The impact of inspiration in online retail

July 8, 2021
Rebecca Wine profile picture
Jo Molloy
  • Be consistent and shoppers will start to recognize your brand
  • Give shoppers a reason to follow your brand
  • Keep shoppers engaged throughout the entire shopping journey with inspiration

To grow your business in a thriving retail market space you need to be able to deliver a second-to-none webshop experience that goes above and beyond. So if shoppers haven’t specifically searched for a brand or product, you need to create an environment that encourages them to engage with your offering.

It’s inspiring your customers that is a critical part of building your brand and selling more products. It helps to shape your brand story and perception. But let’s talk about the two biggest concerns you’ve probably got by now. Inspiration takes a lot of work. And all that work will not drive tangible value to your business. At least not in the short term.

This lack of tangible value and the time, money and manpower that needs to be invested often kills all talk of improving your web shop before it’s even started. But focusing on inspiration can positively impact all areas of your business. And here's how...

Build brand awareness

When you've spent time, money and effort creating an inspirational experience, there's no point just keeping it to yourself. You need to share it and spread the word. By showing off your inspirational approach across social media, your email newsletter and all other online touch points, you'll grow and build up your brand awareness.

With a consistent and regular approach to online activities, shoppers will start to recognize your brand, your values, your message and your products. And, showing that you offer a different kind of shopping experience will help to create a buzz around your brand.

The logistics of building your online brand awareness can take time. But if you've got inspirational content like an online catalog or exclusive offers to promote, you're already one step ahead.

For ideas on where to start, here are the 9 fastest ways to build brand awareness online.

Grow your audience

Increasing your brand awareness and growing your online audience are two related but quite different things. Increasing brand awareness is all about getting your name out there. Whether it's through social media ads, targeting or any kind of outreach, brand awareness is increased by showing small and consistent glimpses into your business.

But to grow your online audience, you need to give them a reason to click. You need to give them a reason to become invested and follow your brand. You need to show them that you inspire.

Let's take a look at Yves Rocher Italia. They use their Instagram account to spread the word about their online catalog and use inspirational images consistent with their overall look and style.

Yves Rocher text and logo on a store front

If you've published, shared, promoted and talked nonstop about your new inspirational webshop and assets, you're going to increase your audience. It's pretty simple really. When you shout about your brand, get your name out there and promote your inspirational efforts, you'll reach a bigger pool of online shoppers.

Always think omnichannel. By working across channels, you'll start to grow traction, attention and interest. And with a webshop that's full of captivating images and engaging videos, you'll increase the chance of converting that new audience into sales.

Increase your sales

When you've invested heavily in a new and improved inspirational webshop experience, you're probably only going to be happy and see the value in your efforts when you see sales improving.

We all know that increasing sales is the main goal. But the thing is, you don't know what you're missing until you try. You need to consider and talk about a more inspirational approach and if you're going to go for it, go all in.

Because, with around 28 million ecommerce websites in total, if you don't offer a stellar shopping experience, you'll lose out on customers in the blink of an eye.

A person at a coffee table holding an mobile and browsing products on a webshop

From just a "place" to experience

Increasing sales in this day and age is already a hard task. But when you've understood the importance of inspiration in ecommerce and you've created the assets you need, you'll offer more than a simple place to shop. You'll offer an experience. An inspirational experience. An inspirational experience that seamlessly brings shoppers through the customer journey from first contact to sale. With a fast checkout that's easy to understand, doesn't hide additional costs and requires as little effort as possible, you can encourage shoppers to immediately act on their inspiration.

So don't halt those inspiration talks just because the rewards won't come immediately. It takes time and effort to create the ultimate inspirational ecommerce experience. But your efforts will be rewarded with an increase in sales.

Get repeat customers

If you've converted customers once with a smooth, intuitive and easy shopping and checkout journey, you'd think that they'll obviously come back for more. But, we all shop differently and for different things at different times.

And maybe you just happen to have exactly what that shopper needs at the right time. Retaining shoppers is not as simple as it sounds. You need to keep top of mind.

But thanks to your inspirational approach, you'll have plenty of resources to share and promote. You'll have irresistible images to share on ads, you'll have links to landing and campaign pages left right and centre and you'll have an email newsletter to keep your shoppers engaged.

Remember to always think omnichannel. Plus if you've really focused on your entire webshop experience - from browsing products all the way through to entering your card and delivery details, you'll be remembered for your one-of-a kind offering.

Your shoppers will remember that you offer a lot more than just a simple product search. They'll know you're the place to go for ideas. They'll know you're the place to go for inspiration. So, when you've taken the plunge and really invested in an inspirational ecommerce experience, it can impact and increase the most crucial aspects of your business.

You'll have a lot more resources and materials you can use to draw your audience in and lead them along their shopping journey.

Need to take it a step back?

Check out our high-level interview on inspiration in the retail shopping journey here.

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Desk with laptop block and pen

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