7 Awesome Tips for Better Ecommerce Branding & Design
Updated: Jun 15
eCommerce branding is more than just a nice logo and a catchy business name.
Sure, those are important.
But excellent branding is more about evoking the right feelings and nurturing the right connections with your ideal customers.
Because here’s the thing; consumers who feel an emotional connection towards your business are more likely to purchase your product.
Seriously, think about some of the most popular brands out there, and how they make you feel.
For example, when wearing Nike gear, don’t you suddenly feel more confident and powerful?
Or when getting a cup of coffee at Starbucks, don’t you feel warm, fuzzy and relaxed? These feelings don’t happen by accident. They’re the result of a good branding strategy.
So, let’s dive into some basic branding and design tactics that’ll help you attract (and convert) the right kind of customer.
Hold onto your hats.
1. Develop A Compelling Brand Story
Your brand story is essentially a narrative that describes your company.
This includes your mission, vision, and core values.
This is what is going to get your customers to connect with your brand, and eventually, lead them to purchase a product.
In order to develop your brand story, it’s important to remember why you started your business in the first place.
For example, consider D2C fashion brand Everlane’s story:
Notice how Everlane clearly distinguishes themselves from the majority of other fashion brands.
When you shop with Everlane, you can feel good about your purchase. You know that the person who made it got paid a fair wage, and the plant wasn't harned in the making of your t-shirt.
So, in a similar way, think about the most important benefits of your business, and what sets you apart from your competitors.
Ask yourself questions like this:
What were you trying to achieve when creating your brand?
Is there a bigger picture or purpose behind creating your brand?
What's unique about your brand?
What do you stand for as a brand?
Make sure that whatever it is, it’s transparent to your customers.
This will guarantee that you develop solid relationships with your customers and they are feeling the emotional connection to your brand.
2. Get Creative with the Customer Experience
Consumers are more likely to do business with brands that provide a more unique customer experience.
So, think outside of the box, and put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What’s something different you could add to stand out from your competitors?
Shopify recommends implementing branded packaging to create a special and more memorable experience, which can increase customer loyalty.
For example, popular makeup and skincare brand, Glossier, has memorable packaging that gives customers more than they expected to receive.
It includes stickers, discount codes for future purchases, a catchy phrase on the inside of the box, and aesthetically pleasing pink packaging.
When customers receive their items, they not only get what they ordered, but so much more. This creates a stronger connection between customers and the company itself.
Glossier also includes an in depth description of their products with the benefits of using each one. This makes potential customers feel more confident when purchasing one of their products.
The most important part of selling a product is creating trust between customers. Most people are more likely to purchase from a company that gives as much information as possible.
Unique packaging can also be a great marketing strategy by adding any social media accounts to follow as part of the personalization, which leads to the next tip!
3. Take Advantage of Social Media
To amplify your online presence, social media is the easiest and most effective way to do so.
According to Statista, about 79% of US citizens had social media accounts in 2019.
With these statistics in mind, if eCommerce sites maintain a clear and consistent online presence, they are more likely to engage with a wider audience.
Engaging in social media is also a great way to show off your brand and achieve a solid audience connection.
You’re able to speak with your audience, gain valuable feedback, and essentially create a “bond” with them.
Be sure to find the most relevant platforms for your audience.
Do a little competitor research and see where your competitors are active on social media.
This will give you a little bit of insight into where you should focus your efforts.
4. Make a Content Strategy
Be sure to promote your content on all social media platforms, as this is a way to show your audience that your brand can provide value and not just sell.
Consider content based on “how-to” videos, advice and tips, or anything you think your customers would gain value from or be interested in learning more about.
Blogging is a great way to share your story and develop relationships with your audience, but it can also be a helpful tool in driving leads.
Many Shopify blogs, like Gymshark's for example, have played an instrumental role in driving traffic and sales:
Utilize blogging, ebooks, infographics, case studies, videos, etc. to connect with your customers and complete your eCommerce branding strategy.
5. Ensure your Ecommerce Site is Mobile Friendly
A mobile friendly site is crucial, especially for eCommerce stores.
It’s no surprise that most people are on their phones a lot during the day, which means that consumers are more likely to purchase off their mobile devices.
If your site is not mobile-friendly, you will be missing out on a lot of potential sales.
For instance, Amazon's mobile app is just as good, if not better than the online version.
The app is easy to use, not glitchy, and very user friendly. Mobile sales are becoming increasingly popular, so you’re going to want to make sure your site is mobile friendly.
Having a mobile responsive website also helps with your ranking in search results. If you want people to find your products easier, a mobile responsive design is key.
6. Make Sure your Website is Easy to Navigate
Shoppers are going to browse through your website and potentially make a purchase, so you’re going to want to make sure your website is easy to navigate.
If your website is difficult or unclear, customers will be more likely to leave. For instance, If you’re a clothing store, be sure to include organized categories and subcategories.
Adidas demonstrates this perfectly. They have 5 main sections on their navigation: Men, Women, Kids, New Arrivals, and 3 Stripe Life.
Then, under each section, there are clear subcategories which include sneakers, hoodies, pants, etc.
Customers are more likely to purchase a product from a website that’s reliable, straight-forward, and easy to navigate.
Notice how Adidas is also showcasing their newest shoe, the Adidas 4D Fusio, and the “popular right now” heading. This shows customers the newest and most popular products, since it's right on the home page of their site.
So, when you’re creating navigation for your eCommerce store, be sure to keep it organized, easy to use, and don’t forget to highlight any new products!
7. Develop a Relevant Theme
As soon as consumers visit your site, it’s important that they know exactly what they are selling and what the brand is about.
For instance, the minute you get onto Amazon's platform, it’s clear that they are an eCommerce business that showcases the latest best selling products.
Choosing a theme is essential, you're going to want to choose a layout with colors and designs that fit your brand and just make sense.
Choosing the wrong theme can result in confusing anyone who visits your page, which you definitely don’t want.
A company specializing in natural skin care might want to go with a simpler approach with more neutral colors, rather than bold and dark colors that are more visually aggressive.
Take the time to choose a theme that works, and customize it when needed. After all, your eCommerce site is oftentimes the first interaction a consumer has with your brand.
eCommerce Branding Doesn't Need to Be Complicated
To sum up everything above, your branding and design strategy are both super important in ensuring a positive and long lasting relationship between your business and customers.
Building a strong brand is essentially telling your customers what your business stands for, so that’s why it has to be taken into careful consideration.
Take the time to develop a well thought out brand story and make sure the design of your eCommerce site is running smoothly.
The key to all of this is to put yourself in your customers shoes, and think about what you look for in a brand and what key details would leave you coming back for more.
Amanda Filippone is a copywriter for JSMT Media in Keyport, NJ. JSMT Media is a web design company that offers custom WordPress websites, SEO, and Google Ads management.