Managing An Ecommerce Business
Many ecommerce business owners have a hard time understanding trends. An ecommerce business runs on the same cycles as a brick-and-mortar business. The dot com industry learned that ten years ago. They believed they could ride the wave forever, then everything crashed. This left many people wondering what happened. The fact is, nothing happened.
The ecommerce business community worked like all markets do. Tracking a business’s cycle is easy. All the business owner needs to understand is a few basics, and track how they interact, and how that interaction effects profits. This can be done on a simple spread sheet, or in a table in Word. The Consumer Sales techniques come and go.
In today’s market, the best way to sell is by creating a relationship, and / or educating the consumer about the product. In the sixties appliances were sold by promising to make mom’s life easier. In the eighties men stood on platforms in malls and laughed at their wife’s stupidity, and challenged the men passing by that if they wanted their tomatoes sliced properly, they needed to purchase the knife on sale. Both of these sales techniques would fail today because the consumer has changed. The new marketing tool is a web site. It is still so new that most business owners mistake it for a digital brochure. Even the simplest website is capable of drawing consumers from a large area, and varied demographic. There are three variables it must contain to be effective. The first is graphics. Image is everything.
The second is content. The web site is a wonderful place to educate future clients, stay in touch with current clients, and send out newsletters and emails informing clients of events they would be interested in. Trends Many trends affect the types of products and services people will purchase. Is this the time to bring out a high carbohydrate treat, when 17 million of the late Dr. Atkins’ books are sold as soon as they are released? When everyone is downsizing, is it the time to make a new office divider that gives the workers more privacy and comfort? It might be, if there is a way to make it possible to address some of the cubicle etiquette problems. All businesses have trends that directly affect their success. Finding these trends is one way to ensure a business’s growth. However, ride it, then abandoned for the next trend. It is important to remember that trends are started by society. If television does not strengthen the believe that ‘skinny is beautiful’ then Dr.
Atkins empire would crumble. If people were more social then cubicles would not have replaced the typing pool. Life Cycle / Business Cycle When a business is in its infant stage, there is an over population of potential customers, because the business has not created a niche. Meeting the demands of your customers is important, but always be aware that trends change, and life cycles come to an end. That is why business owners should update their marketing information at least once a year. Every product has a life cycle. Every business has a cycle. A good manager watches the trends carefully. Sometimes a change of advertising venue is needed. Other times may demand a new product.
Maybe the product needs to be changed to meet new market demands. It is the business owner’s job, and marketing manager, to make stay a few months ahead of the game. Staying ahead of the game can keep a business one-step ahead of their competition.