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How To Stand Out In Online Retail Space

2015 is expected to be a busy and fruitful year for all retailers. According to a report, U.S. eCommerce sales will grow to $279 billion in 2015. Increased use of tablets and smartphones, new business models and greater merchandise selection are some drivers of this growth.

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Big­name retailers like Amazon are expected to execute a plethora of marketing campaigns this year. With the amount of publicity and purchases these actions can drive, it is easy to see how large companies can take attention away from home business owners and small­scale retailers.

So if you don’t stand out and grab the attention of shoppers, they will spend elsewhere without a second thought. Here are some ways to set yourself apart from the competition:

Be creative

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Knowing that you have a target audience that’s willing to spend is a small comfort when you are competing with other eCommerce businesses. While copying what successful stores do may help, there needs to be something distinctive and creative about your brand that consumers can relate to.

Uniqueness can apply to several aspects of an online store, from branding to service to product. An example of a store that follows this strategy is SportyFish: the brand sells apparel to fly fishing enthusiasts and anglers. While stores selling tees are ubiquitous, SportyFish’s founder utilized his angling background to make a unique line of shirts depicting the passion for fishing.

Reinforce your brand

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In modern retail space, small­scale retailers need to go above and beyond the simple sale. You need a solid plan to reinforce your brand’s value in your customers’ minds. This involves keeping your marketing message consistent across different channels, including email marketing and social media networks, as well as offline marketing channels such as contests and product shipping & packaging. A great example is 64FACETS. The company adds touches such as personalized packaging to reinforce its brand image to its customers.

Similarly, custom cardboard boxes for retailers and eCommerce businesses can play into a larger branding strategy. Standard shipping boxes that receive a complete branding makeover often stand out at the customer’s doorstep. Such marketing collateral should be combined with online branding for the best results.

Use product videos

The Scarecrow – love this video, so creative! From Chipotle Mexican Grill

Product videos are one of the best sales tools you can use to promote your products.

Consumers love to see videos of products they will spend their money on, so it would be beneficial for you to integrate videos into your store. Remember, it doesn’t take a lot of brain power to see a video: they are easier to digest so they’re likely to engage an audience that may dismay information conveyed via text.

The eCommerce giant Zappos saw different increases in conversions after using product videos. Collections of videos can appear in different places on your site, or you could have a dedicated video section. Toy ‘R’ Us has a video gallery for consolidating product videos. If you can’t think of many ways to personalize your online brand, videos have you covered.

It can be difficult for small­scale retailers to stand out in online retail space, but striking the right balance means focusing on what makes you unique. Implement the tips in a manner that will educate, entertain and engage your audience.

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