1. Identification: Are Your Customers Online?
If your target customers are not online and not purchasing your products/services, then there is no need for your business to be online. However should your targeted audience be online, it’s essential to be sufficiently familiar with the shopping habits of your target demographic. You need to know how they know where to buy the products you sell, where they go to buy them, and what motivates them to choose their elected online store.
2. Online Demand
It isn’t enough to know that your customers do buy things online, you need to extrapolate exactly why they might buy from that competitor instead of from you. Motives are most often driven by the appealing price or the simplicity of shopping online.
Your business’s prospects may be online-savvy and hungry to buy products from your new online store, but if you’re going to run into problems actually getting these products to them, then you should carefully assess whether an online store is a viable option for you. Often, online businesses attract customer bases well beyond their usual watershed. This means that by starting an online store, you might need to consider how to fill orders from other states, or even other countries. While the volume of unwanted leads can be offset in how you target consumers with online marketing campaigns, you still need to be prepared for the occasional errant international sale.
The simplest and most direct way of getting traffic straight away is to take Google’s Keyword Research tool and put it into practice with search engine marketing (SEM). SEM is the practice of paying for a linked text ad to appear alongside search engine results. Businesses bid to have their ads placed above or to the right of organic search listings. The highest bidder gets the most coveted listing, and then pays for each click that the ad attracts. Not only does this provide a very quick way of getting people to your site, it’s also a good first step in learning more about what your customers want and how they look for it in search.
5. Implementation Phase
Choose a small selection of your most popular products that are best suited to the online audience and can be shipped all over the country. Offer these online and use search engine marketing to generate links to your site, take care to track the traffic using Google Analytics. You might be pleasantly surprised by the results.
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