How can you take e-commerce business into next level?
You need to make buying from your brand an experience.
Let me ask you something. How many of you have gotten one of the following pieces of advice from a marketing team but it wasn’t the game changer you hoped for?
- Create time scarcity
- Run coupons and discount codes
- Run exclusive offers
- Blog more
- Focus on upsells
- Run more Facebook Ads
- Run more Google Ads
Maybe it pushed the needle a little, maybe it was a total flop. But very rarely is cutting prices, creating scarcity and just putting your name out there more and more going to revolutionize your business.
Your consumers are tired. They are tired of a million promo messages and pitches in their inbox.
How often do you buy something because an eCommerce company sent you an automated email that also went out to 10,000 other people? Probably not too often.
Seeing your promo ad retarget them for the 100th time on Facebook isn’t making them realize what they are missing…. It’s just making them annoyed!
Look, the reality is this: As long as you sell a commodity, then as soon as you get undercut on price, your customers will go to the nearest competitor. It’s like buying soap at the grocery store. Nobody cares about the brand. If you sell a commodity, the customer will just buy it when they need it, not before then, and they don’t need your reminders.
But some eCommerce companies have figured it out. The magic, fabled secret to unprecedented growth…..
You need to make buying from your brand an experience.
What does that mean? Let’s take a look at some examples:
Birchbox is a subscription eCommerce business that sells beauty product boxes that ship each month to the customer. As of 2019 the company was worth over $200 million and sports over 2.5 million customers. What they have done to earn this growth is they “turn receiving a package into an event.
The key to keeping your customers surprised, delighted, and coming back for more is a memorable unboxing experience. Put some extra love and care into how you ship your products with free gifts, personalized notes, and fun packaging.” - Shopify
The key is “surprise and delight”. What makes Birchbox stand out isn’t the products themselves. There are plenty of other players in the beauty market like Sephora or Ulta who could price fight with Birchbox. But yet Birchbox continues to rise.
That is because what makes Birchbox special is the surprise of getting something unexpected each month, “the mystery box”.
What makes Birchbox special is that they throw in extras all the time, just to make their customers happy. What makes Birchbox special is the high level of customization they employ, including hand written letters and personal recommendations from beauty specialists tailored for them.
Birchbox evolved from selling a commodity to selling an experience and when they did, they turned their customers into raving fans who do their marketing for them!
Munkstore is a Danish fashion brand that went from relatively obscurity to a multi-million dollar machine over the last several years. What propelled Munkstore to the #1 rated men's clothing line in Denmark?
Personalization that created a remarkable experience (and led to reviews). Munkstore realized something. We live in an age where the power is in the hands of the customer.
The customer goes out and reads reviews or listens to their friends recommendations.
They realized it is infinitely more persuasive to have thousands of glowing 5-star reviews from your customers then it is to run Facebook ads from the company itself talking about how great you are.
So the company used Bonjoro, a personalized video email tool, to send out genuine 1:1 thank yous after purchases.
They sent personal videos to show a product before they packaged it to ship and they sent personal videos to showcase cool new product lines, but specifically tailored to the individual customer.
Not only are these messages unique and thus dodge the dreaded promotions folder in gmail, but they generate goodwill! They showed that Munkstore cares enough about their customers to go above and beyond!
Stitch Fix is a curated fashion subscription service where a team of experts asks questions, gathers data and then sends you a bag of clothes. The company is closing in on being worth $2 billion dollars. That’s billion with a B.
This growth is built on the back of the one of the highest customer retention rates in the business. Customers sign up and stick around. So what the secret?
Personalization. Stitch fix asks a series of questions, gathers tons of data and then sends over the custom choices. Buyers can return what they don’t like for new options and Stitch Fix then can adapt and learn.
Because each buyer is getting advice from an expert, there is human connection, and the process feels like you have your own fashion consultant on call. That is the experience part.
Stitch fix often includes personal notes and advice and works hard to create that 1:1 connection with their customers, even at scale.
How do I get out of the price war?
Take it from the wildly successful companies above. You can win without discounting your product to death and having to compromise on quality. It just takes putting on your customer shoes for a bit.
What do you love as a buyer? What makes you feel connected to a brand? Why do you decide to pay that premium for something?
If you are like most of us, it’s probably because you don’t think of the item you are buying as just a “commodity” but instead you feel a sense of affiliation and connection to the brand. Tap into that for your own product line and you will see that it makes all the difference.