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Ecommerce and authenticity

Posted over 3 years ago by Julia Williams

Last year showed us many things, but none more vital than the necessary evolution of marketing strategies to meet consumer needs and expectations.

With the imposition of lockdowns and reduced in-store shopping levels amongst consumers, seemingly overnight many brands switched from brick-and-mortar to ecommerce selling.

Accounting for the majority of the top 100 brand searches in 2020, the eeommerce market is anticipated to continue growing throughout 2021 as consumers continue to shop online. This creates a highly competitive ecommerce market, where differentiation will be key to success.

A recent document by Bazaarvoice highlighted that having a website and social media presence is no longer enough to attract and compete online, instead a focus should be placed on generating an authentic connection with consumers.

How can ecommence brands create authentic communications?

Understand your consumers

Consumers sit at the heart of authenticity, so if they don’t already, Ecommerce brands should consider implementing segmentation strategies into their marketing. Identifying who their core markets alongside their wants, needs and key pain points are an invaluable first step towards developing authentic communications.

Engage in targeted social good

Nothing speaks authenticity more than promoting messages which generate social awareness to guide or give back to the local community and broader society. Known as targeted social good, our podcast with Kieran S-Lawler, Head of Marketing at Hallam, identifies that this is a core tactic for brands looking to distinguish themselves in modern society.

However, ecommerce brands looking to take this approach must ensure that their actions and communications are aligned with their brands image and vision. A failure to ensure this can have a knock on effect on perceptions of authenticity.

Engage in consumer led marketing techniques

Consumer led marketing is where brands allow consumers to guide marketing activity, allowing it to feedback into the company.

One of the simplest ways to enable this is through encouraging consumer reviews. Known as a two-way marketing tactic, reviews are a core way to increase transparency surrounding brands by using real authentic opinions and information about products and services offered.

Research indicates 93% of consumers are influenced on their purchase decision after seeing a review, with trust in these likely to be higher when they are seen across trusted platforms like Google and Amazon. However be careful as trust and perceptions of authenticity are likely to decline if perceptions of falsification, an overwhelming amount of 5* reviews or bad grammar come into play.

Consider micro-influencers

Though research surrounding the effectiveness of using influencers to promote products is diminishing with only 28% of consumers globally trusting the authenticity of influencer recommendations, there is some contention within this area.

Though Micro-influencers (those with between 1,000 to 10,000 followers) reach a smaller audience compared with bigger household names, they are likely to be more effective at building brand trust and conveying authenticity due to their stronger and more personal connection with their audience.

As long as they are aligned with your brands image and message strategy, using micro-influencers can be a highly cost effective way to advertise ecommerce brands, as 82% of of consumers are likely to buy something a micro-influencer recommends, resulting in 22.2 more conversions than the typical user.

Generating authenticity is a key way for ecommerce brands to stand out from the increasingly crowded market in 2021. If you are looking for some help in developing your ecommerce marketing or digital strategy through talent acquisition, feel free to reach out to myself.

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Header: Adapted from photo by Jeffrey Czum from Pexels