As any startup CMO will tell you, eCommerce is a highly competitive industry. Therefore, that glaring need to stand out shines even brighter. Efficiency and convenience are just the first steps towards conversion. To really set your brand apart, you’ll have to do some outside-the-box thinking.
Or inside-the-box thinking, as Boxed.com believes. This eCommerce startup is in the business of delivering not only bulk grocery packages, but also joy within those packages. Customers are regularly delighted by personalized, handwritten notes and cartoon drawings of Boxed.com’s CEO atop their delivery bundles.
Jackson Jeyanayagam, Boxed.com’s CMO, helps market the heartfelt trinkets that illustrate the startup’s brand image. On the Renegade Thinkers Unite podcast, Jackson discusses some of the amazing things Boxed.com is doing to catch consumers’ eyes. We’ve embedded the episode below if you’d like to listen:
Here are 4 pearls of wisdom we learned from Jackson that can help grow your eCommerce startup:
1. Give Customers a Little Something Extra
If somebody orders from your brand once, give him or her the best possible reason to order from you again. I’m not just talking about offering bonus coupons or discounts. Many competing eCommerce brands will probably be offering those anyway. Tailor a perk that’s unique to your business. Jackson explains how Boxed.com charms customers with little extras. “It’s about delivering joy through every experience when you open the box,” he says. “You see a cartoon face of our founder with a quote on it. You see a handwritten note in a selfie of your box inside of it…It’s those little touches that for us is all about delivering joy, not only from your products that are there and you paid a good price for it, but all those other touch points that is a little bit more nuanced to us specifically.” A small bit of thought and consideration can go a long way. Show your customers how special they are to you through kind gestures like these.
2. Set a Clear Brand Vision
Your philosophy should carry meaning. If you’re running an eCommerce business—or any business for that matter—profit is probably your end goal. But if your company’s only goal is to make the most money, it won’t have the zest it needs to stand out. Set a brand vision that speaks to the problems you solve for customers. As Jackson bluntly puts it, “Brands that have a higher purpose tend to resonate with our customers more so than brands that don’t.” Keep those words in mind, and think about your community of consumers.
3. Do Customer Segmentation Research
Audience makeups are often complicated. Appeal to each demographic in a way that will hit close to home. Customer segmentation research can be expensive in terms of both dollars and hours, but the information learned is likely worth the cost. Jackson describes why customer segmentation research is critical for Boxed.com. He says, “What we want to do is attract [consumers] in with a great promo code. But if we know a little bit more about you we know what drives you, we can lead with something that’s more important to you around specific product or value prop versus me or someone else. And that’s where I really want to focus this data to drive better decisions on how we target and acquire new customers.” Like those perks mentioned earlier, some added attention to the customer could help develop a stronger relationship.
4. Assemble a Winning team
Your startup can only get so far without passionate team members. Employees shouldn’t like their jobs. They should love their jobs. Show appreciation for your workers every chance you get. The cliché that a happy employee is a productive employee is absolutely true. Here’s just one of the ways Boxed.com takes care of its team members:
Instituting a program like that may be shooting for the moon, but I hope its principle inspires you. Care for your employees, care for your customers, and care for your brand.