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It's not long ago that we had a battle convincing SME's that customers buying on-line was actually good for business. Now customers are moving all over their devices for a satisfying 'buy'!
The Dark Ages Weren't so long ago
Despite internet selling dating back to the dotcom boom of the late 1990's, there is still a battle going on to convince some SME's that customers buying on-line is actually good for business. Many traders have fobbed off people buying on-line as bargain hunters busting margins and turning good businesses bad. They were buying stuff that was just too cheap to support a good trader.
Opposite those opportunistic buyers, there were the real scoundrels - the internet traders.
It was fashionable among some last-generation traders to characterise internet traders as 'ne'er do well beach bums' who picked up opportunistic sales at unrealistic prices, ruined the market for serious people, and destroyed brand loyalty. That always was 'phooey', and now it's nakedly exposed for the self-serving drivel it is.
Solid businesses making solid profits now need internet sales to round out their sales offer, and generate the high level profits their owners require.
Then Came The Age of Enlightenment
Today’s purchase path now moves through more stages than it used to, and it includes various 'devices', even if the final transaction is finally made in-store. In the purchase pathway there will be a range of devices, apps and browsers. At every step, your busy, time-poor, and sophisticated customer will always have the expectation of a seamless buying experience.
Last month we emphasised that growing your business means growing on-line. For those who have not yet fully embraced the outlook, attitude, and action plans that underlie a good on-line sales program, this has been very challenging. Like it's hard to drag your self to the starting line for a race you don't really want to run.
Unfortunately, the pay-off is that it's now starting time for the next race. We missed the first race, and now it's time to catch up!
Markets Change - Constantly!
The e-commerce market in Australia is, as markets always are, ever-changing. Now, it's not only about getting your head around selling on-line, but it's also now about catching up with the constantly changing behaviours of Australian shoppers.
What this means for you is that it is much more than having an on-line shop (the very idea fills you with shivers), and now it's about making the buying process quite seamless across the computer, tablet, phone, and showroom or store. The language for this has gone beyond 'multi-channel' or 'omni-channel', because we now have to cover all the channels - as well as all the devices in the electronic channels too.
The word for that? 'Cross Device'.
Handling 'Cross Device' Selling Is New
Essentially, 'cross-device' as it stands in 2018 requires the merging of customer information at every possible point throughout their shopping journey – whether it’s a mobile app, mobile web, or desktop, - and transferring historical data and transactional status between devices. This is also linking in various ways to your loyalty scheme and customer database.
Australian shoppers, like others around the world, are on the go. Their expectations are constantly being raised. In our Customer Care training program, we emphasise that "good customer service occurs when every 'moment of truth' is a pleasant surprise". That does mean constantly rising expectations.
While the expectations of Australian shoppers are at an all-time high, as they will always be increasing, their attention spans while browsing online are relatively short. Given that we’re operating in a highly competitive retail landscape, a personalised, relevant and seamlessly integrated shopping experience is crucial for converting interest and a visit into a sale.
So how do you do that - after all, you're a small (or maybe medium) business?
Success Is In The Mind
First of all, take on-line selling to heart. No, take it really to heart!
We constantly see traders who accept that internet selling is a fact of life, but who also show a massive disconnect in that regard. Sometimes this is even expressed as "It's alright for them, but we're different." Well, you're not different! When you accept that, you have come a long way to taking on-line selling to heart.
You know you have to advertise to get people into the shop or showroom. You know you can sell to them if you can get them to visit. On-line selling is just the same. If you can get people to visit you on-line, you can sell to them. Simple as that!
What is different here, is that selling to them on-line requires learning a new skill - or, rather, a new set of skills!
The New Process Adds To What You've Always Done
The buying process begins with an unmet need - a kind of itch that needs a scratch. Just like always in sales! It's easy to scratch that itch on-line. It's so convenient. But then we need to pick up on that early interest, and turn it into a sale.
Was the first contact on a phone browser? Or on a tablet? Or on a computer? In the new retail world, that does matter!
In Australia and New Zealand, 18 per cent of all desktop transactions are preceded by a click on a mobile device. An astounding 31 per cent of post-click desktop transactions come from another device. For Australian retailers, the key to making more sales, and creating a more meaningful relationship with consumers, is to understand, really understand, the winding path customers take to make their purchase.
In future editions, we'll explore how to tackle these issues in the SME environment.
Believe - really believe - that selling on-line as a development to help make your business great
Remember - success is in the mind!
Learn the new age sales skills you will need.
We can help you see your strategic strong points, protect your strategic weak points, and win on the digital sales front. And then you can just hang up. NSA!
Phone us (see the numbers below) or use the contact form here to get help. Absolutely obligation free.
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Any advice, information or comment contained in this document is general in nature, and should not be relied on as the basis for any specific commercial, business, employment, or financial decision. Specific advice should always be obtained for each individual circumstance. Accordingly any advice, information or comment contained herein is for general guidance only.