The retail business you run is no longer the same as it was 10 years back. Business is now driven by three paradigms:
- Competitive advantage
- After-sales service and
If you sell a quality product at a reasonable price (which most of us do) and give good customer care or technical support, you will cover the first two paradigms. But, what makes the difference between profitable retailing and the not-so-profitable one is how you market your retail store. Your marketing strategy in the most decisive point in your retail business and a number of retailers pay a fortune for it.
People say marketing is a one-way outlet that drains out your revenue - perhaps they are right! Even if you keep aside the salary of your well-spoken, neatly dressed marketing people, you have a fat bill to pay for your ad campaigns alone. Recently I had a discussion with a retailer friend based in California on ad-expenses of retailers in general. Frankly, I didnít believe him when he told me the figures and I went ahead to check it out with an outdoor advertising agency. What I found was astonishing (being a retailer, this may be normal to you) – the cost of a normal billboard in shopping malls or in the highways in the California bay area would cost you anywhere between $600 to $2,500! Multiply it by 5 for display in five different areas – the cost is a whopping $10,000 per month. Even those innocent looking and hardly noticeable angular ads on shopping mall stairways and escalators may cost you anything from $200 to $500 a month!
I donít deny the fact that the marketing expense on these ads are good. They help you to spread the awareness about your business. But, as I have deduced you may belong to either of the two groups; those who are running such ads for their business incurring an enormous expense and those who cannot even think of putting such an ad simply because – he/she cannot afford! However, for both these groups of retailers – there is ONLY one cost-effective solution! A solution that would reduce your marketing budget by one-tenth and at the same time, increase your visibility 50 times to a far larger audience. That is - online retail store!
A web store not only takes your retail business to your customer where they can easily purchase at will, but it can be the ideal solution to reduce your marketing expense and increase your retail businessís visibility also. A recent survey says that globally 450 million people bought something from online retail stores during the past 12 months. Even more, a whopping 39% Americans shop online! Even 78% of all retail consumers first research online before buying a new product from any retail store! Now compare this - the cost you incur on an online store in a year is equal to a weekís expenditure on outdoor ads!
Talking about the visibility angle, your web store has a far more potentiality than those billboard ads. Hereís the comparison:
- Your outdoor ads, most of the time, are seen by the same group of people. Your online store will be visible to new potentials – every moment!
- Your outdoor ads may go unnoticed; but your online store will not – as people will see it when they actually want a product
- Unlike outdoor ads where the scope of delivering detailed information is very limited, your online store will provide everything about the product the shopper wants
- Outdoor ads cannot show immediate or changing information; you web store will
Well, this list is endless. The capability of an online store is immense. Besides being cost-effective and more visible, it is a constant source of direct revenue through online sell as well. Therefore, even if you have a bad weather or dry season or you simply go out to the mountain for a hiking trip, your online will continue to sell and ceaselessly spread the awareness 24-hours a day, 365-days a year.