A business riding the crest of a sales wave also has to face its trough. Experienced businesses think of a trough as the beginning of a crest and have contingency plans in place if their sales figures nose dive.
Astute businesses who’ve worked their way up from the bottom have a fluid sales strategy in place that they’ve refined over the many years their business has been operational.
But, there are times when diminishing sales figures do not result from the usual problems like market saturation, lack of demand, state of economy, availability of better products, lack of price discrimination etc. What if the problem lies everywhere?
At times, it is the lack of online visibility that kills a business’s sales figures. It’s not that such businesses don’t have an online presence, but this presence isn’t optimized enough. They are not making it work for their businesses.
By not giving online visibility the importance it deserves their sales figures plummet. Online is the way to go these days. If you want your business to experience more sales, it needs to leverage the potential of the World Wide Web.
Inability to Monetize the Ever Growing Internet User Base
Lack of online visibility means your business is not making an impression on the ever increasing tribe of internet users. As more people take to the internet, the need for your business to be more visible online rises proportionately.
85 % of Americans use the internet. The number of internet users in China is more than the population of the United States, and that is still less than half of the country’s total population. 87% of the population in UK uses the internet. This upsurge in internet users is a global phenomenon and your business needs to leverage it to its fullest. A large percentage of these users will be a part of your target audience and your business needs to reach out to them. Not doing so means this audience that spends a large amount of time online might never hear about your business.
Result – Decreasing sales figures.
Online Shoppers on the Rise
More internet users means more online shoppers. In fact, what we are witnessing now is an ecommerce revolution, where more and more people are buying online than ever before. Is your business a part of this revolution? This is what better online visibility helps you do. It helps you tap into these online shoppers to boost sales figures.
In the US, 62% of consumers with internet access shop online at least once a month. They spent a massive $42.5b online during the 2013 holiday season. In 2014, the number of online shoppers in China is projected to exceed the total population of United States. Ramping up business visibility should be in step with selling your products online. The need of the hour is to keep exploring diverse sales channels and not get trapped in a sales cocoon. Convert your website into a sales channel and use your presence on social media to sell products and services. Also, make sure your website is mobile and tablet friendly –this could be another sales channel.
Imagine the number of sales channels you are missing out if your business isn’t online. And remember, there are customers just waiting for your business to leverage these channels. Ignoring them will be criminal negligence on the part of your business.
People Expect Brand Engagement
Online visibility also allows you to bring your brand closer to your customer and this isn’t just about making your products and services more accessible to the customer. It is about making sure both your existing and potential customers are able to engage with your brand.
Today brands use their online visibility to nurture brand trust by interacting with customers on a personal basis through social media. Brands are looking to humanize their characteristics to make these interactions more natural and personal. They are using a presence on social media to get customer feedback, offer customer support and purely as a means of knowing their customers better and moving conversations away from the brand to something that is more aligned with customer interests and preferences.
Consumers are looking for brands online and they do business with brands they can trust. This trust is established through personal conversations between brand and its customers on social media. If you ignore social media, you run the risk of losing customers.
The Online Strategy for Businesses
The first step is to make your website a hub of your online sales generation efforts. Sell products on the site, offer useful information through your blog, make it extremely social media friendly and above all make sure you are managing these activities well.
The second step is to integrate the use of commerce solutions that help you take charge of both your offline and online sales challenge. One reason why many businesses fail to optimize the use of their online presence is they are unable to streamline and manage all activities that lead to an increase in topline revenue.
The third step is to make continuous efforts to optimize the various online sales channels you are using. For example if you are using Facebook to sell your products and services, you must be able to do it in a right way. Keep refining, reworking and reimagining your strategy.
If your business is showing declining sales figures in spite of you playing by all the rules in your sales book, take a look at its online presence. It needs to be equal to or better than your offline presence. So check whether it is delivering tangible returns? There is a difference between online presence and visibility. The former will not increase your sales figures; the latter will but only if you are able to leverage this visibility.
It’s important your business has the kind of online visibility that allows it to confidently explore new avenues of sales growth. What you also must remember is building, promoting and strengthening this visibility is a continuous process. A stop-start approach doesn’t work in this case. There is no doubt you need online visibility, but make a play for it, only if you are serious about it.Tags: Commerce Suite, eCommerce, Sales Channels