If you don’t know that eCommerce is at the center of consumerism, some might argue you’ve been living under a rock. The driving force that’s completely redefined the way people shop, a distinctive and intriguing eCommerce strategy is essential. Today we’re looking at a few mentor brands that stick out from the rest for all the right reasons. From statement furniture to minimalist chewing gum, the input below will challenge your current perspective in the hopes of helping you refine what you’re already doing.

First, let’s talk about a chewing gum brand that’s completely disrupting its industry. Ever head of Simply Gum? A vegan gum alternative, this brand is one of my favorites because they’re a rock solid example of how digital marketing can transcend the potential for a small business. In addition to clean, polished packaging, riveting design, and a captivating social media presence, Simply Gum tells a cohesive brand story through each of their digital executions. Even the way some of their Instagram posts are designed reflects the internal brilliance of the brand. Their minimalist packaging parallels with the primary selling point, reinforcing the fact that this gum is made of wholesome ingredients and natural flavors, including coffee beans, cinnamon, and even ginger. But that’s not all. Last July, the brand partnered with Amazon to revolutionize their impact through Prime Day. With this exposure, the small business’ sales grew by 1,371% in a single day. In addition to cultivating increased brand awareness, the consistency of the brand across all their digital platforms played a key role in converting leads to loyal customers. Sure, the brand hit the jackpot by partnering with a powerhouse like Amazon, but part of that success comes from the ability to question what’s possible, and demonstrating a willingness to take risks and make big moves.

Another brand that’s worthy of some recognition is Wayfair. That’s right. The well-known home goods retailer is no match for its competitors. With no brick and mortar stores, the brand initially had an immediate need to implement a bulletproof eCommerce strategy. The team at Wayfair did a stellar job of coordinating market research that authentically captured the desires, buying habits, and values of their target audience. This insight allowed them to develop an extensive understanding of what types of products to offer, how to augment long-term loyalty, and how to make accurate projections that supported the longevity and growth of the brand. Since day one, the brand has been thinking, planning, and preparing with the future in mind. Their eCommerce strategy is arguably more multi-faceted than others, but they pull it off well. With high-quality product photos, various color swatches, and interior design inspiration, the exceptional design on their website gives users an experience that echoes a legitimate design studio that’s being accessed through the screen. As the cherry on top, the brand also offers 11 “pods” that oversee specialized brand components, like product design, user experience, website copy, and customer service, to maximize the experience each visitor receives from the site.

REI, aka Recreational Equipment, Inc., is known for pushing their consumer base outside, but the things they’re doing inside the world wide web are notable to say the least. A leader in its industry, the company operates as a cooperative, and values quality across all facets of the brand. From outstanding gear for any and every outdoor adventure to an online web experience that effectively leverages intriguing collaborations, REI positions themselves as the farther thing from a rookie. In addition to a website that undoubtedly earns an A+, REI enhances the experience by weaving in a variety of resources to inspire community among their customer base. To cultivate an interactive world that promotes their values of adventure and exploration, they feature hiking guides, bike trails, ski locations, and more to bring their mission to life through a screen. They promote this type of lifestyle further by positioning themselves as gear experts. This means detailed specification information, an array of customer reviews and a Q&A that creates space for dialogue between online shoppers and REI’s team. You may also recall REI’s #OptOutside campaign that’s been a huge hit in place of traditional Black Friday discounts. From holiday campaigns to a website that’s been curated through and through, these efforts work collectively to reinforce the values of the brand, augmenting customer loyalty, generating sales, and assuring repeat customers in the long-term.

What can you take away from these mentor brands, and how can you use that insight to enhance your own eCommerce strategy?