Ecommerce Or Die!
Top 10Traditional Businesses Threats
US Futurists and International Business Development Gurus have been on-the-ground gathering hands-on data, undercover in the trenches and speculating on the future of the traditional brick-n-mortar business models for over a decade in the United States and Asia. They have correctly pegged dozens of exciting, game-changing innovations to the global marketplace.
Beginning with Dot.com entrepreneurs in Tech Geek Mecca, Silicon Valley, California, USA, and the advent of ‘The World-Wide Web’ and ‘Social Media’ many consumers around the world, politicians and old-school entrepreneurs hear the growing-statistics, of web millionaires, billionaires, virtual businesses, buy-and-sell millionaires, digital and eMagazines, and the advent of ‘Free Wi-Fi’ at hot spots and even entire countries around the world.
However, what they miss it that now billions of people…future generations of consumers, technically have little or no-reason to enter a physical ‘business’ ever again. In some cities around the world, you can order everything from food, groceries, buy a car, open a business, pay payroll and bills, get liquor for your party, book catering, buy a home and book an international trip all from your smart phone. That applies to B2C (business to customers) and B2B (business to business) companies alike.
It use-to-be that print magazines were worried about being whipped out by the advent of on-line magazines; of course, until savvy publisher’s realized, ‘on-line’ readers were actually a ‘new’ and typically younger market, having an ‘on-line’ component and adding it to your Sales/Media Kits (especially for free or complimentary magazines) was a new, low-cost sales and marketing revenue stream and a rare opportunity to re-define their businesses, clients–and readership.
Global Icon, Founder of The Macy’s Day Parade in New York City, World’s Largest Department Store giant Macy’s now has a global shopper base, as they are ramping-up to roll-out more of their ‘showroom-style’ boutique stores and cater more to on-line clients.
PayPal never had ‘bank’ locations, required credit reports or even an ID to purchase one of their MasterCard backed ‘debit’ cards. And, they’re not a bank. Now, PayPal has more cardholders than most banks around the world and sends more money than Western Union.
CitiBank (originally founded through a series of Mega deals by the US historical Tycoon Rockefeller Family) is now highly-innovative; somewhat of a virtual on-line and credit brand in the United States, but is one of the largest banks in countries such as the Philippines where they dominate the market, with fabulous, huge, sprawling branches.
The United States of America was the first to recently feel the intense-growing pains of the largest transfer of wealth and privilege in recent world history. Beginning with the freeing of 4 million slaves in America, then the subsequently massive new global industries created –and devastated- by the highly-ambitious, freed-slaves and their generations of off-spring.
Now with the term-limit exit of Barack Obama, the first black American President, and at over $1 trillion in yearly economic buying power, black America is now the 16th richest Mega economy in the world –if it were a country.
The re-rise in white supremacy and white privilege in America is cause by those who could not evolve.
$1 Trillion represents essentially money and revenue the US would not have needed to ‘pay-out’ to blacks, if they were still slaves, also, it represents income, jobs, wages and buying power lost by white America and former slave owners -annually.
Imagine if: All descendants of slaves; such as Tiger Woods, Michael Jackson, Muhammed Ali, Wiz Khalifa, Chris Brown and even Oprah Winfrey were slaves to this day, as their great grandparents were.
Up from $803 billion in 2008; despite the US recession. The US Census Bureau, has once again published rankings of ‘black/minority American Buying Power’ as the highest in the world –ever. Second, only to the United States economy itself. Collectively, US minorities represent around $3.4 trillion in buying power.
Wealth in American is shifting. Specifically, black Americans are garnering global attention; they EARN and SPEND $6.4 billion in tourism, travel and leisure, $11 billion with their churches and philanthropy, $6.6 billion on personal care and beauty products (largely from China) and services, $2.8 billion on alcoholic beverages. Also, purchases of items related to their homes spiked despite the US recession: appliance purchases grew 27% to $2.2 billion; computers for home use climbed 28% to $3.5 billion and consumer electronic expenditures went up by 32% to a mind boggling $4.5 billion; and they are likely to be ’self-employed’ than other US groups.
Now, entrepreneurs are no longer slaves to their businesses. The advent of ‘the internet’ by the United States originally for its military and its subsequent global access known as ‘the world-wide web or www’ has once again changed the business game. Entire industries; such as banking, operations, entertainment, and media, are being redefined.
The barriers of yesterday such as , the start-up ‘location, location, location’ mantra, capital is less important in this new Information Age, as ‘tech’ savvy, ‘market demo’ has replaced customer base and ‘always open’ business models are crushing the ‘9 to 5’ ideal.
Today’s Mantra is‘ ecommerce or die’. If you are NOT YET a local business selling globally, a competitive company outsourcing operations, a beneficiary of offshore production, re-inventing as a global brand or running your empire poolside at a resort in the Philippines from a laptop, here are 10-Key Factors you must implement now to survive in this new global economy.
1. Go Global! Get rid of the walls around your business.
A physical business or store is limited by its geographical location, space, quality, taxes, maintenance and even minimum-wage of the city/state/country they are in. Typically, having a ‘location’ in a high-traffic area, mall or tourists destination was key. Economies of scale and sales quotas are the mantra and teams opened the work day with cheers, chants and huddles to motivate staff to sell to the walk-ins.
When you go global, you enable your business to use the entire world as one big mall. Ecommerce and Mcommerce (mobile payment ability) website capabilities –in essence- put a cash register in any currency right at the ‘virtual’ door. The world is truly smaller. Physical locations are no longer needed to sell products and services.
