Consumer expectations in ecommerce branding

Branding is much more than just the icing in on the ecommerce cake; it’s the strong foundation shoppers expect behind every online merchant. Branding can quite literally mean the difference between a customer completing a transaction in your web store—or abandoning their shopping cart and heading on down the virtual road to see what a competitor offers.

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In order to maximize the effectiveness of your store’s appearance, personality and offerings, you need to understand modern consumer expectations in ecommerce branding. What does your store have to do to surpass shoppers’ wants and needs? How can your brand make an impactful first impression so a one-time shopper becomes a loyal lifetime customer?

Pay special attention to these four areas when you’re considering how to brand your web store:

Interactive Social Media

Social media is more than a platform for posting promotional links. It’s actually an interactive space where customers ask questions, leave comments and yes, launch public complaints. You must keep up on social media—and establish a reputation of responding quickly and effectively to your customers. Many brands are even implementing private, AI-driven chat messaging to handle customer queries. The expectation is a store should meet customers where they already are, whether that’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or another platform for one seamless shopping experience.


Immersive Ecommerce Environment

Your ecommerce website is really the central hub for showcasing your brand. Put aside the actual site navigation for a moment and think: Is your online store conveying your brand at a glance? Every decision provides a chance to reinforce whatever it is you represent. Establish a strong unique selling proposition (USP) and make sure it’s one of the first things visitors see on your home page. Design a logo unmistakably your own, with an intuitive font and color palette to match. Write content consistent with your brand, whether you’re conveying reserved elegance, technical thought leadership or childlike enthusiasm.


Customized Packaging

Unless you’re an ecommerce power player, brown boxes almost certainly lack the “wow factor” consumers have come to expect from their favorite brands. For example, packaging supply company Neenah created their “new lustrous pearl visual,” unveiled at an event in New York, “specifically for beauty, cosmetic and fragrance packaging.” The company also emphasized this chic packaging option is color customizable to the preferences of the brand ordering it.

Clearly, there’s a market for packaging that matches the ethos of what’s contained inside. Some brands choose to pursue sustainable, eco-friendly options to convey their commitment to their brand. Others prioritize what’s in the box because the unboxing experience has become so highly regarded and publicized among consumers. Either way, your packaging is your first impression. Make it count.


Branded Loyalty Rewards

One major goal of ecommerce is to establish a solid base of returning customers because it makes customer acquisition costs and efforts worthwhile. Creating a branded loyalty program is an important component of driving customer retention—but customers may be expecting something more dynamic than the old “club card” model.

The key to an enticing loyalty program capable of strengthening your customer’s relationship with your brand is to incentivize rewards. And avoid assigning arbitrary point values to dollars so shoppers have to do what feels like calculus to gauge where they stand; simple and straightforward is better for busy members.

Consumers have many expectations in ecommerce branding these days. If your online store can rise to the challenge with responsive social media, distinctive design, on-brand loyalty rewards and a customized unboxing experience, you’ll stand out from other websites and drive conversions.


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