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eCommerce or Die—Advertise to your site, then to your store

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Life was easy back in the day, or at least, that is what I am told. I have only been actively engaged in this industry since 2008 and as you can imagine I have not seen the “easy days” of this industry. I have only seen the retail of today, which can prove to be complicated, hard acquisition, and slow growth.
From my studies and research in marketing efforts, more specifically in high ticket retail, advertising and customer acquisition was a “top down” model.

Acquiring customers revolved around:

  1. Sending out a message through traditional media outlets.
  2. Getting store traffic.
  3. Finally, getting sales.
  4. Rinse and repeat the process.

Acquiring customers today has added a new twist:

  1. Sending out a message through traditional media outlets.
  2. Potential customers visit an online vehicle to learn about you, pre-shop you or determine if there is a good option besides you.
  3. Store traffic comes (not nearly to the degree it did before) and comes more qualified to make a purchase.
  4. Sales happen either in store or online (if that capability continues).
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 to get new customers and begin steps 2-4 to continue the selling process once they become your online customer.

As you can see, the tools that used to work are used today and the end goal is still the same: traffic and sales. However, the manner and process in which that is accomplished today is much more complicated. Yet, “experts” will try and complicate this process even more by suggesting that:

  1. You should only advertise online moving forward!
  2. Getting Facebook Likes or Twitter Followers is the only way to help you gain sales.
  3. Selling only online is the only way to grow sales.

At R&A we like to use a “Kiss It Simple Stupid or K.I.S.S.” methodology.

How do we K.I.S.S. it?

  • Your website and online presence is your greatest gateway to convince a consumer to purchase from you.
  • Due to national competition and the way search engines work, the easiest way to drive activity to your website is to use traditional advertising methods to get the consumer to the website.
  • Once on the website, make sure the message they saw offline is exactly the same they see online. Also, encourage for additional bonus offers that cannot be claimed from other retail outlets to help ensure they select you for purchase.
  • If you sell online, make it so that there is advantage for buying online. Items could be cheaper or delivery could be free for an online purchase.

The most important piece of real estate “back in the day” was your store location. Signage, appearance and personal experience were incredibly important to helping convince the consumer to come inside.

In today’s marketing world those principles are just as important but the next greatest piece of real estate you have is your website. The same attention to detail is necessary to help convince the consumer to purchase from you.

K.I.S.S. and you will be happy in your selling and marketing efforts.

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