A high-end furniture retailer approached us with a web development that was currently underway by another local agency. The client maxed out their sizable budget on the design of the website which included an eCommerce component where visitors can order products from the company website. The site had SSL encryption, and a full boat of eCommerce functionality.
As the retailer only has one delivery van, I asked them how they would fulfill customer orders that were made out of their delivery area (~25 miles). His response was the customer would have to just come on in and pick up their furniture, or figure out a way to have a private shipper pick it up and drop it off. I asked if they had any experience with dealing with furniture cartage carriers before, and the retailer said no.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”14508″ css_animation=”right-to-left” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]
The furniture salesman continued describing the way that they sell their furniture to me, the ways they are able to up-sell certain floor models, how fabric choice in certain items for customers is incredibly important. It became very clear that the owner of this furniture store absolutely knew how to retail his products and keep them moving. But, what was also made clear was how little their new eCommerce web design project embraced those facts.
1. Budget – Make sure that the budget that you set for your web design and digital marketing project is reasonable. Small businesses with revenues less than $5 million should allocate 7-8 percent of their revenues to marketing. This budget should be split between brand development costs as well as advertising that is goal oriented (conversion oriented towards sales). This percentage also assumes you have profit margins in the range of 10-12 percent (after you’ve covered your other expenses, including marketing).
2. Planning – In this particular example, the furniture retailer either did not share his sales process with their web design firm, or the web design firm didn’t take the time or effort to understand the client needs. Set a goal to review with your marketing company or ad agency exactly HOW you are successful in selling your goods or services. They need to know that in order to optimize their value to you.
3. Scope – That eCommerce site ended up being WAY too much for the retailer to get involved in. They had no plan on how to update the online inventory, deal with furniture delivery and returns, handle and account for online transaction fees associated with the sales, etc. A good digital marketing agency would have walked the client through the process before selling them an elaborate, yet unnecessary service.
This sort of advice works for all companies doing business in all business segments. Don’t try to sell large shoes to little people.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]