Has the idea of a ‘shop’ really changed with the birth of e-commerce?
It’s been 18 years since the dawn of a new millennium. A lot has changed in this time.
Arguably the biggest change of all, the introduction of the internet. Specifically how we use this technology to interact, organise our lives and simply to ‘shop’.
Changes in consumer behavior and their shopping habits, have changed dramatically in the last two decades. Can you remember back to the 1990’s? You’ll remember that businesses looking to sell products would purchase shops.
Shops were expensive leaseholds on physical locations made from brick and mortar. Places where shop merchants would present their merchandise and sell their goods.
Due to these changing habits of consumers, the ‘shop’ as a physical location might be fast becoming obsolete. However, I argue the fundamental concept of a ‘shop’ really hasn’t changed much at all.
The principals of a good shopkeeper.
Traditionally the role of a shopkeeper was to organise a store’s merchandise in a way that made sense to a browsing customer. Shopkeepers would display products around their stores in an appealing and enticing way, that made sense to their customer.
A good shopkeeper knew that store must be kept clean. They would greet each and every customer that wondered through their doors.
The very best shopkeepers would be able to offer their customers a memorable experience. This experience would be spoken about between friends, who would proceed to also visit the store.
The basic principals of shop-keeping have not changed.
A costly error for many business owners in the digital-age
Neglecting your ‘shop’ is a vital error that many business owners in this digital-age make, when building and maintaining a website for their business.
It seems, many business owners build websites on the cheap, cross it off their to-do list and wonder why their marketing dollars aren’t converting.
Actually… Maybe they are!
Maybe your ads are fantastic and your website traffic is higher than ever.
However, without a website that focuses on Functionality, Behavior Flow, User Experience, Search Engine Optimisation, your marketing dollars simply cannot be reaching their full potential.
Are you actually ready to spend your money on advertising?
We speak with many businesses who are eager to spend large sums of money on customer acquisition right from the outset. Business owners come to us with a budget, wanting us to immediately prepare a digital advertising spend for their website.
I can recall one business was willing to pay a large sum just to send potential customers to a broken landing page.
It’s this kind of knee-jerk strategy that is going to do more harm than just waste a few marketing dollars.
An ill-prepared marketing campaign such as this, is likely to annoy your potential customers. The result… Customers that were once very interested in your product/ service, are now unlikely to ever visit your ‘shop’ again.
Website optimisation is not limited to e-commerce businesses. Websites such as this site, selling B2B products/ services are equally as important to optimise.
“Don’t invite anyone over, until you’ve cleaned up your house.”
This is one of our favourite adages.
You wouldn’t invite your friends over to a filthy house. The same should go for your business and website.
The internet has been the single biggest disrupter to business since the industrial revolution. The majority of business costs (electricty, rent and expensive point of sale systems etc.) are no longer applicable to many e-commerce businesses.
However, now that consumers have access to literally every business at their fingertips at all times. It’s never been more important to step back into the role of a shopkeeper.
Remember, a great shopkeeper enjoys high customer retention, by offering a seamless and engaging ‘shopping’ experience.
Consider spending some of the money you are saving on those redundant business running costs. You’ll be surprised just how much of the market share, you will be able to gain.
Final Think Point:
Every unnecessary step a user encounters journeying through your website is a potential for a failed conversion.
A potential for the customer to get frustrated. A potential that they will leave and not return.
Jacques is an experienced digital marketer from Melbourne, Australia.
He's spent a decade working alongside many businesses and professionals from a broad range of industries, developing long-term strategies to navigate the ever-evolving digital landscape. Jacques is a co-founder of See The Label, which boasts in-house artistic and creative design, married with a strict focus on the mathematics and science behind digital campaign analysis.
Fresh, clever content creation and planning that actually increases customer engagement and most importantly converts into real sales.