A recent report commissioned by Paypal has forecast that online retail will reach $37 billion in Australia by 2013 and the forecast growth rate is 12.5% per annum.
There are tremendous opportunities for traditional retailers to expand their traditional markets from beyond their geographic area to throughout Australia and even export markets.
A successful online business is more than just having a website. There is no point having a beautiful website with all the bells and whistles but no traffic. We see many traditional businesses spend all their budget on developing their ideal ecommerce website and then wonder why it is not successful. They also spend months or even years getting their website perfect that they miss the opportunities available or the market has since moved on.
Our recommendation for our clients wishing to take their business online involves less risk, conserves cashflow and has a greater return. It should be remembered that an online business is not easy money and will require an investment, in at least time, in understanding a new market and how to communicate with that market.
Our approach is:
- Research your market and find out the keywords that people are using to search for your products.
- Set up a simple site using WordPress as the web platform.
- Seed the site with about 10 static pages of content focusing on the keywords (search terms) associated with your industry and the markets that you are targeting.
- Start blogging on a regular basis (ideally daily or at least weekly). Your blogs will be targeting long-tail keywords (3+ words) in your market.
- Build traffic and links to your site.
- Use Google Analytics to see where your visitors are coming from and what they are looking for. You will find a niche in your market to start to target.
- Now you have found a niche in your market, you have traffic from Google related to that niche.
- Build a ecommerce solution to your site that initially focuses on selling to that niche. Rather than spend time and money on a ecommerce solution that you think will work, you have reduced your risk by targeting a niche of your market that you know will work.
- There a number of ecommerce solutions available from the WP e-commerce plugin for WordPress that can be set up in less than a day (or even less) to BigCommerce and Magneto which require a more significant investment.
- Once you have your first sales and developed the back end systems for collection of money, delivery and admin, you can then look at targeting other products within your market.