Branding
10/16/2020

Profitable Ecommerce Branding in 7 Steps

Written by
Photo of Sophie
Isabel Edwards

Your passion for selling is undeniable and you’re raring to go with a new ecommerce business. You know what products to sell and how to sell them, so what else is there to do? Branding. It’s something you can’t afford to skimp on. Here’s why:

  • It takes users about 0.05 seconds to form an opinion about your website.
  • Consistent branding has seen to increase revenue by 33%.
  • 77% of consumers buy from brands who showcase the same values as they do.

It doesn’t take weeks or thousands of pounds in the bank to nail a strong brand. First, think about how you want your brand to look...

Get the Visuals Nailed

Colour Palette

The first question to ask when planning out the visual aspects of your brand is, how do I want users to feel? Empowered? Happy? Smart? Powerful? This will guide you to super strong branding much quicker than going in unprepared. 

Based on how you want users to feel, build out your palette with at least 6 different colours. You can add more, but too many can weaken the branding and dilute your recognisability.

Once you’ve found a colour you love, use this colour calculator to find complementary and contrasting shades to build out your palette. 

If you’re really stuck for ideas, Coolors have a palette generator where you can skip through ready-made palettes by pressing space bar. If you come across a colour you like you can also choose to lock it to show complementary colours.

Logo

If you don’t have the cash just yet to splash out on a graphic designer, you can 100% do it yourself! Canva is awesome if you’re a beginner who hasn’t quite mastered photoshop yet. They have tonnes of templates to get you started and plenty of fonts, tools, shapes and images to customise your logo.

Typography

I’d recommend selecting 2 different fonts; a simple, classic font for the majority of text on your website and a slightly more fun font that you can use in design work, as titles or on social media. 

A variation of Sans-Serif is ideal for paragraph text, as available on most browsers, modern, minimal and easy to read.

As for a more exciting font, have a play around with different fonts to see which fits in with your brand’s personality best.


Create a Brand Guide

There are a few reasons why brand guidelines are so important:

  1. It consolidates all your planning and paints a clear picture of exactly how you want your brand to be perceived.
  2. It makes it much easier when scaling your business to get new starters up to speed with how to display the brand online.
  3. It’s beneficial for your own use to remind you of the guidelines you set out to the start to stop yourself going off-track or off-brand.

Again, if you don’t have access to or don’t have the skills for Photoshop or Illustrator, Canva has plenty of templates which you can customise to create your own guidelines.


Generate Buzz

It’s your job to generate buzz about your brand and get people talking about your business, and here are a few simple ways to do that:

  • Blog posts: Writing blog posts is a simple (and free!) way to generate your own shareable content, improve your website’s SEO, increase traffic, showcase your industry expertise and connect with other experts in the industry.
  • Social media: Setting up your business on the platforms that your customers hang out on is essential for getting your brand in front of the right audience. 
  • Get involved: Participate in and start your own conversations on online forums and social media to build connections and make your voice heard.

If you’ve got the time, you don’t need to hire a marketing agency to get the word out online about your ecommerce business. All it takes is research, planning, analysis and continuous improvement on your strategies.


Don’t Neglect the Customer Experience

Your brand is the perception customers hold of you, so take matters into your own hands by creating an exceptional customer experience.


I’m talking about from the very second they land on your website, right up to receiving the product in their hand. Here’s what you need to consider:

  • Get friends and family to test your website, is it easy to use? Did they find what they were looking for? Were they able to check without friction?
  • Make the dispatch and shipping time as fast as possible and provide tracking information if you can.
  • Put some thought into your packaging to make it an extra memorable experience.
  • Ensure your products are of high quality and take on customer feedback to improve your products.
  • Follow up with customers to ask about their experience with your brand.

As customers ourselves, we all know we’re far more likely to tell someone about a bad experience over a good one. This is even backed up by research, as 13% of shoppers will tell a whopping 15 or more people about their bad experiences, whereas a 72% will only tell 6 or more people about good experiences.

When looking at the ecommerce experience you’re providing, just remember that you’re a customer yourself. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself ‘how would I rate this experience?’.


Build Trust

14% of shoppers stated ‘trust’ as their main reason for choosing a retailer and “Trust in brand” was the second biggest factor in purchase decision making.

To build a strong brand you need to gain the trust of consumers. There are 3 simple ways you can do this:

  1. Video Content: Using video content on your product pages has been proven to increase conversions. Why? Because as we all know photos can be deceiving. Videos are an easy way to gain trust and for customers to feel more confident with your brand.
  2. Reviews: 77% of customers read product reviews before making a purchase, so make sure you’re collecting them right from the get-go.
  3. Social Proofing: Customers are 6x more likely to purchase a product if the page includes pictures from social media, so curate content from customers to build brand trust.


Speak Your Customer’s Language

Tone of voice can often be overlooked when it comes to branding, but the way your brand sounds holds just as much importance as it looks.

Again, going back to how you want customers to feel will guide you to the right tone of voice. The way you speak online reflects your company's personality and helps you connect with your audience, allowing you to stand out from the competition.

Here’s some questions to ask yourself to land on the perfect tone of voice for your business:

  • Define your company's values. What do you stand for? What are you trying to achieve?
  • Who is your target audience? How do they speak? What language do they use?
  • How do you want users to feel when reading your content?
  • What are you against as a business? What do you not want to be known for?


Be Human First

Remember, we’re all only human. At the end of the day, users can’t relate to a boring corporate company that’s seemingly run by robots.

I wouldn’t worry about being too ‘professional’ in the beginning as it can quickly lead to dullness. The companies with the strongest branding like BrewDog, Pretty Little Thing and Dollar Shave Club don’t play by the rules. They’re a little ‘out there’ with their campaigns, but they’re memorable, funny and totally relatable for the target audience.

Tell your story, have fun and experiment with your ecommerce brand!

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