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Marrying stories with checkouts: Aligning brand experience with ecommerce ambitions

How can we align selling more products while nurturing the brand experience?

Sell more stuff. That’s all any business is ultimately looking to do. And the online space is a significant channel for sales for many brands. For some businesses, selling more stuff is the only thing that matters in the short term. We know that building brands and creating authentic brand experiences is ultimately more effective in driving growth over the longer term, accumulating effect and weathering challenging times and competitive markets. But that takes time. And tends to take significant longer-term investment. So how can we align these two ambitions without the detriment of the other - sell more product while nurturing the brand experience? For the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on brand websites rather than third party retailers or selling via social channels.

While it would be careless not to acknowledge the chaos and crisis we find ourselves in, and recognise the strain it is putting on businesses over the globe, the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on online retail is not the focus.

What we want to explore is something that’s certainly relevant to businesses now as they navigate this crisis, but not dictated entirely by the situation. Ecommerce was the fastest growing segment of retail market in Europe and North America, with combined sales in Western Europe growing from £152.20bn in 2015 to an expected total of £224.42bn in 2019 , according to figures by the Centre for Retail Research. That is a growth of +47.5% in 4 years. Of course, it will take some time to fully understand the impact of the crisis, but it’s helpful to understand the scale of the ecommerce market and opportunity pre-crisis with the hope and expectation that it will recover and find greater strength in the future.

In this paper available to download below, we’ll look at ways in which brands and businesses can approach marrying brand experience with ecommerce ambitions. Specifically, we’ll explore:

  • Prioritising brand experience and the role of product-focused content.
  • Harnessing data to forge intimate customer experiences.
  • The importance of value, both in terms of function and feeling.
  • Championing your customer experience by putting them first.
  • And the usefulness of approaching ecommerce with a human heart and mind.

It’s always been a challenging balancing act. Just now, it seems to matter even more.

Written by: Helen Davidson

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