I dedicate this post to some of those hero companies who once a brick-and-mortar spaces are now rocking the online business. Online business is becoming both essential and attractive to retain the customers. A big advantage of online business is you are available not just to your local customers but also to a larger audience. This directly translates into more business and more profits.
What do you think online business comprises of?
Aha! I should have answered that first itself. Online business or e-business comprises of conducting your business operations through the internet. Any industry can go online and cater to its customers. It can be service, information, product or an experience. Online business literally accommodates every kind of business you may want to offer.
Online Business: Is it a good thing or a bad thing?
That’s a long and wide drawn debate, we can keep aside for next post but😊, to sum up, technology-driven business is next big thing to industrialisation and is going to stay and grow bigger every year. We cannot ignore the reach of the internet, hence lose a potential market segment.
Business owners in Australian suburbs are having mixed feelings about businesses going online. Some feel it is eating away their customer base whereas some are openly embracing and launching their e-business for local as well as outside customers. And they are happy about it!
It is true that people find e-shopping easy and comfortable without the hassle of physically going and picking up things.
Those who are sceptical about e-shopping and not comfortable with the idea of buying something without seeing physically are still carrying out their shopping in a conventional way.
It is both the ways. However, with more efficient electronic devices like pads and smartphones, online business is foreseen to grow into a mammoth industry in itself.
Freda Evon runs a gifts and homeware shop in suburbs of Western Australia for the last decade. She enjoys a steady set of satisfied customers who repeat purchase at her shop. She feels threatened by the growing online businesses that are bigger and offering similar products at much cheaper price with doorstep delivery. She is concerned because she cannot afford to match the price point and home delivery without charging freight expenses. This most of the online businesses are doing.
The exactly contrasting story is that of Chris Russell who runs an art and crafts shop. Chris has taken readily to online business format is making it extremely good. He has retained the brick-and-mortar store for customers who would like to walk in and buy along with enabling internet shopping. He gets online orders from local as well outside customers. He does charge minimum delivery charges but since his sales volume is growing, absorbing the delivery charges in not much of a pinch.
We can learn from both the scenarios while planning up a new online business.
Some more examples of in-store businesses that have crafted their online success story.
- JB Hi-Fi
Australia’s well known electronic retail chain rewrite their success story by going online and introducing digital games, movies, music and books. The customers can shop from physical as well as e-store for their favourite content.
Taking their business online gave JB Hi-Fi 9.9% of increase in its customers from the previous year and almost 14% increase in revenues!
- Lorna Jane
An activewear retail brand went all out to claim the online retail space with its indigenous brand. Lorna Jane engages its market with actively taking on to the social media. It has hit 1 million fans mark on the Facebook! And amassed 30% increase in its revenue from the previous year. Now, the online sales amount to around 14% of the brand’s total turnover.
- Pet Circle
How would a business catering to pets set its foot online? Pet Circle did just that few years back. Since then no looking back for the business. It has grown to 12 million $ company now with most of the sales coming from online business.
The ‘S’ factor that differentiated the Pet Circle is its logistics management and focus on customer satisfaction.
Who could have thought a large wholesaler like Klika who sold pins to poles for homes from their wholesale shop could easily transit to e-business. But they did. Doing business without middlemen was the driving point for Klika’s founders to branch out to online business. And today they enjoy both online and physical presence.
Kogan a traditional consumer electronics company went all over the internet with numerous product categories over the years. The Kogan hasn’t just gone online but diversified effectively to cater to different markets. The recent addition to its online business is online grocery supply business named Kogan Pantry.
- Dan Murphy’s
An alcohol retailer Dan Murphy is now a leading online retailer in that space with 2 million visitors to the site every month. Being part of Supermarket giant Woolworths Group, Dany Murphy has an advantage of efficient supply process. But the brand has successfully translated its steady consumer base to its online success.
These are some of the many success stories where homegrown Australian companies went on to write an online success story by empowering their customers to buy from them through different channels. The focus of these businesses is customer satisfaction and high service quality.
Below are the 6kingpins that drive an online business to succeed by adding more and more customers to its network.
- Offer free delivery or levy economical delivery charges
- Pay attention to digital marketing
- Make payment process simple and secured
- Define your logistics function meticulously
- Create a personality for your online business by creating a memorable brand. A plain website cannot take you to success, however charming it is.
- Customer Connect is an essential exercise when a business goes online.