Planification vs. Réalité - 5 défis typiques du positionnement du E-commerce

5 typical E-commerce positioning challenges

5 typical E-commerce positioning challenges

Do your plans match reality?

Few sectors have as much potential for success as online sales, but successful e-commerce positioning can be difficult when your plans don’t match reality.

You know exactly what it means because you’ve seen it before. It’s the LinkedIn ad that has nothing to do with your work or the technology you use. Or it’s a trendy supplement on Instagram, when you’re really on the hunt for those futuristic earrings or the latest sneakers presented by your favorite sneakerhead. If the positioning is right, it’s easier to understand your market and set up the right advertising and drip campaigns.

It sets the tone, ensures you have the right audience and helps execution turn into conversions. Your company deserves it.

Online store
Online store

So here are five common positioning challenges and how your reality could be different.

1. Raising awareness: Your company and the hungry market
The first step in most customer value journeys is to raise awareness of your products and brand. You put a lot of effort into the e-commerce space. Because you’re not in the traditional retail business, and you’re competing with brands from all over the world, you’re the main advocate for your products and the best place for people to learn about you.

Faced with this situation, many companies draw up a basic plan. They say to themselves: I’m going to target a hungry market that wants exactly what I’m selling, because everyone is always shopping online!

In reality, it’s hard to find a hungry market, and customers may buy a lot online, but they don’t shop in many different places. Your best audience is out there, and it’s hungry, but you have to seek it out and find it. Then place your message in front of them. This can be done in a variety of ways, and one of the most widely advertised options is the purchase of lists.

Unfortunately, there is so much data available that it can be difficult to start with a reasonable, narrow target. To meet this positioning challenge, we first need to examine the current market. Take a look at competitors and successful brands you like.

If your product belongs to a new category, or if you have a specific position that you haven’t seen elsewhere, look for similar approaches in other market segments. Focus your research on where potential buyers are.

For those of you with established brands looking to rekindle interest or conquer new markets, limit where you A/B test to ensure reliable attribution.

Raising awareness is an immediate need that deserves long-term investment. Look for ways to solve specific problems for your customers today, and present yourself as a reliable long-term alternative.

Tackle the big emotions behind what you’re proposing – improving relationships or giving people back their free time rather than accomplishing a specific task – so you don’t try to fit a narrow niche of products and problems.

2. E-commerce certification

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Once people know you and can find you, it’s time to start selling. This is the core of an e-commerce company’s operations, and most plan to let their products speak for themselves. I mean, you make a great product, and people should be able to recognize it immediately, right?

Actually, not so much.

E-commerce is crowded, and there’s a lot of differentiation to be done to promote your products and generate leads and sales. This includes the way you present your products, as well as the wider offers your store makes. If your product is better, but a competitor comes up with a more convincing offer, you risk losing the sale.

You need messages that resonate with your audience and keep them engaged. Even if someone doesn’t convert when they see your first message or content, it can put you in mind when they’re ready to buy.

Where to start? Create relevant offers for your different audiences. Target people with something they might use or enjoy. Take into account their budget and any initial offers that may encourage them to buy again.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Free offers must provide value and answer questions or propose problems to be solved.
  • Offer your audience a low-risk option if your business thrives on repeat purchases.
  • Explain why someone should take a chance on you.
  • Tailor offers to perceived value. If you’re selling coffee and don’t want to do a free offer or a $10 bag, make sure that the big pack you’re selling for $90 gives the impression of being worth a lot more.
  • Help your audience feel they’re getting their money’s worth every step of the way.
  • Create a few key offers and promote them everywhere. This way, your audience gets what they need, no matter how they find you, and no one feels upset that they used the banner discount and not the Facebook one that arrives a week after their purchase due to retargeting.
  • Simplicity is an easy way to keep products flowing and buyers happy.

3. Subscriptions: No one size fits all

One of the most common plans that every e-commerce company hears today is that everyone else is offering a subscription, and that you should too. In reality, it doesn’t make much sense for all companies, and customers don’t want it for all companies. Sometimes people just want to buy once and get everything they need without having to commit to continuous payments on their account or credit card.

You approach the subscription question by doing detailed research into what people want you to offer and what you can offer. Subscriptions generally require a large number of SKUs, which means regular orders and substantial investment. Increasing the number of SKUs and stocks also increases your shipping, warehousing/storage and order processing costs.

