5 steps to be eReady by Friday

I was interested to know from retailers on the frontline where they were at with their eCommerce integration. My personal experience was that it was generally woeful, but I wanted to ask a broader group of people. Recently we conducted a survey in conjunction with eReady Partners and the findings were quite interesting.

We found that whilst e-Commerce is already having a measurable impact on 91% of Australian SMEs, only 54% have developed their own online business to the point where they can process an online transaction; with 46% of this group acknowledging that they still lagged behind their more e-Savvy competitors.

Already almost all (91% of respondents) reported that e-Commerce is already having an impact on their traditional business.

Of the respondents who were already generating online sales, almost half believe their online business lagged behind their competitors.

The vast majority (73% of those who are active) are spending less than $2,000 per month promoting their online business. (We believe that, despite the common misconception that it is ‘cheaper’ to run an online store, the reality is that there are many types of expenses that traditional retailers would not have considered before embarking on the journey.)

To summarise the findings:

Almost every retailer is affected, only half have started to do something about it an almost all of those are not doing enough.

(Participants will receive a copy of the findings via email if they opted in to do so. Others who are interested can get a copy from eReady Partners.)

The implications are profound:

1.      You are behind: Traditional retail is allowing pure-play eCommerce retailers to stake their claim on these new gold fields, which they are doing at rapid pace. Of course, those pure-plays then integrate backwards and start opening in physical locations to create the omni-channel experience.

2.      eCommerce is not a trend (as I said last week) here on Inside Retailing.

This raises the question about what to do and here is a simple action plan to get you started:

It is a constant learning process, because the technology is changing. Attend seminars, subscribe to blogs, subscribe to newsletters, engage consultants, ask your coach and buy books. However it is you learn, target these topics even if you feel uncomfortable about it now. (eReady Partners is scheduling quarterly updates that many will find useful.)

Start taking small steps – and here are the first 5 for you.

1.      It is a constant learning process, because the technology is changing. Attend seminars, subscribe to blogs, subscribe to newsletters, engage consultants, ask your coach and buy books. However it is you learn, target these topics even if you feel uncomfortable about it now. (eReady Partners is scheduling quarterly updates that many will find useful.)

2.      Start your Twitter account. You don’t have to say anything, just listen and learn.

3.      Stake your claim on the social media sites and platforms to ensure you own your brand/ domain name as soon as possible. This includes at the very least: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Tumblr, your blogging CMS and Youtube. (Here is Wikipedia’s list of top social media sites.) You can use NameChk, to see if your username/ brand name is available on most sites in a single glance. You may not use all these sites immediately, but at least you own your real estate.

4.      Get your Google house in order, including claiming ‘authorship’ on Google for your blog, your Google Analytics account and so forth. (Having a free GMAIL account is very useful around the net and I use one to subscribe to newsletters instead of my business email. Google is SUPERB at keeping spam at bay, and it is much safer to use that email for (what could be) dodgy website subscriptions.

5.      Make sure you have a simple, static website at the very least. Put your ‘SHOP’ button on it too even if you don’t have an online shop. Give customers a ‘coming soon, give me your email to be advised when we launch’, message and TRACK the number of clicks. (That is a basic way of testing interest in your offer.)

All of this should be done by Friday (except #1 which is ongoing). If not, I will come to haunt you…

GANADOR: Don’t out-sell your competitors, out-teach them & you r clients will love you for it.