How to Create a Good e-Commerce Value Proposition

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value propositionAs this demand for individual experience continues to grow, it’s important for blogs and e-commerce businesses to take the time to ensure that they have a value proposition that effectively helps them communicate why they’re a unique solution to a potential customer’s problems.

Rider University has reported a Salesforce statistic that 52% of private consumers expect companies to provide customized content. This expectation of a personalized experience has become increasingly possible thanks to modern developments in big data as well as the technology to both analyze and utilize it.

What Is a Value Proposition?

It’s the primary reason a customer should use your product or service. It highlights the value that you offer, why it’s superior to your competition, and why is it a uniquely good fit for them. 

These propositions should be simple and easy to understand. A company that manufactures mouse traps that use noise to scare mice away, for instance, could focus on the fact that it solves the customer’s problem without hurting or killing the mice. 

They shouldn’t necessarily be formulaic, though. Subway, for instance, provides sandwiches based on a value proposition of providing exactly what their customers want: a tailor-made sandwich. Panera Bread, on the other hand, operates on a what you see on their menu is precisely what you’ll get if you order it mentality. Both locations serve sandwiches, but their propositions are completely different, focusing on what each company’s unique customer segment’s desires and needs consist of.

Regardless of the specifics of your company’s value propositions, they should always be crafted in both the tone and voice of your brand. They should also always reinforce why you’re uniquely suited to solve the customer’s problem.

Value Propositions, Mission Statements, and Slogans

It’s important to differentiate this particular concept from two other important business elements: your mission statement and your slogan.

A value proposition is not the same as your mission statement. A mission statement, as defined by Entrepreneur, describes a company’s competitive advantages, functions, markets, business goals, and philosophies. It is focused on the organization itself, what it is, and why it exists.

They are also different from a slogan. “Shop crazy cheap cars every day!” isn’t a value proposition, it’s a marketing slogan. However, “our cars have been carefully selected from those that leave the smallest carbon footprint,” is. It communicates to eco-conscious consumers that a car dealer’s vehicles are chosen specifically to help them live a green lifestyle.

Mission statements are about the company, and slogans are largely marketing tools. The value proposition provides valuable information about your products and services, all of which is targeted at the consumer.

Why Does It Matter in e-Commerce?

When it comes to e-commerce, in particular, value propositions are critical parts of success. It’s difficult for any business to stand out from all of the white noise. The naturally global nature of the online marketplace can make this task seemingly impossible. e-commerce sites are a dime a dozen, and it’s easier than ever for anyone to quickly create a professional-looking site. 

In order to stand out, an e-commerce company needs at least one good proposition. This helps customers effectively identify why you’re the superior option compared to the plethora of alternative e-commerce sites that are a quick click away.

In fact, there are many ways that e-commerce sites can utilize these concepts to specifically differentiate why they provide a better overall e-commerce experience. These include things like:

  • Offering free shipping.
  • Operating a smooth, easy-to-use website.
  • Providing quick and effective customer service and recommendations.
  • Including online order tracking.
  • Maintaining a good return policy.

How to Create a Good e-Commerce Value Proposition

If you operate an e-commerce site, you’re going to want to take the time to create a thoughtful value proposition. This should be concise, short, simple, and communicated to the customer directly and without confusion. 

If you don’t have one yet, you’re going to want to go about building it the right way. 

  • Begin with a headline: This should be a single sentence that is straightforward. It should clearly explain why your product or service is the best option for the customer. This is going to be the flagship element of your value proposition. It should be easy to communicate, should read smoothly, and should serve as a rallying cry for why your products and services are best.
  • Add a sub-headline if needed: This can be a short subheading or even a small paragraph. However, remember that it must still be easy to grasp quickly. Your sub-headline should be where you expand on your initial claim. Using the mousetrap analogy from above, this would be where you briefly explain why it’s important to protect your house and avoid harming animals in the process.
  • Back things up with visuals: Finally, you’re going to want high-quality, eye-popping images to back up and visually demonstrate your value proposition. 

Once you have your value proposition, make sure to weave it right into your business plan and integrate it into your marketing strategy.

Value Proposition in Your Business Plan

A business plan is a crucial founding element of any successful e-commerce store. It’s tempting to dive right into the fun stuff, like creating your website. However, it’s important that you first take the time to carefully and specifically spell out what you’re trying to accomplish. Things like short-term and long-term goals and market research are key components that will help you stay on track as you build your brand. 

Another critical element of a business plan is your value proposition. Define what it is that makes you stand out as a company and why your products and services are (or will be) superior. This will help provide direction and keep you focused as you work on your e-commerce site.

Take a look again at the list of e-commerce-focused propositions listed above. Which of these should be an integral part of your e-commerce company? Write them directly into your business plan.

Marketing Your Value Proposition

Once you create your proposition and incorporate it into your business plans, it’s time to begin propagating it across the web. This is done in a variety of different ways:

  • Your company website: This is the number one place that you want to promote your value proposition. In fact, make sure that it’s front and center, right on your homepage.
  • Social media channels: Social media can be one of the most effective ways to make a profit online. As your flagship message, your value proposition needs to be heavily utilized throughout your social media marketing.
  • Email campaigns: SEO-optimized websites and social media are excellent ways to help new customers see your value proposition. However, it should be used within your own email marketing campaigns. Often these are to existing customers who have opted in to an email list. This can be an excellent opportunity to express your value proposition and even expand on the reasoning behind it.

Using Your Value Proposition to Succeed

At this point, the online marketplace is oversaturated in almost every industry. If you want to succeed in standing out, you must have a thoughtful value proposition for your products and services. 

It’s important to take the time to develop a good value proposition. Once you have this, you can use it in your business plans and marketing strategies. It can serve as a focal point for your message and can quickly communicate why your brand is the best.

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