21 November 2023

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Connecting Commerce and Conscience: A Deep Dive into Purpose-Driven eCommerce Marketing

Successful marketing is crucial to ecommerce success. But, what is successful marketing? Should marketers just be aiming to get their content seen, or should we be making an effort for our content to let our customers feel seen? Ex-advertising executive, Simon Sinek, says “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” This is where purpose-driven marketing comes into play. 

Purpose-driven, or purpose-led, marketing is a marketing approach that centres around aligning the company’s values, beliefs and mission with that of the customer or client. This approach is much more conducive to a feeling of community and connection rather than pure self-promotion. By setting out to achieve or change something with your content, you give your marketing efforts a deeper purpose – hence the name. 


Finding Your Purpose

So, how do you find your brand’s purpose? There are many issues or themes that you might want to tackle with your marketing, and this might depend on what you’re trying to market and the industry you’re in. If you’re struggling to find your purpose, here’s some things to consider:

  • Find your ‘why’ – In marketing, it’s easy to fixate on what you’re trying to sell or promote, however it’s important to understand why. What value are you bringing to the customer? Why should they be interested? 
  • Know yourself – What is your brand voice? If your brand was a person, what would their values be?
  • Know your audience – Who is your ideal customer? What might they want or need from a brand? Work out your buyer persona.
  • Identify your strengths – What does your brand do exceptionally well? What sets you apart from your competitors? 
  • Understand your impact – What impact has your brand had on your community? What is within your power to change or achieve?
  • Write a mission statement – Now that you’ve gathered these insights, craft them into a statement that holds the essence of your brand. Within this, you’ll find your purpose. 


Purpose-Driven Marketing in eCommerce

So, we know what purpose-driven marketing is and how to find your brand’s purpose. Now, why should ecommerce businesses embrace a purpose-driven approach? A crucial aspect of marketing your online business is fostering a great relationship with your customers. This means building trust and loyalty with the intention of turning a one-time customer into a life-time one. In order to build a genuinely meaningful relationship with your customers that go beyond its transactional nature, you need something in common. This is where your brand’s purpose and core beliefs come in. In addition to your services or products, respect for your brand and its mission is a great reason for customers to return. Having a clear purpose that underlines your marketing will also help you stand out from the crowd. As the ecommerce industry continues to grow, so does the amount of competition that you’re up against. Your commitment to a mutual purpose could be the one thing that causes a customer to choose your business over a competitor.


The Women’s Domain

Here at 5874, we pride ourselves on using our impact to make a difference in our industry and our community. On International Women’s Day 2022, the 5874 marketing team launched The Women’s Domain. What started as a 12-month research campaign is now an on-going and constantly growing project that aims to uplift and celebrate women in ecommerce. To date, the campaign has produced an extensive whitepaper (which you can read here), a podcast (listen here), a range of blogs and has both hosted and attended industry events. In the whitepaper, our Marketing Director, Sara Russell, explains the motivations behind the campaign:


Sara’s desire to make a change in her industry came from her becoming a mother and experiencing obstacles in her career as a result. Sara recalls, “since becoming a mother and suddenly having to navigate my career around icebergs not of my own creation, I have wanted to play a small part in helping other women build the careers they want without having to feel like they’re constantly asking permission to do so.”

By identifying real problems in our industry and taking action to rectify them, we were able to find a purpose that aligned with our brand and our clients. 




Sustainability in eCommerce

Another purpose that drives what we do here at 5874 is sustainability. Whether it’s packaging or returns, there are a lot of aspects of ecommerce that can negatively impact the planet. This is why we’ve dedicated ourselves to searching for solutions to this problem that is becoming increasingly urgent within our industry. The issue of sustainability is something we’ve explored extensively through our whitepapers ‘Conscious Commerce 2.0 – The Race for Sustainability in Retail’ and ‘The Point of No Return – The Retailer’s Guide to Returns’. 


Building a Purpose-Driven Campaign on Social Media

Implementing your purpose into your marketing content could take many forms. One of the best ways to get the message out and reach people from all over the world is through social media campaigns. Here’s some of our key tips for building a successful campaign:

  • Tell a story – Using the story arc approach, which uses a beginning, middle and end structure, is a great way of keeping your readers engaged. This is your chance to build an emotional or intellectual connection with your audience.
  • Make your content shareable – Allowing your audience a chance to interact with your content invites them into the conversation, which is a great way of building relationships and gaining valuable knowledge that you can put back into your campaign. Getting your content shared also means you’re reaching more networks that could hold potential clients, customers and partners.
  • Use hashtags – Whether you create your own hashtag or jump on existing ones, hashtags are a great way of getting your content seen by the right people. 
  • Take advantage of trends (that make sense for your brand) – Jumping on social media trends can give your post a huge boost – just make sure you’re not sacrificing your brand’s identity. Utilise trends that are relevant to you and your audience, and don’t use trend-hopping as a replacement for thoughtful and creative content.

Check out our LinkedIn page, here, to see how we implement purpose-led marketing into our social media content.

As the ecommerce industry grows, so does its potential to make impactful changes. A purpose-driven marketing strategy could increase your reach and engagement, while actually making a difference within the industry. If you want to learn more about how 5874 could help you implement a strategy with purpose, contact us here.




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