From countless sellers across marketplaces to pure-play eCommerce websites to social media stores, consumers today have thousands of options to shop online. The best way to cut through the competition is to have a distinct brand identity that helps you stand out. Right branding is more critical now than ever.
However, brand building is often ignored by marketplace sellers. Sellers may be under the incorrect impression that brand building and brand loyalty are tough to build on marketplaces. With scores of other sellers offering the same or similar products on marketplaces, sellers may be tempted to instead spend all their resources on vetted techniques such as product listing optimization.
What are the key ingredients needed to build a strong online brand?
1. A Smart Domain Name
When it comes to effective branding and building customer trust in your business, your domain name plays a critically important role. It is the first touchpoint for your customers to get an understanding of what awaits them when they land on the site.
A subdomain such as https://www.etsy.com/shop/desnoir is hard to remember and your customers will associate it more with the platform than with your store. However, with a simple, innovative domain name such as www.desnoir.store you can set up a redirect to your aforementioned Etsy store and yet brand it as your own online store.
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2. Slick Site Design
A website that is easy to navigate about and one that also takes into consideration the user journey translates into a superior web experience that in turn makes for a brilliant brand experience. Design your business website to clearly highlight core information such as your contact details and ‘the about’ section. Smartly design your product pages to include customer reviews and informative product descriptions.
Having a robust, functional site and a brand not only allows you to scale your business up but it also protects your business if the marketplace that you’re selling through were to become obsolete. You’ll have a ready customer base that you can now direct to your site instead of your marketplace.
3. Clever SEO
Include smartly crafted content sprinkled with your target keywords. Create a blog page where you can add content frequently and target long tail keywords. SEO is the ultimate hack for organic marketing and will help your site to rank higher on search engines. It is also a great way to establish authority in your niche.
If you are a startup or a new business looking for a domain name, you may have found it hard to find a name of your choice on traditional domain extensions such as .com, .net, and .org. However, you can now search for a relevant and brandable name on a new domain extension for your new business.
Once your site starts ranking higher for relevant keywords, thereby bringing new customers, you’ll see more traffic to your marketplace products (assuming you’ve linked them from your site). For instance, customers who search for a keyword such as vinyl art may land on your site, if it is optimized for that keyword, and purchase from your site or from your marketplace store.
4. Social Media Activation
Consumers today look to social media not only to discover new products but also to vet their legitimacy. Create dedicated social media handles and post actively. Linking your social handles to your site gives added backlink traction and doubles up as social proof. Having a page for your site on these channels is a great way to engage and connect with your target audience.
How to use your domain name to get your brand more visibility?
1. On Social Media
Social media offers the perfect opportunity to hammer your branding through branded short links such as leatherbags.store/sale. Having links such as this in your Tweet or Facebook post is a great way of garnering more exposure.
2. Across Banners, Content, and Merchandise
Your marketing materials such as banners, hoardings, and bespoke merchandise can have a specific link that is easy to remember and encourage visits, a link such as jumpsuit.store/contact.
A complex product must include a detailed description that addresses all of your buyers’ apprehensions and concerns. Every description must be written to inform and persuade. Always, always, always include high-quality pictures. Let’s zoom into the features of a great product copy.
3. For Special Sales such as Black Friday
Mega sales such as Black Friday are great branding avenues. A domain name like electronics.store/blackfriday will not only be memorable but also very enticing.
4. Associate it to a Product Category
Use your domain name to associate it with a flagship product that you sell on your site. For instance, if you are a candy store, you can highlight your category through a domain name or a branded link such as candy.store/organicskittles.
5. On Business Cards and Email Signature
Your business cards and email signatures are more than just a way to get in touch with you—they are branding opportunities too. For instance, if you’re sending a client information about sneakers, your email signature can include the link to the whole category – janice.store/shoes.
On a Concluding Note
Having your own domain name and site lend legitimacy and credibility to your business, be it for customers, suppliers, or even the platforms themselves. It is for this reason that Nebraska based The Stately Shirt Company went from www.thestatelyshirtcompany.com to www.stately.store for their eCommerce site that sells customs shirts.
A long and awkward site URL doesn’t do much to build confidence in your brand. So, if you are selling online, be sure to get a .STORE domain today!