The 10 key steps to building successful eCommerce for luxury brands 

Establishing a luxury eCommerce brand in a crowded marketplace takes expert planning and know-how across multiple disciplines, including branding, design, website, SEO, advertising, content creation and PR. It also takes time and funding.

Relevance has helped create multiple successful eCommerce strategies for luxury brands from concept to launch and beyond diverse sectors, including fashion and food and beverage. Most recently, our team established the F&B brand and luxury eCommerce start-up Chilli No. 5, helping to launch a successful online B2C business. Our continued support since the launch has helped Chilli No. 5 establish itself as one of the leading luxury hot sauce purveyors. 

Since its conception, Relevance has provided branding, websites, SEO, advertising and media buying, social media, influencer marketing, PR, CRM and Marketing Automation services, delivering incredible results across all digital channels. Our successful eCommerce strategy helped increase Chilli No. 5’s add-to-basket rate by 78%, grew the conversion rate by 55%, and boosted the average order value by 67%. 

Here, we explore the key aspects to consider when creating a luxury eCommerce marketing strategy. 

10 successful eCommerce strategies  

1 – Establish your startup eCommerce brand

Naming a company is the first step of the eCommerce marketing brand process. Before settling on a name, check its availability on website domains and social media handles. Try to create a unique and memorable name that cannot be confused with any other brand operating in your space. Create a name that reflects the quality and nature of your company. The naming of products that fall under your brand’s umbrella can be as important as your brand’s name, and product names should be considered as carefully as the brand name. 

With eCommerce startup Chilli No. 5, we chose the sauces based on user data on Google. Did you know that Piri Piri is one of the most searched sauces on the internet, with 110K+ searches per month? Armed with this knowledge, we advised Chilli No. 5 to create a Piri Piri sauce and called it Perfect Piri Piri. 

The next step for a successful eCommerce launch strategy is creating your brand. This is not just the visual identity but also your brand’s personality, including who you are, who you want to be, what you stand for, and how you convey that. Branding for startups should include a manifesto and vision, which can help define your brand’s values and ethos, a process we advocate at Relevance.

Researching your audience is central to developing a successful eCommerce strategy. Personas are fictional characters representing your target audience’s typical values, desires, and traits. Identifying these personas can help you visualise your audience and better understand their needs. We not only segment personas, but we give them names. Then research every aspect of their personality, for example, what schools they went to, jobs they are in, brands they like or dislike, and where they spend time online.

Additionally, you’ll need to understand your luxury brand start-up’s archetype. Carl Jung’s 12 brand archetypes represent a different persona that feeds into the human experience. You can read more about archetypes here

Selecting the right archetype or archetypes for your new eCommerce startup can help forge deeper connections with your target audience based on shared human psychology, enhancing loyalty and trust. These personality archetypes can help guide your brand’s look, feel, and tone of voice. Chilli No. 5 has a major archetype of Creator, with the additional spiritual and transformative influence of the Magician.

2 – ECommerce start-up; product design and packaging

An essential consideration for luxury eCommerce marketing is product design and packaging. Your products will need attractive, well-branded and bespoke packaging. Even when kept to a minimum for environmental considerations, the products will always require protection for shipping. Remember that the delivery experience should be as luxurious as the products. 

The beauty of the packaging is critical to the digital assets you can create and use on your eCommerce start-up website and for promotion on social media, especially image-led Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and, to a certain extent, PR. Beautiful and inspiring products can go viral, reducing advertising costs and increasing click-through rates. Chilli No. 5, for example, has established itself in the gifting market thanks to elegantly packaged sauces in sustainable glass vials, which look incredible in their beautiful velvet black selection box. 

3 – Establish who is in your digital space

Researching who is in your digital space will enable you to identify who your key competitors are and how you can position your unique selling point. This is a vital process to establishing a successful eCommerce strategy. 

