I have a sneaking suspicion that in all the world, there is only one shopping centre. No matter where you walk into it – Chadstone in Melbourne, Westfield in Sydney, positively ANYWHERE in Singapore – you’ll always wind up wandering the same halls, sidling past the same stores.
In it you’ll see all the usual suspects: the chain stores, the dodgy knock-off stalls, the occasional “mum and pop” operation that nobody seems to walk into but who must be paying their rent somehow. High-end, low-end, everything in between, all jumbled together and fighting for attention.
In a lot of ways, the online marketplace is the same. The business names may change, but it’s the same ol’ story…except for one very important difference:
On the internet, they could all be run from someone’s bedroom.
You don’t need to have 500+ employees to be an online powerhouse. You can sell all over the country (and beyond!) without a storefront, without a lot of overheads, and (sometimes) without even needing to put on pants.
(Note: ONLY if you work in a home office!)
How can this be? There are a lot of factors, of course, but it all boils down to one thing: an online-facing business is different to a brick-and-mortar-only store. It can be cheaper, too, but you need to be smart, technologically savvy (or at least willing to become technologically savvy), and you need to understand a few key points.
Honestly, this is still the thing that surprises people the most: some of the most successful online stores are pretty small operations. Look at the bigger retailers, too; their online stores cost (significantly!) less to run than their physical counterparts, but make enough to make any small business happy.
(Case in point: last year, JB Hi-Fi made $87,600,000 in online sales! Source)
And that isn’t even considering the customers that their online presence brings to their physical stores. It’s a notoriously hard figure to pin down, obviously, but it’s undeniable – online marketing brings tangible benefits to your offline business, too.
If there’s one thing I want you to take from this post, it’s this: there’s a place for you online, if you’re willing to take it. With some well-researched and clever online marketing, your website can start appearing in front of thousands of potential customers very, very quickly. If you do your marketing right, ANY business at all can be in the #1 position in Google’s search results. ANY business can be raking in the same number of site visits as the largest offline store.
There are two main marketing services that we offer here at Technology Matters, often in conjunction:
Good question! Generating buzz and boosting site traffic is (obviously! very!) important, but it’s just the first step towards a sale. The second step begins when you get a visitor to your site…
…but for that, you’ll have to check out Part 2!