“The one piece of advice I would give any small business thinking of going online is just to understand your customers. You hear it a lot, but it’s particularly important in terms of digital marketing,” says Nick Wilson, Head of Marketing at Netregistry.
“The reason for that is if you understand the type of person that’s already purchased your product, or the type of people you want to buy your product, you can then start to think about other factors such as where do they live? What’s their gender? How do they buy the product? Where are they going for information?”
Research from Google says increasingly customers are turning to their mobile phones and Google search before making buying decisions. The online giant says there are billions of searches made on the platform every month and over 30 per cent of these queries relate to local services or businesses. While 82 per cent of mobile users turn to search first when looking for a local business.
Wilson says these stats should give any small business owner pause for thought. Essentially, search has disrupted traditional purchasing behaviour.
“What that’s done is just fundamentally change the way that people buy. Us as consumers, we buy in a different way, people that buy our products buy in a different way.”
What they’re really doing is, they go there, [to Google] ‘What’s the problem that I’ve got?’ ‘What do I want to fix?’ ‘How do I do the research?’ I then might find a product or a set of products that’s on, or about right. Then how do I evaluate those products? This feature, that feature, this price, that price. How does it get to me? Is it quick enough? What dothe price points look like?” asks Wilson.
The result is consumers are engaging with businesses much later in the purchase and consideration life cycle.
“So, really what it means is you have no choice, but to be online. Because if we’re not online, people aren’t talking to us. They’re not thinking about us. They’re not talking about our business and researching our product. As a result, as business owners, we have very, very little chance to sell the products we want to sell.”
While this might sound like catastrophic news to the literally 100s of 1000s of Australian small to medium businesses that are yet to go online, Wilson says they needn’t fear the unknown.
“That’s where Netregistry comes in. It’s what we do. We help small businesses succeed online. We do that by breaking it down very, very, very simple steps. We make sure that you’ve got a domain. What we do though is make sure that we don’t just get the .au we get the .com, .nz, .eu, .uk. We make sure that we’re protecting the brand. So that if someone else comes up with a really good idea somewhere else in the world they can’t take our name.”
Wilson says it’s vital to take this extra step to future proof your business.
“It’s really important in terms of protecting your brand and protecting your company and protecting your idea, that you expand the domain a little bit.
“The great opportunity for us [and your business] is that Australia is only 2 per cent of the world’s economy. So, 98 per cent of our potential audience isn’t in Australia. Technology has fundamentally changed and levelled the playing field.”
Find out more about how you can take your brick and mortar business online – enrol in our free Bricks & Clicks course. Learn more at www.bricksclicks.com.au