In this special series with brand partners, Cake Lingerie co-founder Tracey Montford talks growth strategies. 

 As co-founder of a fashion brand, with roots deeply embedded and invested in traditional (wholesale) distribution, transition into the eCommerce space has been challenging but rewarding one.

Here are 10 things I’ve learned:

1) Know what you stand for? Clearly grasping your mission, vision, purpose and demonstrating that online is ever more important. You need to have anidentity; one that’s clear, concise and above all relatable.
2) Sing from the same voice. It’s a folly to try and be all things to all people. Finding your differentiator iskey, in this increasingly crowded marketplace. Know it, own it & broadcast it single-mindedly to build association and brand loyalty. 
3) Engagement is everything. Be your authentic self. Letting them know who you are and in turn, giving them an opportunity to be heard, is vital to building a thriving eCommerce brand. A committed customer will be an evangelist, on a crusade to spread the word.
4) Temporarily forget about ROI. Repetition builds trust. Your target audience needs to see you around:a few times! Getting in front of them via the several available channels can be expensive, but it needs to be done for a short period of time; just until yourcritical mass of online customers become an army of loyal brand advocates.
5) Provide Great Customer Service. This is the hallmark of any successful online brand! Keep your website, social media, marketplaces, Google & other listings monitored & answered. Communicate via a cohesive & carefully considered brand tone of voice. 
6) Make your website super usable. If you’re in the fashion space, chances are over 70% of your online traffic is using a mobile device. Usability & website intuitiveness is paramount. Customers want an experience that’s seamless, predictive of their needs, super fast and safe. Keep abreast of the changing technology and industry best practice.
7) Know your numbers! Measure & keep track of the numbers ongoing! There are literally 100’s of online initiatives you can undertake to build a successful eCommerce business. You need to know what’s working and what’s not; where do you find more of your customers? Where do you spend your advertising dollars & provide more attention. A well-structured site with a strongly integrated Google Analytics platform to start is essential.
8) Think customer retention. Your customers love you, your product & what you stand for. Give them more reasons to buy – connect with them more often, add value to the space you’re in, consider a loyalty and referral program. Find reasons to communicate and keep your brand top of mind.
9) Support your business with a strong team. From strategy, to customer service, technology to platforms, content management to ad syndication, social media to copywriting, video editing & planning. After years of trial and error, bring these skills in-house. The strategy, vision & direction need to be driven from within.
10) Enjoy the journey. Building a brand online is a marathon! Think international and think big. Surround yourself with good people and mentors who’ve done it all before. 
Cake Maternity is part of the Cake group of brands. Incorporated in 2007, Cake is proudly Australian owned & operated. Sold in 45 countries, Cake Maternity is a pioneer in maternity and nursing circles.
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