One of the biggest challenges that you, the modern ecommerce store owner faces is making your brand stand out.
With so many people selling so many things, competition is fierce.
Marketplaces like Amazon and eBay who account for such insane percentages of online sales are only making it harder.
So with so much competition, how do you stand out from all the noise?
Today you’re going to see 7 ways that can help you stand out.
1 – Sell something that no one else is selling
This first point isn’t a necessity, but it’s going to make your life easier.
If your business is based on power banks or wireless mice, you’re going to struggle to be different.
If your business is based on selling unique items that nobody else sells, you’ll be setting yourself up for long-term success.
- Guitar knobs made of exotic wood
- Bike hangers that are also bike stands
- Solar powered portable fridges
See a pattern here? Guitar knobs, bike hangers and fridges are not unique, but there’s a selling point of them that is.
This is potent leverage for your brand to take advantage of.
When it comes to standing out from your competition, the more unique your product, the easier it’ll be to stand out.
2 – Offline marketing for an online brand
Just because your brand bases itself online, doesn’t mean that offline marketing can’t help.
If you’ve got a good idea of your ideal customer, you know where they spend their time.
Perhaps they spend a lot of time travelling. Then an airline’s in-flight magazine is a good idea to place your advertisement.
Business cards are always a great idea for when you run into someone in the street, as are stickers.
Is your ideal customer a stay at home mum who spends most of her day taking care of the kids and the house? She would probably spend a bit of time listening to the radio, don’t you think?
Chances are that your competitors have completely overlooked offline marketing in favour of spending more money on PPC advertising.
It’s up to you to leverage this.
3 – Go into stores
For the same reason that offline marketing is good, offline selling can also be beneficial to you.
Placing your products in relevant stores can help you be seen by people who may not be online shoppers.
For example, a local ‘Ma and Pa’ store may have a lot of foot traffic.
While there are a lot of ways to drive traffic to your website, foot traffic isn’t one of them.
Foot traffic is unique, as it’s usually impulse buyers or people browsing.
Online impulse buying mostly happens when you know what you want to buy.
So by having your product sitting on the shelves in this store, you’ll more than likely be seen by a whole new demographic – foot traffic and impulsive buyers
You’ll stand out and be seen by people who normally wouldn’t see your products.
4 – Killer packaging
Let’s say your product has a price tag of $19.95.
If your customer feels like their purchase is worth $9.95, they’ll be disappointed.
If they feel it’s worth $19.95, they’ll be satisfied.
But if you can provide a product that feels like it’s worth $99.95, but has a price tag of $19.95, you will make your customer think ‘wow, I really got more than what I paid for here’.
One way to increase the perceived value of your product is custom packaging.
Here’s one example of how customised packaging can add a sense of value to a product:
Anyone could put some coffee beans in a bag along with some brewing gear. But with a branded box, it brings the whole experience together.
Plus, with more and more influencers creating ‘unboxing videos’, now’s the time to have a customised box.
Now, before you brush this idea off as being too expensive, custom packaging can be had for as little as €0.30 per package.
That’s a small price to pay to delight your customer and turn a one time buyer into a return buyer!
5 – Become Ernest Hemingway
Well, that may be a bit hard. But the point here is to simply write correctly and write well.
What’s your tone of voice?
Are you ‘omg yayyy love love love this’ or ‘We are delighted to present our elegant and enduring masterpiece’?
Your tone of voice should actually be defined when you’re branding your business. Just like your logo and colour palette, it’s something that your customers will remember.
Being a good writer is more than just knowing your tone of voice.
Are your mountain bike saddles ‘extra large’ or can they fit ‘35 litres of everything you need on a long ride (plus all the junk you won’t use but want to take anyway).’
Extra large is vague and immeasurable.
35 litres is a measurable figure.
Plus, the reader is told the benefit – it’s able to hold everything he needs. What’s more, there’s a little humour in there, too.
6- Be everywhere
Your customer will find your product on your website, but they’ll then look on Amazon.
Then they may go look for it for a cheaper price on eBay, but then try and find a similar product on Etsy.
Afterwards, they’ll compare your product on a product comparison website.
Then, they’ll go back to your website to read reviews and then to YouTube to see an unboxing video.
By being in front of your customer on all of these channels, you affirm yourself as a brand that’s done its homework. A brand that is everywhere a customer looks, is a trustworthy brand.
This is a fantastic strategy to implement if you want to build a long-term, successful brand.
What’s more, by listing your products on multiple sales channels, you increase your notoriety and your potential sales.
7 – Customer service
Watch this video to learn a thing or two about customer service.
Long story short, it’s 8 am and this guy is in a far-off town to do a lecture when he realises he left his shirt and tie at home. His lecture is at 9 am. He goes from store to store and nothing is open.
He then calls Nordstrom. They’re not open, but the Customer service assistant gets him a shirt and tie and brings it to where he is presenting. He doesn’t have to pay until after his presentation.
That’s what delighting your customer is, and there are many ways to do just that.
If you strive for the same level of customer satisfaction, your brand will stand out. Something as simple as a thank you note may even do the job.
Perhaps driving across the country to deliver a purchase yourself is a bit much, but use common sense. If you can go out of your way to delight a customer, do it.
In the video just mentioned, this man is now more than a Nordstrom customer. He’s an evangelist. He is doing Nordstrom’s marketing himself.
That’s what quality customer service can do, and that’s what your small brand needs to do if it wants to stand out.
These 7 simple tips are just a few things that can help you stand out from your competition.
Most of what you’ve read today is incredibly cheap to implement, if not free. These things will take time, but consider it an investment as well as experiment.
Ultimately, trying something that your competition is not doing will help you stand out and be seen, too. What are some of your favourite ways to stand out?