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.

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Commerce VS E-commerce

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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.

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.

, Building your brand online – Commerce VS E-commerce

7 KEY TIPS

when it comes to building a digital marketing strategy for growth..

, Building your brand online – Commerce VS E-commerce

1. Branding 

Developing a brand online that consumers want to be associated with is critical to the success of your business growth. Brand development online is often perceived as challenging. For some businesses this can be true however for many more it is not, where an authentic brand exists the market can be very responsive. 

, Building your brand online – Commerce VS E-commerce

2. Learn from your Market 

Digital Markets have one key cultural difference when it comes to marketing – THE CUSTOMER IS IN CONTROL. For a successful online campaign the customer should dictate everything you do. From Search Engine Marketing to Social Media Marketing, PPC Campaigns etc. Reading, analysing and understanding your google analytics, reviews, market feedback and responding to this will ensure success.

, Building your brand online – Commerce VS E-commerce

3. Education 

Globally there are a massive digital skills shortage but there is fantastic supports and training programmes and free online material available, so I highly recommend educating yourself, it is well worth the investment. There is also so many automation tools available these days in fact the biggest challenge is finding the right one that works for you and the way you work.
The private sector and public education boards throughout the world are working together to narrow the skills gap, so training programmes are becoming more and more advanced. According to Forbes  the key areas to focus on in developing your digital skills include:

Digital skills – analysing and managing data, software development, programming and digital security;

Business skills – project management, decision making, business processes, visualisation and operations management;

Workplace skills – critical thinking, effective communication, cross-cultural awareness and analytic reasoning.

, Building your brand online – Commerce VS E-commerce

4. It won’t run itself

While the overall costs of running an online store is significantly lower than running a traditional bricks and mortar one, and many elements can be automated, it won’t run itself. It requires the same attention as your traditional bricks and mortar store and needs to be managed. Stock must be on hand, orders processed, stock displayed in an attractive way, the store needs to look neat and tidy and the customer experience needs to be a good one. Along with this the market demands continuous communication and management.

, Building your brand online – Commerce VS E-commerce

5. Build your Online Network

You don’t have to market your business alone. Collaborating with influencers, complimentary service providers, friends or groups who want to support your business is a great way to build your online network. It opens a lot of doors and allows you to access new markets.

, Building your brand online – Commerce VS E-commerce

6. Rise of the influencer 

Influencers have access to very large markets and can make it very easy for businesses to access potential customers and key markets. Influencers are present in every industry both B2B and B2C. Do you know the influencer in your industry?

 

, Building your brand online – Commerce VS E-commerce

7. Be Social

 If you are the kid in the playground who doesn’t talk to anyone, you’re in trouble. You must be communicating with your market. Building a website, setting up a social media page and hoping for the best is not enough for success. You have to have the confidence to go to market. Continually communicate with your market, harness their feedback, adapt and respond to their needs. The most popular kid in school is usually the one who has the confidence to be themselves no matter what.

If this has helped you and you want
to learn more about digital marketing.

 

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, Building your brand online – Commerce VS E-commerce

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