Simple knowledge that will give you the power to set up time saving systems that give you back more time to build an unbeatable set of products, engage and delight your customers every time they shop with you, and increase revenue sustainably with enough margin to reinvest and grow.
This advice is designed for people selling products that they have designed and developed themselves.
The Theory First
A website isn’t ‘just’ a set of pages that lets a company list things to sell. Done right, it works in the place of a team of 20+
Fundamentally, we first need to establish how people make money online (and not just the social media content creation spiel), how your customers make buying decisions, and why they might keep coming back
How do people make money online?
They sell products or services that beat their competitors in one or more ways (there is more nuance to it than this, but simply put):
1. They are more unique or better quality, and can guarantee better results than others
2. They can deliver more quickly than others or more easily (subscriptions & fast delivery)
3. They are cheaper than others, both in transaction price and keeping the perceived risk low
4. They are able to identify and communicate with a target customer effectively – knowing what they want, and reaching this customer at a price that costs less than the cost to them of delivering the product
Why is it getting more difficult in some ways to make money online?
The above drivers for making money online have become more challenging in the following ways:
1. Competitors can copy things more easily and do so very, very quickly. So, what was once a margin of 2 years on a new product idea before competitors got hold of it is now a margin of 2 weeks
2. Everyone now has access to distribution as a service or next day shipping carriers
3. Mass production drives production prices down, and competitive marketplaces drive the cost down of easily comparable products
4. It is very difficult to communicate and prove the ability to deliver results – hence the rice of UGC(User Generated Content)
It is increasingly difficult to build awareness of your product, and more and more tempting to lean on platforms such as Amazon and eBay which naturally drive prices down so low that you are forced to sell volume instead of maintaining margins healthy enough to grow. They don’t allow you to directly communicate with the customer base that you build, and can ‘take away’ that customer base by simply hiding your products from view. You become the fulfiller of a commodity, and are totally interchangeable with another company.
It is becoming more and more important to look towards other methods of driving traffic (Google Ads, Social ads are becoming less profitable), and having systems that make purchase easy, painlessly allow customers to refer their friends, and allow you the time to build an unbeatable product that your customers love which is fundamentally the best way to grow your business online long-term.
How is it getting easier to make money & build a Business online?
– Research is far easier than ever before
– Markets are flooded with low quality products and services, and companies that only care about closing the first sale and not keeping their customers happy long-term
– A company that cares about the quality of their products, and customers is rare: this can set your apart greatly
– Systems can be put into place that do the work of salespeople, follow up, encourage referral and much, much more
‘What can I do immediately to increase my revenue?’
– Implement a follow up emails system for potential customers that start checking out, but abandon their cart halfway through.
Abandoned checkout systems that automatically send customers links to their cart when paired with discount codes or free delivery incentives can
Short-to-medium term (1-6 weeks for results to show)
– Implement referrals programs (refer a friend)
– Loyalty schemes
‘Which systems can improve my customer experience, save me time, and grow my Business?’
Look at which parts of your work day are repeated often, and could be outsourced, such as:
– Integrate your accounting system with your store
– Schedule social mediate marketing with hootsuite
– Create branding templates using free tools such as Canva and more easily create professional looking content
– Outsource article and blog content for your website using affordable freelancing platforms
– Consider using a customer support tool such as ZenDesk to manage customer queries
– Automate Google and product review requests to build trust online – you can do this with a follow up email plugin and send them a link to review it shortly after their product arrives
– Integrate delivery systems into your website – whenever a customer places an order it can immediately appear in e.g. your Royal Mail or DPD account, ready for fulfilment. When it is fulfilled you can automatically send tracking information.
‘When I’m ready, what can you do for me?’
Head over to the services page and find out more!