This month: Bricks & Mortar v Clicks & Mortar
WE ARE LIVING through the decline of traditional media. It’s not going away any time soon but the world of electronic multimedia is fast becoming a real contender for the consumers mind and wallet. Given the mind boggling amount of information available on the net and the millions of people that access it each day, it comes as no surprise that this new medium presents potential new markets on a daily basis to businesses everywhere.
As a result this fertile communication area is attracting strong growth in advertising expenditure and it is clearly happening at the expense of traditional media such as newspapers, magazines, television and to a lesser degree radio.
Digital communication in no longer a ‘special’ medium … it is now an everyday experience. Take the time to understand this communication trend and you will understand that integration into your existing communication program is key to successfully exploiting this new opportunity.
The implications for all businesses are far reaching and critical to continued growth. On line purchase is growing exponentially with finance, fashion, accommodation , automotive, airline tickets, entertainment [live and electronic] and events leading the pack.
Let’s examine some of the areas you should be aware of when creating your new website.
There are 2 key components – the information on your site and the creative design of your site. It is arguable that the content is almost more important than the design. While the design encourages viewing … it is the words and content that encourages purchase.
It is important that you seek professional help when making this important decision for your business.
Some important points to consider:
- Your site needs to load quickly. The discerning consumer out there wants everything and wants it ‘now’.
- The consumer is becoming more demanding and their busy lives make them time poor. This puts pressure on them to find the best, quickest , easiest and most efficient way to satisfy their shopping needs. This in turn puts pressure on you and your business to deliver against those needs.
- Your site should strongly display your brand name and logo.
- Clearly and succinctly communicate your business expertise.
- Describe the products and services you offer.
- Highlight benefits to the consumer
- Be easy to navigate and understand.
- It must be easy for them to contact you.
- Ensure that your new site is fully integrated into your current communication program.
Although there has been global embrace of this new technology and shopping on line is gathering enormous momentum, we still need to interact with others and therefore our desire to go ‘out’ when we shop is still a very powerful emotional and social driver.
It is therefore important that the online shopping offer complements the bricks and mortar shopping offer. In this way you capitalise on the growing trend and your customers benefit from having the best of both worlds.
Some businesses have not fully embraced this change while others such as BCF (Boating.Camping.Fishing) for example have demonstrated a real understanding of the youth segment of their customer base by cleverly tapping into the wide acceptance and usage of the net.
Although they have utilised ‘traditional’ media to talk to this segment of their market they have at the same time acknowledged the importance of the web to this market.
I am sure you are familiar with one of their current television commercials in which they show a red eyed teenager in a darkened room frantically playing a game on his computer. With empty pizza boxes nearby and cans of soft drink on the floor he has obviously having spent most of his weekend indoors in front of his computer.
The voice over booms out … That ain’t living’ and, as the vision switches to outdoor activities such as boating, fishing, camping and the like, the voice over says … ’THIS is living’
The reality is this IS how many young people spend their leisure time and BCF understand this. They have strategically devised an engaging piece of communication [albeit traditional] that directly relates to the way they live and in so doing present them with an alternative lifestyle choice.
All BCF advertising of course strongly encourages visitation to their stores but in recognising this growing trend they have also created an interactive website where products can be purchased online.
With the integration of this into their overall communication program … their customers get the best of both worlds.
By taking a leaf from the book of a successful retail brand name that recognises the need for change in customer communication you may grow your business to the point where you too can enjoy more time for boating, camping and fishing.