Shoppers staying @ home and starting to give up the aisles for onlineIt is now official - the big shift towards online is finally happening and it is being recognised by the major retailers.
Woolworths recently released figures confirming they are on track to generate over $1 billion in online sales from its food and liquor businesses this financial year. Woolworths has also reported a 50% increase in third quarter online sales from 12 months ago. This is huge!
The age of experimentation with digital is over and companies that do not accept this are being seriously left behind. If you intend to be in retail in 5 years then you had better be multi-channelling through online platforms. This incidentally means more than just having a website. As a director and business strategist with Neto, I am speaking with an increasing number of our Clients and potential Clients who are struggling to move beyond their website. Unfortunately the online space is getting ‘noisy’ now and just having a shopping cart is unlikely to guarantee you success anymore in the online space.
Retailers need to be developing a more integrated business and marketing strategy and you need to be budgeting to increase your spend
Tips for growing your online retail channel
- Upgrade your website to a ‘Responsive’ template.
- Set up an eBay store design and listing template.
- Content is King! Your images need to be well photographed, the description needs to be accurate and thorough and the content needs to be current and supported by testimonials, offer an online chat option, video (where possible) and allow your customers to rate your products. Online is all about Social Interaction.
- List your online store with Comparison Shopping Sites.
- Ensure your site is accepting multiple payment options.
- Use banner ads on your site to promote key periods such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, End of Financial Year, and Christmas.
- Optimise your SEM – define your key words, spend some money in this area, monitor the results regularly.
- Ensure you have a newsletter that maps customer behaviour on your cart and markets to them accordingly.
- Set up a ‘Virtual Assistant’ to answer questions and prompt visitors to your cart.
- Concentrate on ‘Mastering’ a few ‘Verticals’ and become an expert in these channels – blog, video, Pinterest, Facebook and where ever else you can build a group of ‘followers’ so you can lead them back to your site!