There are hundreds of online businesses on the Internet and it’s highly probable that many of them are quite similar to yours.
So, how can you get your clients to choose you instead of some other e-commerce?
By differentiating yourself from your competitors and offering buyers something unique that sets you apart.
That’s what a value proposition is about.
Pay attention because today we’re going to explain what a value proposition for an e-commerce is and how it can be useful to get more sales.
Are you ready to position yourself over your competitors? Let’s get started.
👉 What a value proposition is and why your e-commerce should have one
Here you have an easy definition to start with:
A value proposition is a clear and direct message for your clients with which you explain why they should choose you instead of your competitors.
That’s to say, it’s the way you convince your clients to buy from your shop by being exactly what they need.
If you can’t differentiate yourself with a good proposition, your business will be the same as any other in your users’ eyes, so their choice will be based solely on prices.
A good value proposition will help you stand out from your competition, which translates into a boost to your sales.
👉 What do you need to know to build your value proposition?
Let’s see how you can build a value proposition that helps you grab your audience’s attention and, therefore, makes them choose you instead of your competitors.
✅ 1. Identify your buyer persona
The first thing you have to bear in mind is:
- Who your client is.
- The problem they need solved.
- How you can help them with your products or services.
The more you know about your ideal client, the easier it will be to develop a proper message for your value proposition.
Note: If you haven’t defined your buyer persona yet, this post explains how to do it in detail.
✅ 2. List the benefits that you offer your clients
This is all about defining (as precisely as possible) what your clients gain when they buy your product or service.
So you can see it even clearer, let’s have a look at an example that lists the advantages of using our professional search engine, Doofinder:
- It’s faster than other search engines: This decreases loading speed and the risk of clients getting bored and leaving the website.
- It always understands clients (no matter what they type): It shows results for synonyms even if your products aren’t organized like that (if clients type *frige*, it shows them results for “fridge” and “refrigerator”).
- It helps to increase your average checkout price: You can organize which results are shown first to sell the items you’re most interested in getting rid of and you can add customized banners to offer related products.
What’s the value proposition that we offer?
Your sales increase by 10-15% thanks to our professional search engine.
Do the same with your e-commerce – make it clear what benefits you offer and you’ll see how clients choose you.
✅ 3. Identify what makes you different
You need to ask yourself:
- Why are they going to choose me over my competitors?
- What makes my proposition different?
If your differentiating value isn’t totally unique and original, think about the following:
- Is there anything that makes me better than my competitors? This should be your value proposition’s starting point.
- Is there anything I do in the same way as my competitors but that they don’t talk about? This is also an important point to highlight.
To make sure it’s clear, have a look at this example:
Have a look at how the brand The Popped Popcorn offers gourmet popcorn, something that clearly makes them different.
✅ Extra: What a value proposition is NOT
It’s very important that you know how to distinguish between what a value proposition is and isn’t:
- It’s not a slogan: If you hear “What else?”, you immediately think of Nespresso, but that doesn’t say anything about the brand or talk about its benefits. It’s a marketing phrase that reinforces the brand, just like “Just do it” or “I’m loving it” – but they aren’t value propositions.
- It’s not a characteristic: “25 years of experience” or “24-hour customer service” aren’t value propositions either, they’re just your business’ characteristics that don’t offer your client anything and don’t differentiate you from your competitors.
Now that you know what it is (and what it’s not), let’s start with the most important part: how to properly build it.
👉 How to build a good value proposition (with examples)
If you know:
- what you sell
- to whom
- the benefits of buying your products
- how you are different from your competitors
Then it’s time to start designing your message. Let’s get to it.
✅ 1. Tips for writing your e-commerce value proposition
A value proposition has 4 main characteristics:
- It’s unique: It identifies you and you alone – it’s exclusive.
- It’s desirable: It should be attractive and irresistible to your clients and it needs to meet their needs. That’s why you need to avoid sentences such as “experts in…” or “professionals since…” – because they don’t provide your audience with anything.
- It’s memorable: Clients should be able to easily remember it and identify it with your brand or product.
- It’s specific: It clearly states what the exact benefits of the proposition are.
Once that’s all clear, we can start talking about the others elements.
✅ 2. Title
It should be a catchy sentence that clearly explains the main benefits for your target audience.
Apple does it really well:
Apple clients usually choose this brand because of its professional quality both when recording videos and taking photos – and for their daily work.
As you can see, the title directly addresses their target audience and clearly states that their proposition is professionalism.
✅ 3. Secondary sentence
It’s a sentence that supplements the title and gives that final touch of information to convince the client.
To write it, try to state:
- what you offer
- to whom
- and why
Have a look at the British Corner Shop website:
It’s an online website that sends British food everywhere in the world, a “global supermarket” for those who love British food:
- What it offers: British food.
- To whom: For British people who live abroad and miss their food.
- Why: Because English emigrants buy products that remind them of home and the company ships them to wherever in the world they happen to be.
It’s simple value proposition focused on a very specific niche.
✅ 4. Characteristics
You don’t always have to include them, but you can add them if you think it’s necessary to explain something else about your e-commerce’s value proposition.
It’s easier to read when you present them as a list, as Target does:
As you can see, the title states the benefits while the list details the advantages you get from using Target Circle.
✅ 5. Audiovisual element
This is about reinforcing the ideas you want to transmit with your value proposition.
Have a look at Amazon’s website when you access it from outside the USA (Spain, in this case):
With the airplane and the map having Spain as the destination, they clearly let you know that there’s no problem sending products to your country.
Now that you have the structure, let’s see some tricks to help you build it without any problems.
It’s time to start working and writing your e-commerce’s value proposition.
👉 How to write your value proposition
Follow these key tips to build a proposition that will differentiate you from your competitors.
✅ 1. The shorter, the better
Try to whittle everything down to just one sentence that explains what you offer and its benefits – the shorter, the better. This can be applied both to products and services.
Here you have an example from Poppin furniture:
It’s pretty clear that “furniture that makes work happy” is better than “we build the best office furniture in the world”, right?
✅ 2. Simplify to make it easy to understand
Unless your audience is a very specific one, avoid technical words. Remember that you are transmitting a benefit and the simpler your explanation is, the easier it is for your audience to understand it.
Have a look at how Etsy doesn’t need to say anything else to explain its services to its clients:
It may not be the most creative value proposition, but it perfectly defines their target audience and, in just one sentence, explains the types of products that you can find in its marketplace (unique, exclusive, handcrafted).
✅ 3. Don’t get stuck on one idea
Especially if you have an e-commerce, your value proposition should change depending on the season or the niche. Adapt your message to your goals.
That’s what NewEgg does in this example:
It’s a technology website that provides special offers for gamers in October – a different proposition from that of their competitors.
👉 Specify your value proposition to attract clients
Do you already know what your differentiating value is?
At first, it may not seem important to build a proposition that identifies you, but don’t forget that if you don’t differentiate yourself from your competitors, your clients will only check your price.
And when you’re up against Amazon, that’s a pretty risky move.
Therefore, look for how you can differentiate yourself and build a selling message to get more clients and to foster their loyalty.