3 Ecommerce Growth Lessons from Today’s Food & Beverage Brands

The top food and beverage brands today are going the extra mile to acquire customers online. Because unlike traditional retail, you can’t rely on distribution for sales, so extra effort is needed and it’s worth it because the big growth is coming from ecommerce.

In fact, ecommerce sales brought in 82% of growth within the Food & Beverage category according to a Nielsen study.

But, in a digital world where you’re responsible for attracting your customers, it’s easy to make mistakes. Here are three of the most detrimental in the digital world and how to fix them.

3 Ecommerce Pitfalls of Food and Beverage Brands

1.   Broad messaging

Whether it be the origin story of your brand, the copy on your website, your ads, or anywhere in your marketing; a broad message that tries to win over everyone will always fail.

The reason for this is you’re not calling attention to the values and beliefs of your target customers.

A generic message fails to resonate in ecommerce, it becomes so watered down that it’s forgotten within seconds once something else distracts the mind of your target customer with a more riveting story.

2.   Self-serving mindset

It’s easy to think of marketing as a way to make more sales. But when you’re constantly asking for the sale without giving, your target customers will become someone else’s customers.

Marketing begins with building relationships first and these relationships are the foundation of what builds a brand.

A surefire way to lose customers in ecommerce is to not engage in branding activities because without them, you’re in “selling mode” at all times and customers won’t appreciate continuously salesy tactics.

Invest in your customers. Educate them, inform them, and entertain them.

3.   Not engaging the full funnel

Every good end result begins with a plan. However, food and beverage brands are diving into ecommerce without a proper customer acquisition plan and the ROI is showing due to poor or lack of planning.

Understand the stage of the customer journey your target customer is in and engage that stage with the right message and next step.

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3 Ecommerce Growth Lessons from Today’s Food and Beverage Brands

1.   Message to Market Match

Today’s brands are defining the identities of their customers and crafting specific messaging in ecommerce that speaks directly to the goals, pains, and challenges they face.

The language they use on their website and in their marketing becomes the personification of who their customers are. The language used is similar to that of their own customers, the origin story is captivating, the imagery is relatable, the colors are familiar.

This creates an alignment of values which allow your target customers to identify with your brand. They become a part of your tribe because you’ve created message to market match.

One brand doing this well is Black Rifle Coffee Co. From the copy used on their ads, their website, and on to their social media posts; you know they’re going after very specific customer segments in ecommerce.

Because of this attention to message to market match, they’ve built a fanatical and loyal customer base that would be hard to come by with a commodity like coffee.

2.   Engage in Branding

What is branding? It’s not the color scheme of your site or your logo, it’s the consistent deposit of goodwill to your target customers without expecting a return.

This consistent offering of free value will build a relationship with your customers in which you’ll then, and only then, be able to sell.

This step is so important and yet often forgotten by food and beverage brands. The top food and beverage brands know this and engage in branding by offering value first. That’s because they know the majority of visitors aren’t ready to buy on their first visit but are instead, educating themselves first.

One brand doing this well is Athletic Greens. They’ve created their own universe of content from their extensive blog, to their podcast, and social media posts.

This focus at the top of the marketing funnel, while not specifically adding to their ROI is paying off in terms of indoctrinating new visitors to their brand and lifestyle before considering a purchase of their product.

3.   Follow the Customer Journey

An effective marketing funnel overlays perfectly on the customer’s journey.

This means for every step that a buyer is taking from awareness, to consideration, to purchase; you’re meeting them with value and addressing all objections. This includes when they inevitably leave your site.

How are you bringing them back to purchase?

A brand that’s following the entire customer journey well is Four Sigmatic. From the first exposure to their site they’re educating you about their product (since their category is still fairly new) and incentivizing the first purchase with an enticing offer. Haven’t purchase and left the site? Don’t worry, retargeting ads will try to get you to purchase with an even better offer.

Are You Ready to Dominate Your Category in Ecommerce?

These are 3 growth lessons from some of the top food and beverage ecommerce brands. But in order to dominate ecommerce, you’ll need to transform your marketing in order to connect with your audience, convert traffic into customers, and create brand advocates.

If you’re ready to dominate your category in ecommerce, but aren’t sure what changes to make to your marketing, I might be able to help you. Reach out to me at SparkPPC – Specialty Food & Beverage Marketing & Consulting for a free ad strategy evaluation.