The UK’s eCommerce market amounts to around £700 billion, yet 90% of eCommerce startups fail within 120 days. What does this mean? It means the potential is sky high, but the execution is harder than it appears.
Thankfully, analysing recent brands that have transitioned is a powerful tool for new companies. Here are three things you should take away from their success.
Social Media Presence
Social media isn’t a secret. However, it’s surprising how many entrepreneurs underestimate its effectiveness, like its power is waning. The reality is very different because 81% of people in 2021 used the likes of Instagram to research products and services. An additional 130 million users actively click on shopping-based posts.
Therefore, it’s wrong to ignore social media channels. You only have to look at GymShark to see how productive social media is for a new brand. By 2019, the brand had generated sales in excess of £100 million thanks to its strategy of turning influencers into ambassadors. Bodybuilders Lex Griffin and Nikki Blackketter, for instance, wore GymShark clothing, advertising the brand to more than 20 million people.
As GymShark got bigger, more influencers signed long-term contracts and promoted its clothing line. Today, it has around 20 influencers on its books across a range of channels, from Griffin and Blackketter on Instagram to Matt Morsia on YouTube. Through this approach, GymShark became a £1 billion business in 2021.
Strategizing Content for Engagement
One of the reasons GymShark’s plan works is because it’s engaging. Social media operators pull in significant user numbers, making it easier for Ben Francis to grab customers’ attention. But there’s more than one way to skin a cat as far as engagement goes. If the content is strategized and optimised, it should cut through.
The food subscription industry is a prime example of what you can do when you’re organised. At its peak, 100 rivals were competing for the same customers, and now HelloFresh is the undisputed market leader with seven million customers in the first quarter of 2021 alone. Co-founder and CEO, Dominik Richter, is on record as saying that the key to the brand’s success is targeting the right people – busy families with disposable income – with enticing recipes that are quick and tasty.
Adding hashtags to the mix has only helped the likes of HelloFresh, too. After all, they create a presence on the world’s biggest platforms, leading to studies suggesting that posts with 11 or more hashtags get interaction rates of around 80%.
Leaning on Ranking Systems
This leaves humble ranking systems. They’ve been around for a while, but the internet has revolutionised them in recent years, causing their influence to boom. Some research puts the number of customers who read reviews before purchasing products and services at 93%. That’s impressive and scary in equal measure.
However, the problem for businesses is standing out from the crowd. How do you score highly among your peers and competitors? The answer is by offering added value on a grand scale, which is one tactic of many deployed by the ludicrous online casino industry. With generous promotions that range from no-deposit bonuses to cashback and free spins, the sector has managed to reach a value of nearly £40 billion worldwide, with the figure expected to grow to £67 billion by 2023. As a result, reviewing casino bonus codes is essential to players as they must know what it is and who it applies to, such as a 100% deposit match for new customers or a moneyback promo for existing customers. With blog and website directories, the effect is greater since searching for the top offers is straightforward.
Of course, several sectors rely on ranking systems as much as the online casino industry, like restaurants and hospitality. TripAdvisor is a trusted tool that alerts people to potential issues at pubs, eateries, coffee houses, and hotels, with this Guardian piece going as far as saying that TripAdvisor changed travel by using reviews to turn the industry on its head.
The best tactics are to use social media channels effectively, strategise your content to make it more engaging, and rank highly on review sites. If you can do that, your online brand will be in a healthy position.