Your online business, like your ‘Brick and Mortar’ store in the real-world, isn’t magical. It needs to follow sound business rules in order to succeed, and one of the primary rules is ‘location’, a location to ensure easy access and high visibility. Your online location is about your domain name and its search ability. The domain must be descriptive in nature, easy to accurately spell, and easy to remember.
Offline you first develop a business plan that describes how your business is structured and how it will operate effectively. It also serves as a guide for how it will run. Your online business calls for detailed planning as well.
In your real store, you plan traffic flow to position your products to their best advantage. You present complimentary merchandise and services within reach so that the upsell is easy and immediate, and you support the process with signage that promotes ease of access to product categories, ensuring customers navigate easily through the store. These same rules apply to your online store and should receive equal consideration during site planning and design.
Successful businesses develop marketing plans and strategies that effectively target potential customer groups with compelling media that delivers their message. Marketing tells their corporate story, defines their focus on industries and issues, and explains why they offer the best solutions in their field. It then provides customers with access to the purchasing process by stocking shelves or delivering contracted services. In many ways, doing this online is an improvement over doing it in the real world.
Online inventory control is automated and it can be integrated with physical facilities, through POS processing, to perform stock management and restocking, as well as accounting for sales accomplished online and off. In that sense, your online business expands your operations without hiring new staff or getting a larger building. It also allows your business to track the success of your marketing by logging transactions and monitoring the effectiveness of your advertising within market channels. As a result, you are able to consistently measure, learn, adjust and improve your customer satisfaction and your marketing process.
Additionally, a vital part of improving a business is the collection of market information. While early in the marketing process you defined the wants and needs of your market, once you commit to delivering products you need to create a feedback look that will help you determine how your customers really feel about your products and services, and how they match up to the competition.
This is made easier with online stores through the use of contact programs and online surveys. One thing to note is that a balance needs to be established between collecting as much useful information as possiblewhile keeping the survey short enough to gain valid returns from as many customers as is possible. Liquid Digital Studios considers this a key aspect of process development and an important focus area for our team to discuss and understand as we build your online marketing engine.