Standing out in eCommerce is tough; You’re competing against local competitors, national brands, and multi-national marketplaces that give consumers an unlimited choice of products and purchase options.
However, establishing a unique selling proposition can help merchants of any size stand out and convert customers.
To help you out, we compiled 6 great examples of unique selling propositions in eCommerce. But first, let’s kick things off with the basics.
What is a unique selling proposition?
A unique selling proposition (USP) is what makes your eCommerce store better than your competitors. It’s something that makes you stand out, and the reason shoppers should choose you over everyone else.
Your USP is a formulated position that your eCommerce business takes in everything it does. It’s embodied in your brand, products, customer experience, and interactions. It’s much more than a slogan, policy, or specific offer.
A USP should be:
- Unique, memorable, and distinguishable from anyone else.
- Valued and appealing to your target audience.
- Something that you can deliver consistently.
Once formulated, you can use your USP to focus all of your strategies, including marketing, pricing, fulfillment, and customer care. So, where do you begin?
Unique selling propositions in action
A great way to understand what makes a great unique selling proposition and get you thinking about your own is to take a look at some real-life examples.
1. Vasanti – inclusive beauty
High-performing cosmetics aren’t unique, but Vasanti’s promise of inclusive beauty is. Born out of the frustrations of being unable to find a concealer for South Asian skin tones, Vasanti offers a full range of high-end products that are suitable for the fairest, deepest, and everything in-between complexions.
Importantly, Vasanti’s differentiator of inclusivity doesn’t stop at skin tones. All of Vasanti’s products are cruelty-free, meaning that customers don’t have to compromise on ethics or beauty. And, by offering customers 2-day delivery, no one has to miss out because they ran out either.
This is an excellent example of how a USP can help a brand to stand out in a highly saturated industry such as cosmetics.
2. The North Face – products that last a lifetime
Whether you’re rock climbing, caving, or exploring the arctic, durable and reliable products are essential. But rather than simply telling customers that their products can withstand the test of the outdoors, The North Face differentiates itself by promising that its products will last a lifetime, or your money back.
The North Face’s lifetime warranty guarantees customers a repair or replacement should their item become faulty. But their commitment to products lasting a lifetime extends well beyond simply replacing the item. Anything that cannot be repaired is sent to an outlet, donated, recycled, downcycled, or repurposed – ensuring that their lifetime guarantee truly means a lifetime.
This USP stands out while increasing consumer trust, justifying higher price points, and appealing to anyone passionate about protecting the planet from fast fashion.
3. Chassis – improving lives
Male care retailer Chassis shows how USPs are important even when your product is relatively unique in the first place. Chassis’ USP is all about improving lives.
It achieves this USP primarily with its personal care products that help the common (but rarely discussed) problems of chafing, sweating, and odor “down there.” But those solutions aren’t the only way that Chassis improves lives.
All of its products are made using premium ingredients and 10% of profits go towards providing opportunities for disadvantaged children. On top of that, Chassis also offers 2-day Shopify delivery (which got them double digit growth) so that process can begin even sooner.
4. DeathWish Coffee – the world’s strongest coffee
The coffee industry is full of brands claiming to be the smoothest, fullest, and richest cup of Joe. But what about the world’s strongest?
DeathWish Coffee has carved out a niche in a tricky market by promising its customers the world’s strongest coffee or their money back. This powerful claim is printed on their packaging, referred to on social media, included in ads, and delivered through a combination of strong beans and a perfected roasting process.
It works because it appeals to a specific segment of the coffee-drinking industry where a regular caffeine kick just isn’t enough.
5. TushBaby – the best for you and your baby
Baby carrier brands typically focus on safety and quality as their USP, making their USP not so unique. TushBaby is different. The baby hip seat brand instead promises “the best for you and your baby.”
From the ergonomic design and handy storage pockets, to the memory foam seat and buckle safety guards, TushBaby is safe and comfortable for both parents and children.
The USP of being the best for everyone involved is reinforced heavily on social media and across TushBaby’s Shopify website, as well as in their shipping and returns policy.
6. Dollar Shave Club – affordable blades to your door
Traditional razor brands have focused their USPs on close shaves, multiple blades, and maneuverability. Not Dollar Shave Club. They have shifted their USP away from the product and onto affordable blades that are delivered to your door.
This simple USP is reinforced using simple advertising that generates a smile and gets consumers asking, “why are razor blades so expensive.” They’re not claiming to be the best; they’re claiming to be different, and it works because their customers are different too.
How to create your own unique selling proposition
Now that you’ve seen what’s out there, how do you go about creating your own USP?
- List everything that makes your brand and your products different.
- Research your competition to identify gaps in the market.
- Listen to your audience’s unfulfilled needs.
- Use this data to brainstorm and identify your USP.
- Strategize how you will embody and weave your USP into your business.
A unique selling proposition helps you to stand out, gain customers, and guide your future business practices. But finding a unique USP isn’t as easy as it sounds. Use the 6 examples we’ve shared above to help you discover your own USP.