The amount of business being done online is phenomenal. As a marketing professional with more than four decades of experience, I admit that I am often overwhelmed by the new technologies.
This is the primary reason that I have begun partnering with a passion. It is no longer possible to keep your arms around all available resources—everything in house. Unless you are a major agency with lots of capital, you cannot stay up to date. Using third parties to handle technology or market segment assignments is critical.
The Difference for Retailers
When you finally realize that a brick and mortar storefront will no longer reach even a fraction of potential customers, you have to deal with getting up to speed with retailing on the Internet.
Advertising on the Internet yields a ROI (Return On Investment) that can be 50 times that of other forms of traditional advertising.
Many business owners and managers think all they need is to put up a website and wait for the orders. It is so very much more complex than you (or I ever) imagined. The amount of planning and implementation can be daunting.
As a marketer one of the most distressing things I see is a local retailer with a desirable (perhaps even unique) product mix that doesn’t know how to leverage their existing stock and offerings to the world at large.
Get Out of Your Own Backyard
Before you begin you must come to the realization that as a small business owner you cannot possibly handle the design, implementation, and maintenance of an online store. If you can assign a full-time, web-experienced person to the task, then you might have a chance. Hiring your nephew or a part-timer to do this project is a joke without a punchline.
It’s easy to search the web looking for “shopping carts,” “retailing websites,” “e-commerce software,” etc. but I can assure you that it will be only a few minutes into the project that you come to the conclusion this stuff is way over your head. That’s why I use out experts to contribute to any project. It’s ultimately the most efficient route to getting what you want.
Take the time to contact a handful or vendors and ask them for a proposal on getting your retail website up and running. Otherwise you are wasting valuable time, energy, and money.