E-commerce for Entrepreneurs web dev

How to differentiate your online store from competitors

/ Insights      / How to differentiate your online store from competitors

How to differentiate your online store from competitors

What makes ecommerce brands like Amazon, ASOS and Sephora stand-out from their competitors?

Simple, they work hard at differentiating themselves to keep customers engaged, loyal and most importantly returning. The online retail sector is fiercely competitive so emerging ecommerce startups must employ creative tactics to keep customers interested.

You don’t need huge marketing budgets to compete with established players, just a customer-centric strategy that puts customers first. Read on for our failproof hacks on how your online store can replicate the success of these leading ecommerce brands.

Supercharge your loyalty programmes to retain customers

A recurring problem online retailers face is how to encourage repeat purchases and increase retention. We all know the well worn saying by now that it costs brands more to acquire new customers than it does to retain existing ones. If this is true, why do brands insist on expensive marketing campaigns targeting prospective customers?

Buck the trend by implementing a loyalty programme that gives your current customers a reason to return often thus boosting purchase frequency:

  • Reward for more than just purchases: Traditional loyalty programmes used to just reward customers for simply making a number of purchases. The newer programmes go a step further by offering points for a variety of actions including newsletter subscriptions and friend referrals.
  • Create unique customer experiences: One of the best ways to increase lifetime customer value is to reward high spend customers with access to premium loyalty tiers and VIP events. Customers can be given brand ambassador status and should be rewarded accordingly for actively promoting your brand to their friends.
  • Use gamification to engage customers: Gamification is growing in popularity in ecommerce. Retail giant Nike has their online Fuel Program which encourages customers to share their best running times, track their progress and challenge friends to meet fitness goals. Adding this competitive element makes the programme much more fun for customers. What do customers get out of all this? Nike product exclusives, launch event invites and bespoke workout plans.

Takeaway: Look at creative ways your ecommerce brand can reward customers for more than just purchases. Check out loyalty programs from Swell, Smile and LoyaltyLion to give you a competitive edge over other online stores in your industry.

Enhanced personalisation to boost online sales

Effective personalisation is a great way to help your ecommerce brand stand out from competitors who merely see their customers as a number. Don’t make the same mistake as some big brands who neglect their loyal customers as they grow.

No matter how big or small your brand, there are plenty of creative ways to personalise each customer’s online shopping experience:

  • Personalise product recommendation: Take advantage of the power of product upselling by making good use of product recommendations. You can display the ‘products customers recently viewed’ or more helpfully, ‘products other customers also liked’ which is great for driving recommendations conversions. It can also help boost basket size per purchase as customers are inspired to buy products they wouldn’t have otherwise.
  • Shoppable Instagram feed: Social proof means customers are more likely to respond to content from other customers rather than the brand themselves. Integrate your Instagram feed on your homepage so customers can directly shop items that have been worn and styled by real customers. Besides seeing images of people who look like them as opposed to glossy models, customers will also get honest product feedback which will do more to motivate them to purchase than an advert ever could.
  • Customise emails to customers: If you are savvy enough to ask for important information when a customer creates an account, this can be used effectively to create targeted email communication. You can send customers special discounts on their birthday and the anniversary of when they opened an account with your store.

Takeaway: Personalisation is the difference between treating your customer as a person rather than just a number. Simply by addressing them by name in email communication and using their previous browsing habits to suggest product recommendations, you have a distinct advantage.

Exit intent pop-ups drive increased conversions

Struggling to convert your website visitors into regular customers? An exit intent pop-up could be just the tonic you’re looking for. Many ecommerce retailers suffer from high bounce rates when customers fail to make a purchase and leave the website.

Whether you love them or hate them, pop-ups are proven to drive conversions and keep customers on your site:

  • Grow newsletter subscriptions: Are you giving website visitors a strong enough incentive to join your mailing list? Perhaps they aren’t quite ready to make a purchase yet; don’t let them leave your website without encouraging them to sign up to your newsletter. This is a great way to send them relevant content to promote your products and keep your brand top of mind. You can incentivise them with product discounts for signups; pop-up firm Wisepops claim their customers report a 100% increase in their list building efforts when they set up exit popups.
  • Provide incentives like discounts: Discounts and special offers are a quick easy way to convert customers who would have typically left your website. If none of your products initially pique the interest of a new visitor, how about a discount exit pop-up to whet their appetite? You can offer a voucher if they continue shopping and make sure it has a strong call to action they simply can’t ignore.
  • Reduce cart abandonment: Millions are lost annually due to cart abandonment but when tackled, this can be a great way to claw back lost sales. If a customer attempts to leave a website with a full basket, a subtle pop-up telling them their cart will be saved to their email could be the reassuring nudge they need. You could even sweeten the deal by offering free delivery, thus removing another barrier to a potentially lost sale.

