I used to run a website selling digital memory and it did very well for many years. During my time running it I learned a lot and I also made a lot of mistakes. Here is some of the marketing story…
Once you have a loyal customer following you can then start to dictate your prices putting them up a percent of two. Keep up the same quality and service and they’ll stand by you. The great thing for us was that everyone else in our market were already stupidly expensive so it was easy to undercut.
You may be thinking at this stage (it’s all a bit easy to just undercut and expect to do well in business) yes, this is partially true, anyone with half a brain can undercut a competitor. It’s a no-brainer as they say and well…many do this without backing it up with the quality and service the consumer deserves.
These are the parts they decide to miss out on. When all a business owner can think of to beat his or her competition is to go in lower it’s just not going to work on its own. You still need to be clever offering something they’re not offering.
In our case the best quality and service came through. I wanted not only to be the best digital memory provider online but also offer the customer a seamless experience when purchasing, this is when we hired a web design agency to design our store with the buyer needs completely in mind at all times. I started to get engrossed by our customers often to a addicted state of mind. Wanting to know exactly when, why and how they arrived at the store and what they where interested in purchasing.
This all happened when I purchased Who’s On I love this software! – I loved the real time keyword referrer results knowing what a consumer was searching for (what keyword they had used) when they hit our website. This was very powerful stuff, If we didn’t have the product they were looking for, I would tell our purchaser to get it and of course this would end up in more sales for us. Simple but very effective!
I felt that once I knew all there was to know about our customers I could start improving the website so they would stay longer and obviously spend more but at the same time enjoy being on what I would still call today a very boring website. Not because of design but really the subject matter (digital memory). Not exactly stimulating, buying memory is boring for most.
Luckily I didn’t get too involved in the purchasing as this would have bored me silly not to mention this was not my strong point. Another stat worth mentioning was that 44% of all visitors left the homepage after 30secs (bounce rate), just goes to show you how fast you must act and use your homepage to sell or deliver to the visitor exactly it was they were searching for. These stats are approximate because who can trust the accuracy of AwStats and Google Analytics.
Still, non-the-less, this was valuable information we needed to know.
Using these simple strategies we built up a great name quickly and I started to feel the brand awareness building fast. Forum marketing happened on its own. People started to talk about how excellent our phone staff were and then how great the prices and service was. Even freebies we’d give away and the competitions we’d run, little things like this are very powerful marketing tool for any business.
I haven’t mentioned PPC yet and I will go into it in detail in another separate article. What I will say is that It didn’t work for us at first and took a great deal of testing to find the correct keywords, but once you have done this it should pay off. In our market it was not very profitable and ROI was very little but we didn’t care because we wanted the customer not the profit. As long as we broke even we were happy. The value is in your customer you must remember this at all times.