When you are ready to enter the world of online sales, you want to capture as much of the market as possible. In today’s technology-reliant world, this means being digitally diligent. In other words, you have to harness the power of the web to work for you.
Keep reading for a few tips from District Creations on how to turn your online efforts into real-world success.
It Starts with a Website
You already know that to sell online your businessneeds a website. However, it is not enough to simply pop a page on the internet. You have to put some thought into both design and the site’s capabilities. Today’s customers want visually pleasing, easy-to-navigate (from desktop, phone, and tablet), and engaging websites. In addition to written, audio, and visual content, a user-friendly website provides quick access to convenience features, such as one-click calling and GPS navigation.
If you aren’t a web designer, there are tools you can use to make a website that won’t look like a DIY endeavour. Wix, for example, allows you to use galleries as well as optimize for mobile. Promote home pages are designed using this tool with stunning results. However, if you want a more comprehensive site with custom features (like the ability to take payments or a full online store), it’s better to work with an agency like District Creations, which can create a beautiful and optimized website tailored for your business.
Shopping in a Snap
Your website is up and running. That’s great! However, if you have products to sell, those need to be available for purchase online. Customers are impatient and likely won’t be willing to choose a product, call you on the phone, provide their credit card information, and then wait for shipping. Instead, make sure that you have a functional e-commerce platform and, just as important, a fast and secure payment processing service. PC Mag’s Editor’s Choice is Square, but there are many others like WooCommerce that support not only online transactions but also mobile payments and allow for third-party integration through services such as PayPal and Stripe.
Keep in mind that people shop online for convenience. But, many are often searching for reviews from other shoppers, so make sure that each item you sell clearly shows a star-rating.
Accounting and the Internet
Now that your website is ready, you’ll also want to make sure you can keep your books straight. While hiring an accountant is one option, there are many software programs that will help you keep tabs on your financials without assistance. QuickBooks and Freshbook are examples. You will still want a professional to walk you through tax season, but these and other programs can handle most day-to-day accounting tasks.
Whether your business runs solely online or on a combination of platforms, having a virtual assistant can keep you organized. First, as Rescue A CEO explains, you will have access to help around-the-clock. Your virtual assistant can help you grow your business and will keep things running so that you can focus on your specialty. Find ways to automate your business in order to work smarter, not harder.
This is not a definitive list of all the help you’ll need for your web-based endeavors. However, the above tools are valuable assets. They can help you find success by utilizing services and assistance that can boost your bottom line.
Author: Amy Collett
Image by Nattanan Kanchanaprat from Pixabay
What is Market Saturation?
Recently, I started building a site for a Locksmith. For those of you who are not familiar this industry is highly competitive. Market saturation arises when the volume of a product or service in a marketplace has been maximized. A saturated market occurs when multiple businesses in the same geographic area compete for the same customers. Frequently there is more product available than potential clients.
There are two types of saturation:
1. Microeconomic market saturation:
For example, my locksmith has several neighbors who compete for the same products. His market is saturated on the micro scale.
2. Macroeconomic market saturation:
This occurs when an entire industry suffers a lack of demand. For example the demand for smart phones reduced the interest in flip phones. Macroencomic saturation happens when all potential clients have their needs met. For example, since the pandemic so many companies are offering egroceries that this market has become hard to penetrate.Eventually, the e-commerce food and grocery market might become saturated.
Market Saturation Causes
Market saturation causes businesses to struggle and fail. Understanding the problem can help us tackle a solution.
Technological changes can reduce or obliterate the demand for older products. If you needed a way to keep food fresh in your home, you would not look for an ice box with blocks of ice. You would immediately search for a refrigeratior.
Increased competition: New locksmith businesses opening up in the same area selling the same products. There are a few major players that have garnered brand loyalty through years of providing good services. Penetrating the market is challenging. There are so many similar smaller businesses marketing the same product that acquiring new customers is increasingly difficult.
Changing customer base: Changes in the demands of the people. For example when fashion trends fade the demand for specific products becomes obsolete. The demand for birthday cakes has dropped as people become more aware of health. However the demand for birthday cupcakes has increased.
Steps to beat market saturation:
- Research competition : Check what your largest competitors are doing and how they are targeting your customers. Can you target the same issues from a different angle? Creativity is not an option if you are trying to challenge big brands. It is a prerequisite. Consider a brand like Netflix. They challenged Blockbuster by offering to mail DVDs to their customers.
- Create a niche: If there are many businesses offering the same products a good way to penetrate the market is to offer something that they do not. Can you improve on the customer service experience? Is there a gap in the market that is not identified? For example Spanx was started by Sara Blakely who turned an old fashioned women’s girdle worn by elderly women into a popular fashion product.
- Provide value: Are there additional services that clients wished they had? Can you offer a free upgrade? Can you diversify your product by offering adjacent services? What can you provide for your customer that would have him come back to you for additional services?
