“How to Take Your Retail Business Online”
I’ve been literally preaching for a while now about how more and more business is being conducted on the internet. Even the most traditional retail business is finding competition online. Do you know who the biggest jewelry retailer is in the world? Amazon. I know, I didn’t know that either until a few months ago (Keep reading, I have more on the jewelry business). Amazon actually has about 60% of the marketshare in all of online retail.
I spent this past summer in my hometown in Pennsylvania and found out that our county is losing an average of 30 people per year. Now, I remember when the population in the county was close to 40,000. It’s currently about 30,000. The numbers don’t lie and this affects every aspect of the county’s infrastructure. From the cost of water to the tax base to the negative impact on businesses because of the population dwindling is very real. There are a lot of local retail businesses that are hurting due to the fact that there are simply not enough people to support them in the area.
But I maintain (as I said it in a recent Facebook “live” stream) that in 10 years the population can dwindle down to next to nothing in my hometown, with tumbleweeds blowing down Main Street, and yet businesses could still be largely unaffected. A little extreme perhaps? Maybe, but true nonetheless.
How? Do what Amazon does. Sell your products online.
If you’re a retail business, set up a “store” on Amazon as well as shopify.com. Now, some would argue that Amazon takes a pretty high commission on each sale just for using their site. And you would be right. The thing is, it’s a good way to set up your brand online. It’s also a good way to get your brand noticed and you can send them directly to your own e-commerce site after each sale. Using Shopify and Amazon will allow you different distribution outlets for your goods in addition to setting up your own e-commerce site. As of this writing, approximately 11% of all retail sales in the US are purchased online. That trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.
I’m currently consulting with a jewelry store owner who “sees the writing on the wall” and knows that more and more retail business is going online in the future. His specialty is custom-designed jewelry. He’s currently setting up an e-commerce site for his business and will also put a store on both Amazon and Shopify in the near future. He was also amazed when I showed him the Instagram profile of a friend of mine’s niece who also has a custom-designed jewelry business that is completely online. Her Instagram following alone is over 20K and she did $1 million in sales last year. Oh, and she’s only 29 years old—a millennial.
The other advantages of taking your bricks and mortar retail business online is that you can expand your offerings. If your physical store can’t handle more inventory or an expanded product line simply due to space constraints, you can have items dropped shipped from just about anywhere. You can also sell virtually (pun intended) all over the world. This is why foot traffic in your store won’t matter nearly as much and, done correctly, your online business could vastly overtake your traditional business in terms of revenue.
Savvy businesses are recognizing this trend and taking steps now to move their business into the cyber world. It’s actually not that difficult and even having an e-commerce site built is affordable for a small retail business.
You’re not too late and you’re not behind the eight ball on this. Starting the process now is just good business for anyone.
P.S. If you want to learn how to get your business online with methods, tips and techniques that work for any business, go to: www.marketpitchllc.com/online/marketing/course. In my over 4-hour seminar recorded “live” I teach what’s working now in the online world with social media, email marketing and the 9 “must haves” for an effective website–along with other topics and cutting- edge information in taking your business online. Check it out NOW!