Pricing is perhaps the most important marketing signal, and you must thoroughly research how your eCommerce brand will be viewed in the market. Chilli No. 5 positioned itself as one of the most expensive chilli sauce companies worldwide thanks to its designer packaging, sustainable glass vials, and additional health supplements in all sauces. This strategy set Chilli No. 5 apart from mass market hot sauce brands, establishing it as an exclusive product and luxury brand.

Use SEO keyword and competitor research to determine which companies, portals or publications are in your digital space online. PR research can help establish what is being written about for similar companies online. Use social media competitor research to find out which companies are present on social media. This will ensure you know in advance who is in your digital space.

4 – Manage your online reputation

Consider how you will manage your online reputation as part of your eCommerce marketing strategy. Tools such as Trustpilot are a great way to build reviews, but only if you are confident you have robust customer services in place and a quality product. 

SEO reputation management can help you influence what content about your brand is readily available online. Put in place a robust online reputation management during your eCommerce launch strategy that effectively monitors what is being published about your brand. If negative information is circulated, SEO reputation management can help influence its visibility, making it much harder for clients to find. Relevance has helped companies manage their reputation on Google and other search engines.

In the interesting case of Chilli No. 5, the first page of Google was blocked when you type in “Chilli No. 5” by producers and portals discussing the production of the No. 5 chilli. It was very tricky to bowl down these listings to have Chilli No. 5 on the first page when searched. Relevance used various techniques to make this possible. Now when you search for Chilli No. 5 in Google, you will only find Chilli No. 5 references.

5 – Create dashboards linking to analytics, CRM and data points

Data such as analytics from your website, traffic originating from different sources, and existing and acquired clients’ databases need to be consolidated into a single system that offers a holistic view of all your audiences’ interactions with your brand. The best way to do that is through Google Data Studio using connectors created by Funnel or Supermetrics.

A complete system will encapsulate information from social media, website visits, real-life sales activities and offline/online marketing actions. This provides a comprehensive picture of the client, thus closing the gap between the supply of your product/service and the prospective customer’s request. Marketing automation and the client’s implicit and explicit information will become an integral part of the remarketing strategy – creating a continuous relationship with your audience.

Relevance has created a Data Studio E-commerce Dashboard for Chilli No. 5 and has set Chilli No. 5 up with a HubSpot account, which connects to forms and the WooCommerce shop on WordPress. All e-mails, marketing automation, and e-mailing by client segments are within HubSpot, enabling Chilli No. 5 to target the right persona with the correct message, increasing conversion rates and basket rates. Please contact Relevance if you need advice on a good eCommerce Dashboard.

6 – Explore how you will sell online 

When designing a luxury eCommerce website, you’ll need to consider whether to create a custom website design or opt for a pre-made template. At Relevance, we only create custom design websites as this ensures that an eCommerce website has a luxury feel that resonates with its target audience. Other considerations include choosing the right eCommerce platform, such as WooCommerce or Shopify. 

Next is languages; which languages do your potential clients speak? Will you translate or do the SEO in those languages? When planning your eCommerce SEO strategy, you will need to work with a specialist eCommerce and luxury brand SEO agency. Relevance founder Rumble Romagnoli is a recognised SEO expert, having started his SEO journey in 1988 when Google launched. The way you set out your website should be determined by consumer and competitor SEO data. Do not do the SEO later, or it will cost you both time and money.

Depending on the luxury product you are selling, you need to question whether Amazon might be a good distributor for your business as part of your eCommerce launch strategy. You might think Amazon is not the best fit for luxury brands, but trends show the contrary. Amazon started entering the luxury world in 2020 with its Luxury Stores and now sells designer brands like La Renta, Roland Mouret, La Perla and Clé de Peau. 

7 – ECommerce brand building; develop trust-worthy relationships with your audience 

Building trustworthy relationships with your audience can help bolster conversion and create a strong cohort of loyal customers and is an essential part of building an eCommerce brand.

Content is a great way to build relationships with your audience. Start building out content during your eCommerce launch strategy that connects with your target audience and establishes you as an authority in your space. 

