What role do brands play in today’s e-commerce world?

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As commerce evolves to conform to the new world of marketplaces and networks, brands are faltering.

Historically, branding has been the primary means for retailers to differentiate themselves when products were very similar. Over time, customer habits have changed and brand marketing is shifting to product marketing now that shopping is no longer a destination game.

Think about the last time you bought something. Did you go directly to the store or the website of the brand you bought it from? Or did you read a review, Google the best price, spot someone on Instagram wearing it, or click a link in an email?

We buy based on need, impulse, recommendation and convenience, and the decisions we make are made long before we meet the brand. Search, marketplaces, social media and especially mobile have changed how, where and when we discover products. It also changes where we buy the product.

There is an obvious duality. While it is obvious that for certain products, such as the retail sale of accessories, clothing and beauty products, we all buy for brands, we no longer buy brands like we used to.

Retail is now offering consumers the best product that meets their needs, regardless of where they come from, and the aggressive growth of markets and search is eroding brand authority.

This means that the product, and the support afterwards – because that’s where aggregators and marketplaces often pass the buck – is now everything.

What retailers need to consider

Aggregation and integration are becoming the name of the game. Retailers can no longer just live on their first-party platforms and first-party spaces. They need to go beyond, into the experiences, aggregators, marketplaces and platforms that consumers live on. But what can these brands do to display themselves well in these places?

Retailers can make their retail experience something that can be seamlessly plugged in anywhere. They should seek to make the path to purchase easy, non-intrusive, to ensure that the way their brands appear enhances the customer experience and makes things easier for potential buyers.

Integration and service must also provide added value to the user. For example, Pinterest and Braintree recently teamed up to offer buyable pins for its mobile Pinners.

In this whole new world of e-commerce, the power of brands is not as important as it used to be.

The feature deepens the connection between merchants and consumers on the Pinterest platform and, together with Braintree’s payments stack, is a major step in the evolution of mobile commerce.

This service is valuable – it makes it easier for Pinterest users to consume content, pin and buy those pins. It is the value. It’s convenience. It is to hang the client in his context.

However, as this new world gives, it also takes away. By synchronizing purchase and payment across social experiences, digital advertising, messaging, marketplaces and third-party aggregators, retail brands lose control of the interface with customers. But the reward is very clear.

Retail brands can now sell in places they otherwise couldn’t, where a captive audience of customers already exists.

Although the opportunities for brand development and management are smaller, retailers still have ways to build loyalty and improve the customer experience.

Although retailers no longer own the interface, they still have control of the “where”, the product and the support afterwards. The key is to ensure the copy and images are of high quality, as well as investing in infrastructure for after-sales support, such as shipping, returns, or product queries.

The New Equality of Contextual Commerce

This brave new world is leveling the playing field for e-commerce. The recipe for success is accessibility.

Can consumers find and access your product? Access levels the playing field in a way we haven’t seen since the first online stores.

After the creation of e-commerce and its egalitarian promise of small retailers competing with large chains, technology quickly divided online retailers into haves and have-nots.

Gargantuan global corporations were spawned that dominated the international market. But now, the fundamental technology of e-commerce is so accessible, both in terms of cost and skill, that the balance is being restored.

Technology gives small retailers the opportunity to compete with these giants, and Braintree and PayPal have always aimed to strengthen this long tail of small and medium retailers and give them the same resources as the giants.

For example, an independent online store found leveled the playing field by providing the backbone of commerce infrastructure for stores and using Braintree to facilitate payments, combat fraudulent payments, and increase conversion online and on mobile.

In this whole new world of e-commerce, the power of brands is not as important as it used to be.

Retailers need to find the right skills and the right partners to develop the next winning formulas that can make the retail experience something that can be plugged in seamlessly anywhere and help them grow their online presence. .

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