The power of a brand experience can define a retailer’s growth. When a consumer visits an e-commerce website, his or her first impression is on the brand, and whether it and its products reflect the style they are seeking. If you do not engage consumers with your brand upfront, you risk losing them when it comes time for them to make a purchase. This is the very reason why our own in-house brand, Furniture.com, refreshed their website design late last year, including re-vamping the blog, Pursuit of Home. Another online retailer Wayfair operated under the brand name CSN Stores up until 2010 as relatively unknown brand in its space. The company was growing steadily but its re-branding was a risk that helped the company reach a broader consumer base. So what can retailers do to make sure their brand stays relevant with their consumer? Blueport shares these three tips:
1. Know Your Consumer
Keep tabs on how your brand is showing up on search results and how consumers are reaching your brand. You will not only want to look at how consumers get to your brand, but also how long they are engaged on your site. If a consumer can’t find what they are looking for quickly, they will drop out and you will see your rankings decrease on Google. Furniture.com did extensive consumer research, to help define both the site look and feel as well as how products are marketed to consumers. Consumer research also drove CSN Stores re-brand to Wayfair. They noticed that consumers were shopping more by brand rather than by product, and as a result their vertical-specific sites via CSN Stores were losing rank on Google and consumers could not find products as easily.
2. Don’t Worry About The Short-Term Consequences. Think Long-Term.
Initially it’s expected that websites take a hit in traffic or search rankings when something is changed, such as the brand or the overall experience that can surprise repeat visitors. But over time this dip tends to follow a bell curve for the retailers as theoretically the changes would enhance consumer relevance over the long-term. Wayfair, for example, was initially penalized by Google upfront for the redirects they had to use. If you do have to make a change, don’t be concerned about the short-term consequences of those changes. As long as you are confident the changes you are making are ultimately best for your core consumer, make the change and stick it out.
3. Don’t Forget About Your Stores
Many of our clients are fortunate in that they have built brand loyalty over time through their stores. While it is important to focus on your e-commerce efforts, don’t lose sight of your store experience. Your brand should be a cohesive experience from engagement to purchase. Your in-store sales efforts are key to making a lasting impression and driving consumers to your web presence when they ultimately decide to make a purchase.
Overall, don’t wait until it is too late to make changes to make your brand more relevant to your consumers. Most retailers don’t make changes until a drastic change is needed to turn sales around. Making small changes to enhance your brand along the way will help avoid this retail pitfall. And, if you find that your brand name or look and feel needs a change, don’t be afraid to take the plunge. Ultimately, it is all about staying relevant with your consumer. So find out who they are (if you haven’t already), drive them to your store or website by learning how they shop, and create an engaging and positive experience that will keep them coming back for years to come.
About Blueport Commerce
Leading furniture companies work with Blueport Commerce to capture the billion dollar furniture omnichannel opportunity. We marry our clients’ bricks-and-mortar infrastructure and expertise with our decade of online furniture experience, innovative technology, and customized marketing services. For some retailers, the Blueport e-commerce platform powers their branded omnichannel websites, driving sales online and in their stores. For other retailers, we drive online sales through Furniture.com, our e-commerce website. For many, we do both. Learn more here. And, if you’re interested in working for Blueport, check out our e-commerce jobs on our careers page.