Recently, I visited a local retailer. He’s got an incredible business and location where he can design, repair and sell merchandise all from his location from scratch. His facilities are some of the best in the country, and every person on his staff is exceptionally talented, qualified and certified.
His challenge is that his traditional marketing isn’t attracting the foot traffic that it used to. His online presence is mostly a brochure. We’re going to assist him with personalizing his site, help him to craft and share the incredible customer stories that he sees on a daily basis, help him to promote the talent and experience that he’s acquired, and help him expand his reach beyond the few miles around his location.
One of the things we discussed was ecommerce. He looked at me as if he didn’t believe me – he didn’t believe his unique, premier, hand-made products could compete online with so many large ecommerce sites out there. He can’t compete with volume and the marketing budgets of these massive companies.
He doesn’t have to, though. He does a ton for the local community that he doesn’t share. He has socially responsible products that consumers would seek out. And, best of all, it’s a massive global market out there. A simple thing like the strength of our dollar dropping against a competing country could skyrocket his overseas sales. He’s just never been in that business.
If you’re a local retailer and you’re losing sales online… go online for statewide sales! If you’re statewide, go national. If you’re national, go international! You can synchronize your shop across the web, including putting product on eBay and Amazon. And the ecommerce systems today already calculate the difficult array of sales taxes and shipping requirements without you needing to be an expert. You can continue to increase foot traffic to your site AND open your market to the world!
Almost 42% of the world’s population has access to the internet (January 2015) and, based on these trends, it’s expected that mobile will push internet penetration beyond 50% by late 2016. Global Opportunities for Online Retailers 2015.
Here are some highlights from the infographic:
- The UK has the highest expenditure per internet user, with an average of $1364 in 2014
- Despite having the third highest amount of internet usage, less than 1% of India’s retail sales are done online
- Japan has recently emerged as a major player in the ecommerce market with a predicted $83 billion to be spent in 2015