The question to ask your business and financial partners is this: Will a subscription offset these costs?

If the answer isn’t clear, look at potential recurring options and product lifetimes to see where you might have a complement instead of a constant replacement. This approach can enable you to create a subscription-type element or sentiment without the need for a high volume of SKUs.

In this case, you link a product or option to a specific order number. So everyone receives the same item in package two, regardless of when they sign up for the service. If person A registers in August, he or she will receive the article in September. If person B registers in December, he or she will receive this article in January. You control the flow and don’t have to order large volumes of new SKUs every month.

4. Enthusiasm: Not everyone is the most “fun” of the two.

Most people who go into e-commerce are very enthusiastic about their business and their products. They think customers will be just as enthusiastic! Positioning often relies on this level of enthusiasm to encourage sales and relationships, without necessarily generating this enthusiasm with a new audience.

But what if you’re selling something more useful or relaxing than exciting? What if the most important feeling was one of relief when your parcel arrived at the door? Or what would you do if a customer didn’t know you well enough to get excited before using your product for the first time?

The reality is that your company has to make its case to customers who are unfamiliar with the brand and have limited attention spans, even for a product category they like. The emotions you wish to arouse must be created and nurtured over and over again. And excitement isn’t always people’s reaction.

The home delivery market for pet food and meals is worth over $1.67 billion – even if the puppies are all excited, many owners are just happy that the food arrives and they don’t have to rush to the store.

This proves that you don’t have to be the “fun” brand to build an empire. And you can’t force people to think of you as the fun brand anyway. Get to know your company through the eyes of your customers. Start by taking a close look at your brand and products. How do current customers talk about you? How do they talk about your competitors? What do they want that’s different from your competitors and that you can address?

Use these answers to make a difference for your brand. It could be the excitement of being the new hot thing, or you could discover an even more lucrative angle.

5. Reviews: It takes more than love

A final area to address is that of product distribution. For over ten years, we’ve been told that word-of-mouth is more profitable than advertising. In the e-commerce space, this translates into the fact that reviews are an excellent way to build trust in a product and convert visitors. The problem can be getting the advice you need.

Many e-commerce site owners tell themselves: “People are going to love my product so much that they’ll come back to my website just to fill in the rating and review sections, no matter where I hide them on my site”. So they add any integration or toolbox native to their e-commerce platform that appears first in the plug-in search for “comments”.

These elements are placed on a random page, then the “mission accomplished” banner is hung.

Maybe you’re lucky, and the good reviews are right next to your products in an easy-to-use menu. Or you’re wrong, and the money goes down the drain because no one can find or understand the 12-star review platform.

Reviews are golden for e-commerce because they can generate conversions and give you shareable quotes. You also get feedback on what’s not working (just as important). However, to generate notices, you need a plan. People are willing to give feedback, but you need to ask them and make it easy for them to respond. Here are a few tips to help you.

First, place reviews on product pages and make sure the platform is understandable at a glance. Let people leave detailed articles, rate with stars, or even add photos. Don’t create a system that’s too cumbersome or requires details that people don’t want to use. Requiring a registered account could prevent people from leaving comments.

When you ask for something, make sure it’s at an appropriate time. After-sales follow-up should take place after consumers have received your product and had a chance to try it out. Use the same channels as for your other interactions. So, if you’ve sent confirmation and shipping status by SMS, use the SMS to request notification.

You can also try out different types of notices. If someone has purchased your product via Instagram, consider asking them for a post or comment. This could drive more people to your sales channels and give better conversions than a review on your website.

The trick here is to keep asking your most recent buyers and testing different options to see what increases the number of reviews you receive and where those reviews have the best impact on conversions.

Your follow-up

E-commerce companies are first and foremost marketing and sales machines. This will take up much more of your team’s time than product development, procurement and order fulfillment. This means that positioning is at the heart of your success.

We’ve looked at common concerns about emotions, reviews, sales options and finding the subscription wave, but these are just the first steps to help you succeed along the customer value journey.

This framework will help you develop a plan based on your current business and capabilities. E-commerce is exciting. The tools you need to sell and succeed are fascinating. Use this potential to create something amazing that will move you forward with purpose.

Your bottom line will thank you.

Thanks for reading, see you at the next blog!

If you have any questions or would like a quote, please contact us by e-mail at or at 418-455-2259.