2. Market Share Growth. SEO is a way to attract entirely new customers and exposure.
Sales are usually considered by face-to-face transactions which end in the customer spending money at the end. Market Share is hard to achieve and takes time to capitalize. To promote, traditional staffing, advertising, magazines, flyers and product placement; as well as, in-store marketing is what is typically done.
On-line, you can push SEO –aka flyers- to hundreds of thousands of people every day. Technically hundreds of thousands of people can visit your ‘on-line store’ every day as well.
Also, typically, these on-line customers are transactions which would not be had in-store. The Worldwide Web (www) has created an entirely new market share, which increases the overall market share of your business. For example, many people didn’t read books until they were available on audio, and then, more people didn’t read or listen to books (and magazines) until they were available digitally: on the cellphone, tablet or laptops. Therefore SEO is like ‘GPS’ for people on-line.
3. Save Money. Lower overhead is an obvious benefit of Ecommerce Solutions.
Simply, no physical locations allow you to focus more on global sales, lower prices to your customers and customer relationships can be more enhanced; i.e. newsletters, articles, blogs and even chat forums.
Imagine. Owning a retail store, on the beach in sunny California, USA. Then, (for example) you launched a ‘website’ also selling Vans Tennis Shoes, “Direct from the US Distributor” with global shipping, at the SRP (Suggested Retail Price in California); which is $25-50 in the United States. Your website of course, has no store, no cashiers or utilities to pay, you sell 100% on-line –even to walk-in store customers who want to save a trip (also saving you in-store traffic expense).
In addition, now, you’re global. And, in the Philippines and Japan, you have a few clients as well, they pay up to $200 for the same pair of Vans Tennis Shoes, plus shipping & handling fees.
Uniquely, they are also the ‘top niche’ of international customers, and willing to pay double the price. Not the typical California beach surfer or skater that typically is a walk-in at the store.
This new revenue stream, doubles your PPU (Profit Per Unit)and subsequently, means you need to –sell less- product to earn the same revenue. This ability is how you see many on-line entrepreneurs seemingly always relaxing on a beach, traveling or working casually; they have doubled the value of their investments and instead of working harder, they decide to use that leisure time to enjoy life and retire earlier than a traditional brick-and-mortar entrepreneur.
One of the most tangible positives of ecommerce is the lowered cost. A part of these lowered costs could be passed on to customers in the form of discounted prices -a competitive advantage.
With an eCommerce website you can save money in:
Advertising in Print
Overhead Cost & Maintenance
Workforce & Staff Reduction
Automated, 24-Hour Checkout
Inventory & Stock Management
Sales & Commissions Automation
Credit Card Payment Ability
4. More-Product Savvy& Loyal Customers.
Cost to the customer is diminished as well, there is no longer the need to walk or drive to the store, push a shopping cart, wait in lines or even be limited by the products and services available in the communities –or countries.
5. Environment Friendly Money Savings. By eliminating travel, traffic, emissions and even the cost for a vehicle.
Both your staff (if any) and your customers no longer need to travel to buy from or work for you. The days of family trips to the Outlet Malls, or strolling the Mega Malls and no reason to be limited by the brands locally available.
With a few mouse clicks, eCommerce allows them to visit you virtually –anytime they want. No need to buy open/closed signs anymore.
7. More Customers Per Transaction. Offer in-time, on-the-spot, real-time deals, discounts, group promotions and exclusive ecoupons.
On-line, the customer is about to use multiple deals at one website and/or bundle their purchases for the entire family, shop, team or event. For example, to drive larger sales tickets or acquire more customers a website may offer ‘buy 4 get 1 free’ promotions, as opposed to lower prices. Or, offer special discounts when your share your purchase to your friends on social media such as Facebook.
8. Upgrade Your Brand. A well-marketed and designed ecommerce website enable you to present a more high-end, image to customers.
In a physical store or business, you are limited as to what the customer sees, how they are attracted into the store and the amount of information you can ‘give them’ while in your business.
However, on-line, between SEO, media, news, blogs, social media and even video, you can mass-market your product, service or business massively, reach global customers, multiple-languages, allowing customers to can get all their questions answered and more more-informed decisions.
9. Create Targeted Niched Communication& Products. Marketing separate products or services to specific customers in specific parts of the world, and with specific niche market messages.
Beginning with the ‘domain-locale’ which you decide to use; i.e. .com, .gov, .org, .ph, .eu and so on, you are able to be instantly global and industry specific. Then, the market which you serve with your targeted marketing, dictates the pricing (higher or lower), its language and potentially the level of clientele you are able to reach.
Ultimately, customers will log-in, visit, link their social media, fill-out forms, or even message your company with inquires; all from your ecommerce or mcommerce on-line business website. Everyone hears of tech millionaires and stay-at-home mom’s (and dads) working in their bathrobes, sipping coffee all day. It’s real.
An on-line business, has more information and data on each and every potential and actual customer than you could ever achieve with a traditional business.
For example: You are able to identify what your clients are searching for (products, services, and information) then automatically offer them other related items, services or information (i.e. articles) presented as a ‘service’ to the customer.
Also, after the ‘visit’ whether a purchase is made or not, you are able to email, reach via their social media, as well as, ship product samples directly to their front door –if you so choose.
10. YES WE’RE OPEN! 24-7-365
It use-to be, that ‘extended hours’, or ‘midnight madness’ promotions, and even ‘open 24-hours’ were all strategic and competitive innovations that –hopefully- gave your business an edge over the competition; which justified the added operational expense.
Now, not only can you be open 24-7-365, but you can also be open for business from every time zone around the world. In addition, you are able to outsource and/or employ virtual staff from around the world at lower wages (as compared to the US), enabling you to compete stronger with price and quality to your customers.