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13 March 12

Is Being Online All It’s Cracked Up To Be?

Bricks and mortar stores are confused and understandably so! There is so much conflicting advice out there, how on earth are you suppose to know what is the right course of action for you? I recently read an article from a “leading” consulting company that said this-

“Bricks and mortar retailers need to embrace online to reach a new customer to drive sales. Relying on street traffic for that new customer is not effective anymore, it’s all about engaging the new customer. I would love to see bricks and mortar say goodbye to shopping centre landlords and have a booming online business where they can have a better lifestyle, with much less overheads.”

Now this is where the problem lies. Retailers who are not educated and don’t have knowledge around the world wide web are being mislead. Anyone who says being online is easier then having a store is talking complete BS. Let me make this clear:-

  1. You think you have no traffic now and your competitors are on your tail? Wait until you get online because you can times the competition by a gazillion. The competition are sharks that steal your IP and content and pass it off as their own. Online more then ever before has it been more crucial to stand out and you will be working just many hours as you do now, if not more.
  2. Yes being online is CRUCIAL for every business- you need to be online if you aren’t you will sink. But it is like opening another store and there are things you have to think about. Like marketing, capturing email addresses, email marketing, list building, content creation, SEO, back links and the list goes on and on.
  3. It’s not a case of create it and they will come. No! You still have to drive traffic into your business and provide them with an incredible experience all in 7 seconds otherwise you’ve lost them.
  4. While I’m all for ditching shopping centre’s and there outlandish rents. Bricks and mortar play an important role to consumers, shopping centres are still convenient to most people. Indie shopping strips and buzzing with energy and people wanting to buy something different. If you see white everywhere it’s only a matter of time before you long for a bit of color. If you ate pizza for a month it’s only a matter of time before you crave some vegetables. We have been boring people for YEARS with the same product over and over. Store after store…..we’re BORED. Give us color, give us vegetables because we are longing for a change. Provide your customers with a choice, a point of difference so they feel like the product was made just for them. Do it in a way that they feel so special! Do that and you WILL make money.
  5. Being online where you have a better lifestyle and less overheads: Yes the overheads are much less there is no denying that. Lifestyle? Putting everyone in the same basket is generalising, yes you have flexible work hours but with that you can also work 24/7 around the clock and you can’t switch off, there is no locking the doors at the end of the day. It takes discipline to work set hours (that work for you) and you must utilise your time wisely.

Don’t get me wrong I LOVE working online and it has been AMAZING for my business and it has fuelled my business to a whopping growth  of 150% last year and tracking to see growth of around 300% this year. This purpose of this is not to talk you out of being online but to give you an understanding of the reality of being online. Should you be here? Dam straight you should! But go in with your eyes wide open.

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