Takeaway: Take a look at your Google Analytics and study your bounce rate carefully to identify which pages customers are exiting your website on. You can use this data to help you decide the most appropriate exit pop-up to display to help drive conversions.

Here at Aspiring Panda, our talented team of developers is committed to creating innovative customisation features to help ecommerce brands differentiate themselves from competitors. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your ecommerce project today.


Anoop Panesar

Business Development Manager

Digital marketing and tech specialist Anoop is a well-known figure in the Harrow and North London community. Currently the Operations Director for Aspiring Panda, the company uses cloud and development expertise to solve some of the toughest business challenges – which has recently included consulting with East African nations to provide sustainable farming.

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E-commerce for Entrepreneurs web dev

How to build content for your ecommerce website

/ Insights      / How to build content for your ecommerce website

How to build content for your ecommerce website

Are you looking for a failsafe way to create engaging ecommerce website copy?

Engaging content is the bedrock of any good online store, so Aspiring Panda have put together a quick guide to creating web copy. As if that wasn’t enough, we also asked our Twitter followers to share their top tips too!

From visual sitemaps to SEO optimisation, check out these handy tips to get your ecommerce site content ready for go live.


Your ecommerce website content should be useful and practical to help convert visitors into customers. If this is your first time creating an ecommerce website, we recommend building a content strategy.

Make it easier for your team to collaborate during the content creation process with a shared folder on G Drive. You can store all the web copy for each page and easily comment and feedback on content created. Often teams depend too heavily on dummy content at the start of the design process. This may actually delay your website launch as lack of web content is usually one of the main reasons a website misses a go live deadline.

Looking for a more painless way to plan and organise your ecommerce copy?

We love the Jumpchart tool which helps with website architecture and visualisation. It gives all stakeholders a birdseye view of the sitemap, which acts as a blueprint so you can effectively plot your content.


After your website content planning comes content creation. If you are using one of the popular ecommerce platforms, there may already be SEO functionality built in.

Whether creating content from scratch or doing a content audit, ensure your web copy is SEO optimized. This is vital for ecommerce websites which can often have hundreds or thousands of pages.

SEO consultant Yanis Zisis stresses the importance of keyword research for your products or services. ‘Use Google Keyword Planner to identify what items visitors are looking for and create helpful content.’

Once you have established your keyword sets, you can begin creating engaging content for your target audience. Establish your tone of voice and brand guidelines to ensure your content appeals to customers.

Content should always purposeful and help visitors to make purchasing decisions, so consider tactics that will drive conversions. Graphic design marketplace 99 Designs, believe conversions are imperative.

‘Optimize through A/B testing of everything on-site including design, positioning of adverts and navigation,’ the designers say.


A large ecommerce website can typically have thousands of product images, so it’s important these are professionally shot. Invest in high quality photography of all your products as well as promotional images of the products in use.

Take the advice of Wine Cellar Door founder Elisabeth Else and develop ‘how to videos and behind-the-scenes imagery.’

This may sound like a large financial outlay, but is cost effective in the long run. You should now have a bulging image library for all collaborators to quickly access, particularly for press and marketing materials.

If you are working to tight time constraints, hire a freelance copywriter who can produce keyword relevant product descriptions. Emotive product copy and glossy images are much more likely to inspire customers to make a purchase.


A sign of a well executed ecommerce website, is lots of rich content from the customers themselves. Use your website as a platform for customers to share reviews about your products and services and help drive increased conversions.

By leveraging social proof, prospective customers are more likely to purchase a product if reviewed by a previous customer. Online retailer Evercreatures recommends rewarding customers for submitting user generated content (UGC) as this boosts customer loyalty.

Customer reviews are not the only source of rich content for ecommerce sites though. Customer queries and even complaints provide great opportunities for creating useful blog content.

‘Use customer FAQs as blog post topics. If they are wondering how to use your product then others will be thinking that too. Offer answers, inspiration and innovations through your posts and link to them each time it pops up. This answers them, increases website traffic and helps SEO,’ says Smoothie PR founder Charlotte Moore.

Creating content for your ecommerce website may at first appear to be a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be if you plan wisely. Implementing a content strategy that is SEO optimised is the first step to building a successful ecommerce site.

Contact the experts at Aspiring Panda to learn about some of our previous Services projects and how we can help you launch your store online.


Anoop Panesar

Business Development Manager

Digital marketing and tech specialist Anoop is a well-known figure in the Harrow and North London community. Currently the Operations Director for Aspiring Panda, the company uses cloud and development expertise to solve some of the toughest business challenges – which has recently included consulting with East African nations to provide sustainable farming.

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