- Product: This refers to the products or services that you are providing to your customers. These include your products physical attributes, what your products do or help your customers achieve, how your products differ from that of your competitors and what benefits do your products provide your customers.
- Price: This refers to how you are able to maintain a price for your product or service that is still competitive to that of your competitors' while still being able to generate a nice profit. Price also refers to how you are able to set your products and or services apart from that of your competitors'.
- Place: This refers to where you sell your products or services from and how your customers are able to get these products or services.
- Promotion: This refers to the methods you are using to communicate both the features and benefits of your products or services to your targeted customers and helps differentiate your business from your competitors'.
- People: This refers to how your own level of service along with the expertise and skills of the people who work for you can be used to set you apart from your competitors'.
So in keeping these 5 P's of marketing in mind, you will need to think about and discuss the following things:
- Review your products and the products of your competitor's to help establish how competitive are you. How many other websites offer the same products I am offering or would like to offer? What sets my products apart from that of my competitors'? How would customers find my products before they find my competitors'? What products are selling and what products are not?
- If you are able to find multiple different websites offering the same products as you, then you may want to offer a more unique product line. A more unique product line is the most effective for online stores, because the customers have a better chance of finding only your site. Once they have found your site they will also notice what other products you have to offer giving you a better chance of repeat sales. If some products sell better than others try adding newer products to your site, just like you would do within your retail store.
- Review how much you are charging for your products and generally how much it would cost your customers to receive your products? Then compare these prices and the shipping prices to that of your competitors'.
- Why would a customer want to purchase a $5 dollar item that costs $30 dollars to ship to them? Especially when they could just go to their local store and buy that same item for $5 dollars.
- When we talk about "Place" within the On-Line World we are referring to any place that can access the Internet. So when talking of place your are also talking of price because to ship that product from the place where your Store or Warehouse is to the place your customer lives will raise the overall price of that product.
- So it is the same principal as above, why would someone purchase a $5 dollar item that costs $30 to ship when they could find that product closer to home and avoid shipping altogether. So it would be better to provide items that people are limited in their resources in finding these products, which in turn goes back to providing a more unique product line that then goes back to how much the product costs to ship.
- How are you promoting your on-line items? How do customers know what products you offer and for what price? How do customers even know your on-line store exists?
- For items that are inexpensive, are you letting your in-store customers know that instead of driving back to your store to by these items they can just as easily purchase them on-line? Are you giving in-store customers coupons to use on-line? Are you collecting your in-store or on-line store customers email and addresses in order to send customers newsletters with discounts, product line updates, items that are now on sale, etc through email or mail? Are you using proper SEO techniques and focusing on keywords to help increase your chances of on-line customers finding your store? Are you using GoogleBase to help double the chances of your products being found within the on-line world? Do your products have keyword-enriched descriptions along with accurate and clean pictures?
- How do you and your employees work the site? Do your customers know how your employees can help them with their buying decisions?
- Are you and your employees Blogging? Blogging helps in many, many different ways. They keep your website up-to date and original, which Google and other search engines love. Also it helps add more keywords to your site which gives you more exposure to potential customers. Do you offer training or classes to help your customers use your products? Do you have easy to use contact forms and are you timely in your response?
In summary, it is probably time to evaluate your products, the prices of your products including the cost of shipping, the locations of where your products can also be purchased and lastly whether you use the expertise of your staff and yourself to promote your products to potential customers. If you feel your site could use some help, contact Visiontm today, to see how we can help you increase your sales.