This is a question many new and veteran entrepreneurs ask us. Since the pandemic there is also a webshop pandemic. When we were in lockdown, online business strived and all consumers could do was do online shopping. This resulted in many businesses opening a webshop to survive. But now with the pandemic behind us, this is not longer relevant for many businesses. In this article we won't explain how to sell online, but why you shouldn't sell online or why a webshop is not meant for every business.
Soon we will write a blog on how to start selling online, but for now if you are interest contact our team.
The advantages of the large online conglomerates; quick deliveries, apparently having every product in the world in stock, are accompanied by many many disadvantages. Customers can not compare products, see them or feel them. Not to even begin to talk about the customer service or impact on the environment of the free returns. As you can tell, there are many aspects where a physical store trumps an online store.
Even when you don't sell online, some might think you have to compete against webshops, so did one of our clients. They approached us because even though the had a consistent 600-650k in annual revenue, their margins started slinking year by year. Their store was well know in their segment as a place where you could find the best quality products and loads on advice from experts. But as they felt the need to compete with online stores they changed pricing strategies a few years ago. Since 2019 they looked for the cheapest price for their product online, and sold it for the exact same price. Bye bye margins, but they still offered the same services.
At further analysis it showed that even though their prices lowered by 20%, the did not gain any extra customers. We advised them to increase their prices again to their original level, and kept positioning them as an expert in their field. This price increase is now 9 months ago, customers keep coming and their margins are healthy again.
Make shopping in your store an experience. Showcase your USPs, display your products in a way customers can feel and experience all their features. Your store window must attract people inside. Do not make it too cluttered, neither too empty. Let your store stand out. Some stores are popular just because they look cool in an Instagram story.
Are you well known as an expert, let customers experience this expertise. Set someone at the counter for quick purchases, so you are available for those who need more TLC. Is your product prone for testing or fitting, give customers the chance to do so. A shoe store with no places to sit is just as good as a webshop.
Do not be afraid to put a price on your service. Your expert advice has a price, and your customers should pay this. Add a small margin additional to all your products taking into account you might have to give a customer loads of information before they purchase. The kind of info they can't find online.
The most important advice is: Not everyone is your customer. You will always have customers who will just look for the cheapest option. Let those go, they will waste your time. Focus on the customer who value your expertise and service. "It is cheaper somewhere else" is a sentence you will hear a lot. Always agree, and friendly remind them you are not a conglomerate who can match those prices but neither will those webshops ever be able to match your service level.
Do you require some more guidance in all of this? Feel free to schedule a meeting with our team, and we will be happy to help.