jecasc - 9:45 pm on Nov 13, 2012 (gmt 0) [edited by: jecasc at 9:51 pm (utc) on Nov 13, 2012]
Actually it does not take so much to develop a brand. Any small ecommerce store can be a brand in it's niche and marketplace. All it takes is a clear positioning and persistence.
When I started my ecommerce business I did not think this way. I thought of my store not as a brand but I thought of my store as a place where I was selling other brands, the products I offered.
However at some point I recognized that more and more customers started coming to my website not searching for "product brandname" but for "mywebsitename" or "my company name".
So I developed this a little bit, tried to distinguish myself from the competition - for example I recognized that my competition was going mainly for price - offering complicated discount systems for first purchases, repeat purchases, for choosing a cheaper payment option and so on. To an extent that there was no way you would know what a product was costing at the end.
So I scratched discounts and low prices and went completly for easy website usability, fast delivery, fast customer service and things like that. Stocked more products so there is no product on backorder, everything immediatly available, changed my warehousing system, equipped the packers with scanners so the rate of false deliveries has dropped to close to zero and so on. Tweaked the design and colors of the website so it is immediately recognizable and does not distinguish itself only by the logo as many websites do.
Today 20% of my customers directly come to my website by typing in the domain name and another 30% of customers that come through search engines, have been searching directly for my website. In Adwords my website name, my "brand" is the most important keyword.
This leads to comperatively high conversion rates of currently 6.9% in average, at some days up to 10% as you can see here in the stats from the past few month:
And those customers don't compare prices at all. They just come to my website and buy. So I sell more and earn more per sale.
Now are we talking about a big brand, a national or even international brand? Would a stranger on the street know it? No way. It is only known in this particular niche. Heck, I only have 13,000 orders a year. However it makes a huge difference for me. It does not happen over night though.
[edited by: jecasc at 9:51 pm (utc) on Nov 13, 2012]