You will say, “Of course not.” But I often come across situations where people think that creating a web store will boost their business by itself. Read below for a brief overview of the main problems and potential solutions for a more successful web store.
Creating a basic web store (online store) using popular CMS systems such as WordPress or with the help of ready-made platforms (Shopify) is easy, fast, simple and convenient. With some text, a few photos and a choice of payment processor, your site can become alive. But what after that?
The main problem comes down to the following:
Online trading is easy in theory, but given the huge competition, it can be more difficult than through physical trading. Without a clearly defined business and marketing plan, your web store will be just one of millions available in two mouse clicks.
ON DIGITAL PRESENCE
In the beginning there was Google
When you search for anything on the internet, what do you do? Open Google. If you’re not highly positioned on Google (and if that’s your only source of Internet traffic), the fact is you won’t be selling much.
When you open your first store (either a physical, or web store) your goal is for potential customers to find out about you. Imagine you have a physical store in New York. The location itself will bring you the greatest amount of traffic, because a huge mass of people pass through it every day.
It is true that a much larger mass of people pass through Google every day than through 5th Avenue, but the situation is much different. Namely, Google has one simple task (which it solves in a complicated way), and that is to give each person the best answer to his or her question from too many potential answers. When you type a term into Google, you must get a valid result. This may mean that your web store will not even be in the top 100 results of Google.
Your store on 5th Avenue can have, in the worst case, up to a hundred competitors in the area. Your new webshop may from the start have thousands of competitors, depending on what, where, and to whom you sell.
Our “favorite” Google search engine has to pull out of that huge basket of web stores those that match the search term. This can be fatal for businesses if the competition is fierce, and if what makes you special (distinction) is negligible.
An example of difficult sales of products on the Internet – electronic products. Your new webshop sells cell phones or computer equipment.
An example of difficult sales of services on the Internet – what immediately comes to mind is – web design . There are so many companies that offer website design, consulting, digital marketing and the like.
An example of easy selling products on the Internet – whatever cannot be bought online and resold, you will sell well. For example, products from your own production.
An example of easy sale of services on the Internet – any service that requires high expertise.
What if you still have a product or service for which there is competition and you are not too distinctive?
There are a few things you can do to increase traffic to your webshop:
- SEO (Seach Engine Optimization) – a term that encompasses many things. But in the narrowest sense, it means adapting a website to certain standards so that Google can more easily recognize and associate it with a particular search term.
- A well-designed social media page with interesting and useful content and an active community.
- Google Ads – Pay Google for a paid position on a Google search engine or Display network. A sidenote: Google made nearly $ 90 billion in 2016 through Ads. This information indicates the success of this method of advertising.
- Social media ads (Facebook, Instagram).
Do I really have to pay for ads to sell anything on the web?
Not necessarily, if you are willing to invest in human resources or you yourself have enough time and knowledge for online promotion. Imagine the following:
Situation 1. You printed flyers on your printer in the office and distributed them around the city. You have no advertising cost other than printing flyers, and the cost of your time (or someone handing out flyers for you). In the same way, you can do advertising on the Internet. There are plenty of social networks and forums where you can be present. If you are resourceful, helpful and persistent enough, this will bring traffic to your web store.
Situation 2. Organize a contest – it works less and less, but for some products and services it is quite good.
Situation 3. You have a lot of distinction and little competition on the Internet, and people are looking for your product – which means you will be highly positioned on Google, even without ads.
Situation 4. You have a physical presence that brings traffic to your web store.
Situation 5. Influencers. In exchange for your product or service, someone can promote you on digital networks.
CONCLUSION – Time is money
Building a presence on the Internet works almost identically to building a presence in the physical world. It takes time and money (time in terms of actively working online, not waiting). If you don’t have time to increase your online presence, you’ll have to pay for ads, which can be very successful with a cleverly crafted advertising campaign (but it also requires careful monitoring and adjustments, and campaign money), provided you have a good product or service.
- Without investing time in website content and constant updating, you will be minimally positioned on Google.
- Without an interesting social media page, you’ll be boring and uninteresting, with little return. And a good social networking site again takes time.
- Without a presence on other networks (forums for example), you will be unknown, which also takes time.
- Without a good advertising campaign you will have poor advertising results. And that takes time and knowledge.
If you do not have the time yourself, investing in staff (or us) who are constantly working on the web and promoting your business, is crucial to the success of any website.