There are lots of aspiring entrepreneurs out there who have great and innovative product ideas, but think, 'There’s no point in trying. The competition is too strong. I can never turn this into a profitable business'. This simply isn’t true - you just need the right tools to succeed.
Below are three factors to keep front of mind when trying to break into the world of business.
Build an engaging and trustworthy brand
E-commerce giants like Amazon and ASOS command a great deal of power in the retail marketplace and as such, customers are used to their shopping needs being met with specificity and lightning speed. Everything is custom and no delivery time is unachievable. The advantage that small to medium-sized businesses have is that they can focus on a unique offering and build a more personal relationship with their customers.
Creating a strong and engaging brand with a clear purpose and unique character is crucial to success in an overcrowded market. There is a big difference between creating a store and creating a brand. A brand is not just about the logo, or the website. A brand exists in a person’s mind - it’s about perception. Every successful brand solves a specific problem. It’s the all-encompassing experience that your customers get.
An example of unique and purposeful branding can be seen with Away. The company initially produced suitcases, but then expanded to offer a full travel range. Their focus is on ‘smart’ and ‘thoughtful’ pieces, that ‘solve travel problems beautifully and efficiently’. Each piece carries a special name that corresponds with its purpose - ‘The Everywhere Bag’, ‘The Daypack’ - and can be personalised. Their website is packed with instructional videos, travel articles and cleverly presented unique selling propositions (USPs), to make sure the customer’s specific needs are met. Generally speaking, consumers are likely to visit the Amazon website for a quick scan to find a cheap travel solution. On the other hand, Away Travel delivers a more personalised experience for those looking to purchase a custom suitcase specific to their journey.
Optimised checkout process
According to SaleCycle, the global average rate of cart abandonment is 75.6 per cent, which has caused over $18 billion a year in losses. Businesses have been investing significant amounts to understand and improve this. Some of these stats are, of course, due to ‘window’ shopping. However, a significant percentage is related to a website’s usability.
Your checkout page is where the magic happens and it’s the biggest threshold the user needs to overcome in order to make a purchase. Take time to optimise your checkout process. Simple techniques like taking away all visual distractions (such as the navigation), being upfront about delivery costs and times, allowing guest checkouts, smart data pre-fill, multiple payment methods and progressive checkout can certainly go a long way.
Look at big players in the game, such as ASOS, who already invest millions in checkout optimisation and carefully analyse the techniques they use.
Segment your audience (personalisation)
‘One size fits all’ is not the right approach when it comes to your audience. Segmenting your audience is crucial to creating convertible user flows and successful marketing campaigns. This will help you build brand loyalty and customer lifetime value. Focus on dividing your users into persona groups, clearly identifying the core needs of each persona, then speaking to them via valuable content.
Nowadays segmentation isn’t just about separating your audience into the typical categories of gender, age and location. The focus should be on the goal of the user. It’s possible to dynamically segment customers in real-time based on their behaviour on your website. Abandoned card? Retarget this customer with convincing offers and coupon codes. The customer bought from you? Add them into a special loyalty program.
Moreover, the possibilities of personalisation far surpass e-mail marketing. Now, you can segment your users across multiple channels such as Facebook, Instagram and Google. You can send custom text messages which logically follow their customer journey. If you have a physical shop or business, it’s worth having a real chat with your customers to understand their motivations, gripes and needs. From there, you can create a custom offering.
An excellent example of personalisation can be seen with Care/of. The company offers to create a box of daily vitamin and protein packs which are tailor-made for each client. Visitors to their website are encouraged to take part in an engaging quiz, which is used to create a recommended pack based on their lifestyle goals. Through this, the company get insights into customer data which can be further used to perfect their offering. A subscription-based offering also ensures a constant flow of revenue and high customer loyalty.
Nowadays, it can be difficult to stand out when the digital noise is so overwhelming. Above all, it’s important to create unique brand, value your customers, target wisely and optimise constantly.
At Only Marketing, we're specialists in developing unique brands and compelling customer-first marketing strategies. If you'd like to chat about how we could work together to propel the growth of your business, get in touch today.