Building your brand online – Commerce VS E-commerce

When you open a bricks and mortar shop, it is typically limited by it’s geographical reach. When you first open you are so busy organising your stock, your staff, your accountant, putting in place your systems and procedures. Not to mention the challenge of picking the right products, taking in deliveries, laying your stock out in an attractive way and that’s all before 9am!! Then out comes your marketing hat. Up goes your point of sale material and signage, you’ve told all your friends and anyone who’ll listen that you have taken the brave step to go out on your own. You may have taken an ad in the local paper or the local radio station, then finally…. you open the doors ready to greet and meet your first customer.

You’ve made your first sale, your confidence is building, you’re meeting your market for the first time in person and you’re learning about all their needs and wants. Every day from here on out you open the doors, greeting your customers, making them feel welcome and trying as best you can to offer great customer service and a great customer experience. Every morning you stock your store, placing new stock prominently, so that customers can see it. You may place an advert in the paper or on local radio or you may send out a flyer. Within a few days or a week you may see a return.

A retail owner once said to me: “sure if my shop was in London, I couldn’t but make money, look at the footfall they have”. I’m here to tell you that digital markets provide the same opportunity as London on street footfall and so much more. Is this a market you want your products and services to reach? As a business owner what kind of a difference would this make to your business?

“Is a thriving market like London the type of market you want your products and services to reach? As a business owner what kind of a difference would this make to your business?”

The day to day world of E-Commerce is not that different but everything happens a lot quicker and the nuts and bolts elements of the business can often be automated. We simply use a different set of tools and a different set of channels to reach bigger market places. Stock can be added in a matter of minutes (system dependent!!). Customers can be notified of the new stock in a matter of seconds. Influencers and advertising campaigns can be promoted instantly reaching further markets and increasing sales. What you could traditionally have turned over in a month you now have the potential to turn over in a day. Sounds attractive?

Of course it is, but in reality in order for this to happen you need to have some strong data to suggest that this is the right product for that particular target market. Is there strong data to suggest they want your product? Is your influencer or advertising channel the right fit for your brand? Does your promotional collateral reflect the product and your brand in a way that resonates with the market. And just like traditional marketing are you offering your customers a great experience? Is the product delivered on time? and in good order? Are your customers happy to review and talk to you or their friends about the product how can you encourage this? and learn from it for your next campaign.

Successful marketers are continually using market information and consumer behaviour to dictate every strategic decision and every marketing move. This is not unlike traditional marketing which responded to consumer behaviour however this data is available to a digital marketer in real time. The data available in a digital environment allows businesses to ring fence specific target markets in order to grow businesses.

We’re passionate about helping businesses build sustainable online brands and helping them grow their business online. So if you want to build your business online I have outlined my 7 key tips when it comes to building a digital marketing strategy for growth. Link this text with the other blog 4

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