Whether we want to transform our physical store into e commerce or if we want to create a successful online store, just having a good idea is not enough, we should create a clear strategy focusing on the following 5 basics for any online project:
1. - Find the best market position
Gary Herbert: “A hungry market will buy anything”
Years ago the most important thing was to have a good idea and a good product. Now this is not enough, many fail because they put into play the idea before digital marketing knowledge. In the online world it is a must to pay attention to five variable basics:
- The Market
- The product
- Online marketing
- Price and catalogue
For this reason, when we are looking for the best position in the market, we should take into account the consumer. The potential client is the base for our strategy when creating an online shop; their wishes, passions and problems.
Notice that in this point we are not talking about analysing but understanding; understanding the investigation. Of course there will be an important analysis stage, but first we should take into account “understanding of the needs”
Once we have defined this point, we can move onto the position analysis: we should aim to obtain a predicable system that generates the long-awaited sales.
We should take into account the following measurable factors:
- Who is the competition? Who are the first to appear in Google? Are there a lot of advertisers?
- Which market position segments did I choose?
- What is the cost per click?
- What is the tendency of this sector? Is it a young or mature sector?
Basically, we are trying to quantify and qualify the opportunity
2. - Understand the sales process
Your website is your star sales person, as we mentioned at the start, branding is fundamental in the design of your website. The web page should inspire trust and we should know are public well.
In this part we should adapt the appearance to the objectives that we have fixed. The question would be; what do I want people to do when they arrive on my web portal? Obviously we want to sell, but there are many ways to do this. Maybe we could be interested in showing the products on offer, take them to the top sellers o even show them a video to start with as our product is very technical. In whichever case it is fundamental to create sales funnels, optimizing the page to generate and convert visitors into repeat customers.
In Parallel a correct SEO strategy is necessary, knowing that the inversion return in this initial point is no produced from one day to another, we should be prepared to start to see results by the fifth month (at least). In an effective Adwords campaign, each euro learns from previous one (our CPC start to optimise) and it is necessary to be open to investing at a medium term, keeping this point very in mind.
3. - Create a good conversion system
“The best place to hide a body is in the second page of Google”
As well as creating an attractive website, it is time to generate qualified traffic; this is people who want to buy. To do this we need to identify the type of traffic we need and the search engines will mark the way.
We can create campaigns to reach the first position among the search engines, by having more followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Linked in, as well as a good data base to be able to carry out effective emailing campaigns.
Here we should be very consistent and at least master the following: Google Analytics, create successful Adwords campaigns, fully understand the SEO and even successfully manage it with social networks, and here is where we come back to that million dollar question: How do I attract people from social networks?
4. - Attraction marketing
One of the initial difficulties of any online shop is that the consumers do not know who we are, or once they have bought they do not return. By being able to attract the attention of consumers from social networks it will allow us to generate a good online reputation. We should not ignore social networks; they are a powerful weapon that can help us a lot. By creating communities where the objective is not just to sell, if not to seduce, and for this we should create high quality content systems that allow us to capture qualified emails. If a client has previously bought from us, it is very probable that they will repeat if the experience was positive, and therefore the first 30 days after buying are crucial. So we need an attractive marketing policy for this to work. In online networks, the important thing is to create systems that give indirect sales, by having the correct knowledge of our consumer profiles and by controlling the rest of online marketing variables. The four steps to a good attraction marketing system are:
- Capture emails.
- Have a good data base of consumers and non-consumers.
- Convert non–consumers into consumers.
- Make sure that consumers repeat.
5. - Implant systems that manage dynamic pricing and catalogues.
“Search, compare and if you find something better….buy it”
First we have to make clear that the online world is much more dynamic that the traditional one. We are faced with expert consumers that know how to make buying decisions after comparing pieces and searching for the product they need in different comparison sites or in marketplaces like Amazon or eBay. As we know, the price as much as the assortment are the two main subjects for buying on the internet.
Therefor if the consumer compares, we also need to compare ourselves to our competitors as to know at which Price to advertise our products and the level of availability there is of the product. Obviously, if we are the only ones with a product available at a certain time, we do not have to sell it as cheap.
A medium sized retailer, with about 7.000 products in their website and following 5 competitors has to control on a daily basis 35.000 prices. This gives us a total of 1.050.000 prices a month. We are talking about Big Data, and therefore it is impossible to successfully control this amount of prices if we do not have tools to help us. The price is the only variable in the marketing mix that generates income (products, promotions and distribution all generate expenses), and the impact in the results account is evident. It is no good to have put in effort into the four previous points if when we achieve visits to our home the consumers leave instantly because of our prices.
Once we have implemented this, we will be able to analyse all of the variables that anybody responsible for any e commerce will need to make important decisions; how competitive we are, how dynamic our sector is, positioning tendencies, how we react to seasonal periods in which the demand is high, the availability strategies of our rivals (“long tail” or “mid tail”), the size of our catalogues or the level of affinity that we have with everyone else in the market.
In this last phase, when our Price management is optimised, it is even possible to automate the Price changes in our e commerce by creating business rules, being able to adapt our PVP due to the availability among our competitors. By knowing my competitors stock count I can position myself in a lower or higher percentage in price.
To conclude, to be able to launch a successful online business our strategy needs to be based on the following basics:
- Understand the market
- Have a sales system that gives us predictable results
- Identify the traffic you need
- Put into action a good attraction marketing system
- Implant a dynamic price and catalogue tool for your everyday fundamental management.