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Doing business online is just like retail

May 16, 2011

Whenever I think about websites and online business I always remember the line from The Field of Dreams – ‘If you build it they will come’ (I’m sure it’s in Close Encounter of the Third Kind as well)

For website this just isn’t true.  The age of being able to throw up a website and getting business are long gone. Just building a website isn’t enough you need to hustle.

Assuming you have a great product that people want then doing business online becomes very similar to retail.

You need to have a good looking store (see older posts – Is your website a market stall or a high street store? & The deserted website).  I have to want to come into your store.  I have to feel you care about your website enough to keep it current and interesting.

I have to be able to find you.  Just like retail it’s no use having a great store only to hide it away down some back street.  On the web this is where SEO comes in.  Get it ranked in the search engines, get it listed, get it mentioned, and get it out there.  Put it on the high street next to the other leading stores.

I have to want to go to your store over the others that have come up in my top 5.  Make sure your business and website has fans.  People who are happy to say how great your products and service are.  Who have enjoyed shopping with you and keep coming back.  A bunch of years ago it was all about being sticky.  That’s fine as long as it’s the right sticky.  It has to be people coming back who care about doing business with you and not just hanging out with like minded people (that’s what Twitter is for)

To that end, get out there and begin promotion.

Look at other sites that you like and work out why you keep going back.  Is it the content, the style, the feeling you get being associated with them.  See how you can create the same connection for your own website.

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