Mission vs Vision Statements: Everything Your E-Commerce Brand Needs to Know
Mission, vision, and value statements are the most fundamental components of your e-commerce business. They are essential for determining your e-commerce brand’s focus, goals and direction. And, how you will conduct yourself in order to get there. These statements together outline the who, what, when, where, how and why of your business for both your consumers and employees alike. Outlining clear, and direct, statements will help your organization set objectives and goals and ultimately achieve them.
Today we’ll focus on mission and vision statements. What they are, their importance to your business and how to develop your own. But, it’s important to be mindful of your values when doing so, because the bottom line is that your values are what direct your behavior in pursuit of your mission and vision.
What is a Mission Statement?
What is your brand’s purpose? Think of your mission statement as the ‘compass’ or ‘guiding light’ of your e-commerce brand. It describes the current situation of your organization and your purpose for being. Your mission statement is a short-term snapshot of what your business does, who it does it for, how it does what it does and why, all while outlining the primary objectives and goals of your organization. A clear mission statement is brief, concise, and can be referenced at any time to keep your business on track while communicating to your customers what they can expect from you.
Key Elements of a Mission Statement:
- What does your company do? In basic terms, outline what services your e-commerce brand offers.
- Who does your company do it for? Define who your target audience is.
- How does your company do it? This is a quick overview of how your e-commerce conducts business, while including how it aligns with your values.
- Why does your company do it? Why did you start your e-commerce brand? Here, you’ll want to briefly outline the reasons for your existence.
What is the Timeframe of a Mission Statement?
The timeframe of your e-commerce brand’s mission statement is to outline the state of your organization right now. It’s built into the foundation of your business and defines who you are and what you can do for your audience – today.
Let’s take a look at a few examples of mission statements:
No one knows your e-commerce business as well as you do, so you may feel the urge to include as much information as you can in your mission statement. In one study however, it was found that the average length of a mission statement is only 29 words long. The key is to keep the information as simple and succinct as possible. Remember that you can always go further into depth about your business and provide much more detail in your ‘About Us’ or ‘Who We Are’ page. Your mission statement should directly state the purpose of your e-commerce brand and outline the common goals your business is working to achieve.
What is a Vision Statement?
Where do you see your business in the future? Think of your mission statement as the ‘North star’ of your e-commerce business. Your vision statement differs from your mission statement in that it outlines what your business aspires to become in the future. Your vision statement also includes your business’ objectives and goals. And, it incorporates the direction and strategy your business plans to take to attain them in the long run as well.
Key Elements of a Vision Statement:
- Where are you going? Looking-ahead, briefly outline your e-commerce brand’s purpose and where you are headed.
- When do you foresee reaching your goals? More on this in a moment…
- How can you get where you want to go? Explore what improvements will be needed to help you achieve your objectives.
- Motivate and inspire. Creating a vision that generates excitement allows for consumer and employee support in helping you achieve your long-term goals.
What is the Timeframe of a Vision Statement?
The timeframe set for your e-commerce brand’s vision statement depends on the complexity of the results you wish to achieve. Shorter-term goals may take 5 years to achieve, whereas more intricate ones may take upwards of 20 years. The idea is to define goals that are relevant, realistic and attainable for your e-commerce brand. While strategies to reach your goals may change overtime, the overall objectives outlined in your vision statement should generally remain the same.
With an average of just 35 words, a vision statement is a short and clear long-term outlook. It describes the future hopes for your organization with the aim of motivating and inspiring your current consumers, potential clients and employees.
A study of search patterns surrounding mission and vision statements found that ‘mission statement’ was searched much more often than ‘vision statement’. One theory about why mission statements are the more popular choice among organizations is that businesses are generally more comfortable planning for the present rather than forecasting for the future.
Interestingly though, in terms of the employees working for organizations, it has been shown that those who find their company’s vision statement meaningful have an engagement level of 68% – which is well above the average.
In a nutshell, creating strong mission and vision statements allows for full transparency and alignment with your business’ core fundamentals. It lets consumers know what they can anticipate from your e-commerce brand and provides your employees with focus, direction and inspiration.
Create a Vision and Mission Statement that Amplifies Your Brand
We understand that it’s not always easy to summarize your e-commerce brand’s fundamentals, objectives and long-term goals, while ensuring to express your underlying values. But, we’re here to help. Clearly outlining your e-commerce brand’s mission and vision statements plays a crucial role, both externally and internally, in defining who you are, why you exist and where you want to go.
About the author: Alyssa has spent the majority of her career specializing in the Accounting sector of Affiliate Marketing. With a persistent urge to learn new things, Alyssa returned to McGill University in Montreal, Canada in her 30s to study Public Relations and Communications Management where she discovered a passion for writing – and she hasn’t looked back!
Her interests include adventuring in the great outdoors, cooking up a storm, and not sitting still. She aspires to take a million pictures of her Siberian Husky/Saint Bernard mix, Jax, and is probably getting pretty close.