- Marketing and brand awareness: Providing educational content and creating brand awareness will make it easier for you to qualify leads to see you as a trusted and viable solution. Providing educational content that helps buyers a) find you and b) see your product or service as a credible solution—is increasingly becoming companies’ main source of qualified leads. Research has shown that most consumers feel more comfortable about trusting a brand if they have read their content. Content marketing costs a lot less than advertising.
Today, the first stop in check out your brand will be your website. Is the content up to date?
Engage with the client: Using phone, form, text or chat. If you respond within 5 minutes, you have a 90% greater chance of closing a deal with them.
Search: Browsing is a thing of the past. There is so much content on the internet that the only way to reach it is to search. It is highly unlikely that your customer will search and find you directly. They may find local internet directories. Can you list your business there? Ensure that all the company’s essential information is accurate on the directory.
An emphasis on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will increase qualified leads finding your website through a Search Engine. Remember that Google has the lion’s share of searches, but they are not the only search engine.
Effective advertising is the fastest way to engage your audience and make them aware of your brand and reach new audiences.
Post regularly to social media and include video content. (YouTube is also a search engine.) Maintain an active presence on these pages. Add fresh content regularly and respond promptly to messages, comments and likes.
Unique and effective marketing is probably the best strategy when a market is saturated with product and service options, particularly when the services are very similar. Effective strategies and niche marketing can often make the difference for a company.
Scenario of me pitching to clients: What are your challenges?
Clients: There are so many of our prospective clients who get sticker shock when we tell them the cost of our services. We work very hard and genuinely care about our people. Many of them are repeat business, yet when we share the cost of working together, so many of our prospects stall.
I carefully outline a strategy to address their concerns and they need to “think about it”.
I get it. I am not prone to impulsive purchases.
What are the chances of your client suffering from sticker shock syndrome with their client experiencing the same symptoms when I pitch to them?
Is this some kind of black magic that is visited on those who are do not like to make an immediate decision?
How do I break the spell?
Am I over analyzing?
I did some research online and found some documentation about objections. Some people called it the “trial pitch”.
You explain the value of working together.
Start off by asking them to identify the scope of the problem they’re looking to solve, the severity of it, and what it’s costing them.
Next, use their unique situation to do a dep dive with the prospect explaining how this solution will change their lives.
Invite them to see the value they’re getting by addressing that problem with your unique approach.
Then you ask:
Do you believe that I understand in your world, your business and your challenges?
Do you believe that we have the expertise to help?
Do you want our help?…
This is a good place to go into “but-land”.
The idea is to identify the objections and explore how to resolve them efficiently.
Buying is an emotional process.
Emotions is where the monetary-value lives.
Then we deal with this sacrosanct object on the table that everyone has been dodging.
I ask all of my clients what their budget is prior to the call.
Most of elect not to share that with me.
Some are probably afraid that if they tell me I will charge them a higher price. I probably should…. but that would violate my principle of transparency.
I call this the zig-zag dance.
They want me to give an estimate before they reveal their budget.
I want them to reveal their budget before I give an estimate.
If they put a price on it, I can find a way to work with them.
In short, they zig to the left, I zag to the right, until the big price reveal when I tell them what the investment would be.
(I hope that they will jump for joy.)
I am told that if prospects feel that you are hesitant regarding your price, then they will be likely to pick up the cues and dodge. If you are self-assured and believe that you are offering good value, they will feel confident with it. That’s a whole lot of psychology for a simple sales pitch. It leaves me wondering if I should have picked psychology instead of computer science in college?
Sometimes I am left with the feeling that I could have asked double and they would have paid it.
Last week I felt the sticker shock through the video-chat.
Do you have a sales strategy?
How do you explain the value of your offer to your clients?
Leveraging Social Media
The talk is riveting. The presenter is entertaining. I have learned so many interesting facts. I cringe inwardly when I realize how the speaker has missed a golden opportunity…
It is an undisputed fact that presenting to an audience is one of the best ways to gain visibility for your business. When I stand up to speak, then I notice some people are “working”, playing Candy Crush or texting their latest flame. The best advice I can offer to attempt to gain the audience’s attention is to read Jeff Haden’s post
Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.
– Napoleon Hill
I am the speaker’s worst nightmare. I constantly fiddle with my phone as I transition between taking notes and photographs, unless the presenter has taken advantage of the strategies mentioned below…
Now the audience’s attention is focused upon you.
How can you leverage this opportunity to share your content and connect on social media?
Ignore mom’s advice. Talk to strangers!
Lori Saitz of Zen Rabbit is an unusual person. When I interviewed her she told me that she used the failure of her gratitude cookie business, Zen Rabbit Baking company, to jump start her current business of helping quiet people build networking connections.
This week I attended a Meet Up where a person spoke about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The talk had some interesting tips and insight; however the speaker did not fail to mention that his authority was based upon the fact that he has 10,000 followers and had written a book on the psychology of marketing. He invited us 3 times during the talk to email him and get his white paper without an opt-in.
According to my understanding this is the opposite of what Nannette Minley does. She coaches entrepreneurs trying to make an impact with customized marketing strategies for their business. The focus is on their vision and clarity rather than determining success in terms of 10,000 followers or the six figure slogan.