Standing out from the crowd among millions of ecommerce businesses in the US requires you to connect with your audience on an emotional level. And what better way to do this than to define your core brand values and communicate them boldly?
What are Brand Values?
Brand values are foundational principles on which a business is built. They are beliefs that communicate what your company prioritizes in its operations and how it achieves its mission statement. These values guide every business decision, from how and where products are sourced to the employees’ working conditions and how goods are delivered to customers.
Defining your brand values helps everyone that interacts with your business understand the unshakable principles it stands for. It elucidates your brand identity and uniqueness, allowing you to reach your target audience and build a strong relationship with them. Examples of brand values include integrity, honesty, customer-centricity, quality, sustainability, diversity and inclusion, equality, collaboration, accountability, creativity, teamwork, social responsibility, etc.
How Do Brand Values Impact Customer Loyalty?
Building an army of loyal customers is essential to the success of any company. Not only do they consistently choose your business over the competition, but also spend more money than new customers, have way higher conversion rates, and engage in unpaid brand advocacy by referring friends and family to your company.
The ecommerce industry is more competitive than it has ever been. For every need consumers have today, there is an infinite number of businesses offering products to satisfy it. Therefore, simply selling a great product is no longer enough to convince customers to remain loyal to your brand. Your business needs to connect with its target audience emotionally to build sustainable brand loyalty, and genuinely expressing your core principles through strong brand values is an excellent way to do that.
Customers love transparency. They want to know the values your company stands for and how these values shape your decision-making both in public and behind the scenes. Also, a 2017 study found that over 55% of Americans are loyal to brands with values that resonated with them. This shows that consumers prefer to patronize businesses with core principles that align with their personal beliefs.
What Brand Values Influence Purchase Decisions?
There is a worldwide increase in “belief-driven” buyers, who will alter their purchasing decisions based on the presence or absence of shared values with a company. These buyers will reward brands with a sizable chunk of their wallets, loyalty, and advocacy. The following brand values are more likely to influence customers to buy from a business:
- Honesty: Being honest with your customers delineates your business from the long list of brands who would rather peddle false advertising or sugar-coat issues. It builds instant credibility and brand trust, which translates into increased sales and customer loyalty.
- Social responsibility: Modern consumers are passionate about social issues like poverty, racism, inequality, human rights violations, etc. They expect companies to take stances on controversial topics surrounding these issues and can choose to patronize a business or boycott it based on its position on these topics.
- Valuing feedback: Consumers love to know that their feelings are validated and their opinions valuable. Asking them for feedback and taking appropriate steps to rectify any concerns shows how much you care about creating positive customer experiences.
- Fairness: As a business owner, ensuring your workers receive a fair wage and enjoy other benefits, such as healthcare insurance, paid time off, and reasonable working hours, is the right thing to do. It also endears customers to your company, as many people will not buy from a business that subjects its employees to poor working conditions.
- Quality: Studies have shown that customers are willing to pay more for quality products and customer service. Demonstrating your company’s dedication to only offering quality products builds trust and fosters brand loyalty.
Importance of prioritizing sustainability
One of the key brand values that customers look for in businesses is sustainability. Despite facing the pressures of high inflation, the GreenPrint Business of Sustainability Index reported that over 65% of US consumers are willing to spend more on sustainable products. Sustainability refers to the process of conducting business activities in ways that minimize its negative impacts on the environment, economy, and society as a whole. It is the strategy a company implements to wisely utilize natural resources and conservatively meet its operational needs.
Examples of sustainable business practices include:
- Supplying environmentally friendly products and services
- Integrating principles of sustainability in every business decision
- Purchasing raw materials from sustainable sources
- Utilizing renewable energy sources
- Optimizing logistics systems to minimize greenhouse emissions
- Creating ethical working conditions
Modern consumers want to support businesses that demonstrably prioritize sustainability. They are concerned with issues like global warming, pollution (air, land, and water), deforestation, biodiversity loss, ocean acidification, waste management, ozone depletion, unethical working environments, overfishing, etc. Proving that your company also cares about these problems and is taking measures to avoid exacerbating them is one of the most efficient ways to win customers over to your side.
How do consumers want to support sustainability efforts?
Consumers are willing to support businesses with sustainable practices, as long as the brand truly prioritizes sustainability as one of its guiding principles and is not involved in greenwashing. Here are a few ways customers support a company’s sustainability initiatives:
Only have items delivered on specific days
According to Statista, the shipping of products across the world accounted for about 37% of total greenhouse gas emissions in 2020. The most environmentally detrimental aspect of logistics is “last mile “delivery, which refers to the transportation of packages from the last fulfilment center to the customer’s door. Many customers will choose the option of having their items delivered on specific days to assist brands in reducing their carbon footprint. Shipping items on specific days involves consolidating orders and sending them out at once, which minimizes fuel consumption and slashes logistics costs.
Adhere to stricter return policies
Reports show that approximately 17 billion items are returned yearly across the world, resulting in the emission of about 4.7 million metric tons of CO2. An estimated five billion pounds of returned products also end up in landfills yearly, contributing to land pollution. Case studies prove that customers are often willing to adhere to stricter policies from a sustainably minded business brand. While rigid return policies can tank customer trust and are generally bad for business, a moderately strict policy fosters sustainability by reducing the number of returns your company has to process. It discourages dishonest buyers from taking advantage of your policy while allowing honest customers to enjoy a stress-free return experience.
Promote a sustainable brand to friends 60
Consumers will happily promote a sustainable brand to their friends and family. This type of advertisement has one of the highest conversion rates as most people tend to trust businesses that someone close to them recommends. Build a brand that truly cares about sustainability, and your customers will market it to people in their inner circle that share similar values.
GoShip Handles All Your Ecommerce Shipping Needs
GoShip is capable of ensuring that your brand values reflect in your logistics strategy. Our self-service freight marketplace helps small to mid-sized businesses find reliable and affordable solutions to all their shipping needs. We partner with over 45000 certified carriers, allowing business owners to connect directly with shipping companies without requiring the services of a broker. Enter your shipment details on our online quotation tool to get free quotes from carriers around you today.