliché but content in 2017 is still very much the king. The pictures and text on your e-store are your best forms of advertising. The better the pictures and text used, the greater your ROI will eventually be. Content forms the base for any ecommerce marketing strategy.
- Customer Service
An extremely vital, yet underused, method of how to differentiate your ecommerce business is to provide real-time customer service. Numerous web-apps can easily be integrated to provide real-time help and suggestions to customers.
- Deliver What Your Promise (if not more)
All your customers really want is for you to deliver what you promise. Don’t over-promise for the sake of a sale as you’ve just got yourself a dissatisfied customer who will probably speak negatively of your brand and cost you a few more customers. Conversely, if for example, you promise to deliver a package in 7 days and land up sending it in 5, you’ll have a pleasantly surprised customer and perhaps, a regular user of your services.
Gone are the days when your physical store-front decided how good or relevant you are. Having an e-presence that makes you stand out and desirable can help you can cater to people all across the world. The first thing people do now when they hear of a brand is check their website so make sure you’re doing all you can to differentiate it!