Conveying Your Unique Selling Proposition in Ecommerce

Though still an emerging industry, ecommerce is already highly competitive. To be successful, you’ll have to market your business in a way that sets it apart from all the other sites offering products like yours. In other words, you’ll have to become adept at conveying your unique selling position in ecommerce.

What Is a Unique Selling Position?

Said simply, your unique selling position (USP) sets you apart from the competition. It’s what makes you special.

Here’s an example: Lots of companies produce sports cars, but Porsche stands out as being special, largely upon the reputation of its 911. A product of continuous evolution, it’s the only sports car to have been subjected to steady improvement over the past 55 years—as opposed to a complete redesign. Because of the outstanding performance it has achieved with that car, Porsche can imply its engineering is superior to that of other car companies. This assertion enhances the selling position of all its cars.

How to Find Yours

Before you can determine your USP, you should identify your target customer. What is their gender? How old are they? Where do they live? What problems or desires do they have that your products can solve? In what way will your product accomplish that?

Once you know who your customer is and what they need, you can look at your products from their perspective. You should consider how your offers will make their lives better, easier, happier, or more comfortable. In the case of Porsche, its cars confer an air of superiority upon their owners. In fact, Porsche reinforces its customers’ belief they are motorists of a special breed (in those exact words) at the beginning of its owner’s manuals. How can you bring the Porsche strategy into your own ecommerce marketing model?

Study the Competition

Find the business leaders in your industry and examine the way they talk about themselves. What messages do they convey to customers?

As one of the leaders in ecommerce, Amazon’s unique selling position is on display in its logo. The golden arrow running from the “A” to the “Z” in its name implies the ecommerce giant offers everything from A to Z—expeditiously. Trying to go head to head with Amazon in this regard will be very difficult. Amazon owns that positioning. To compete, you’ll have to slice off a piece of one the markets Amazon serves and do something better than it does.

Once you figure out what that thing is (“handcrafted with care” or “the one-stop shop for sports fans”) and how you can excel at it consistently, that will become your USP. This, along with ensuring your business is based upon the best ecommerce platform for small business, will stand you in good stead in the marketplace.

It’s About More Than Price

For the record, basing your USP on low prices is a very slippery slope. Many companies have died trying to position themselves as the low-price leader. After all, a larger competitor can almost always undercut you on price; and last longer when operating in the red.

Further, customers have proven time and again they are willing to pay more for a product they feel confident will serve their needs. Getting back to the example of Porsche; lots of sports cars cost less, but price is irrelevant for the company’s target customer. They value the feeling of satisfaction they get from owning one.

Conveying your unique selling position in ecommerce is simply a matter of finding a key feature of your product, or something about the way you do business that directly addresses your target customers’ deep seeded need(s) in a way your competition is missing. Once it’s identified, distill it down to one sentence upon which you can base your marketing efforts and repeat it until everyone remembers it. For example: “Porsche, there is no substitute.”

Are you ready to stand out from the ecommerce crowd?