Implement a robust content plan that covers content across all digital touchpoints. Ensure you include videos, still photography, website copy, landing pages, and blogs in your plan. A content calendar can help you track monthly content and ensure no key dates are missed. Finally, looking at your competitors’ content can help you further fine-tune your content and boost engagement. 

8 – Set up an engaging social media presence, but remember that content is king

Social media is an effective way to connect with your target audience and share inspiring content and news about your brand, including trends and market intelligence from the wider industry. 

Research what social media accounts your audience inhabits as part of your eCommerce launch strategy, as not all social media platforms will be the right fit for your brand. 

Nevertheless, there are platforms that are geared toward supporting eCommerce brands, such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and now TikTok with the launch of TikTok Shop. All these platforms offer a shopping app and/or allow brands to tag products within their posts to take users directly to shop on their eCommerce site. Doing so shortens the user journey in a bid to increase conversion. 

The next step in your eCommerce launch strategy should be to research your competitors’ social media accounts to understand what types of content connects with your target audience. To engage a luxury audience, you must do more than promote your product to engage a luxury audience. This clientele demands extra value, and your social media profiles should provide this. We’d highly recommend investing in video. Don’t forget to explore hashtags that can help further the reach of your posts. 

Finally, utilise user-generated content (UGC) on social media to engage with your audience at a deeper level. UGC is proven to increase engagement and conversions. If you’re a new brand, it’s worth engaging influencers to create UGC for you and also post to their highly engaged social media following to boost brand awareness. 

9 – Start advertising

Once your website has been built and optimised, it’s time to generate traffic. SEO is key to generating long-term organic users, but the drawback of SEO is that it takes time. One way to quickly let target customers know you exist is to start advertising your products through digital channels. 

Not all digital advertising channels are equal in this space, so research them throughout as part of your eCommerce launch strategy. Arguably, the largest and most recognised is Google. Its advertising platform is wide-reaching and provides a multitude of targeting options to help hone in on your ideal customer. Google’s advertising platforms offer display campaigns to build awareness, search campaigns to target high intent users actively searching for your products, and retargeting campaigns to stay visible to past website visitors and entice them with an unbeatable offer. 

Social media has become unavoidable both to engage with existing customers and drive awareness of your brand to users looking for engaging content. Social Media advertising is an effective way to push your content to specific audiences and engage with them throughout the buyer’s journey. Facebook and Instagram have the market share of this advertising segment, but TikTok is growing in popularity given its reach and virality opportunity. 

The power of the algorithm has made it easy to get started. Expect to allocate some of your budget to testing your campaigns as part of a successful eCommerce strategy before finding that magic combination that drives consistent traffic and sales. 

10 – Engage a press office as part of your eCommerce strategy

Control the narrative with strategic PR, both online and offline. Build out media lists and connections with key industry journalists, social media influencers and genuinfluencers.

As part of a successful eCommerce strategy, plan targeted press releases to announce key business events and product launches, consider hosting press events when relevant and attend key industry events. Industry events are not only a great way to reach new customers and learn about the latest trends in your industry but also provide a great way to network with the press.  

One of the best ways to have an editorial article published about your luxury product is to send select journalists product samples. This will enable journalists to try your product and write about their experiences.  

Send out product samples when you see the publication’s agenda is scheduled to have a dedicated issue/chapter on the type of product you sell. Alternatively, if your product is more of a service, invite journalists to experience it on a press trip. Make sure they get the feel of what you are selling, just as if they were customers.

Finally, harness the power of digital PR as an effective link-building strategy for SEO.

For Chilli No. 5, Relevance secured incredible press coverage in the F&B space, including publications such as Forbes, The Independent, and PlantBased. This positive coverage has helped to establish Chilli No.5’s reputation as the leading gourmet chilli sauce company and boost SEO to become highly visible in the digital space.

Relevance is a full-service digital marketing agency with a wealth of experience implementing successful eCommerce strategies. Contact us to learn more. 

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