More often than not, in our ventures with clients, we hear that we need to target our “online customer.” There is a perception in the marketing world that your online customer is different from your offline customer.
To some degree there might
be some truth in that, in regards to how they absorb information
verses online or offline. However, the amount of money or style of product they might be trying to purchase does not change online or offline.
Whenever we are confronted with the question of “How do I sell online?” invariably we hear that we need to be able to sell anything and everything to the online customer. The manner in which we respond to this question is with another question “What is it you do to purchase merchandise for your showroom floor?”
Why do we answer a question with a question?
Simple there is only a finite amount of space in a showroom and as a buyer, we buy things that we think will appeal to the aesthetic and fashion needs of the consumer we are trying to wow. The same concept applies online.
As it stands right now, websites are a gateway to a showroom floor or a vehicle to purchase after visiting a showroom floor. As brick and mortar retail operations we do not want our consumers to spend FOREVER on our websites. We want them to determine they want to make a purchase from our store as a result of our website.
The greatest salespeople a consumer will ever get is not a virtual salesperson it is an actual salesperson. Nothing is a replacement for product knowledge and experience spoken based on the concept that a relationship is going to be established. A website serves as a tool to inform and educate but not develop a relationship. People create relationships.
So don’t get caught up on trying to become Amazon because you probably will not be at this current juncture. Get caught up in creating a website that can sell products that are easy for you to move and will help bring the consumer to your sales people.