If you operate a successful "bricks-and-mortar" business you know how important it is to understand the values that attract your customers. But as you extend or transition into an online business you may discover that what drive customers to your real-life store are not exactly the same as what will drive them to its online version.
Here's a checklist of the six "C's" that will help your online business attract customers.
- Content. There's a reason "content is king," as they say. Several reasons, actually. Simply put, content is what your customers are looking for. Specifically, people want detailed and in-depth information that supports their decision to buy something from you. If you can provide this, then you have your foot in the door. Or you've got their feet in yours, however way you look at it.
- Customization. Consumers are no longer satisfied with "one-size-fits-all" products. They look for personalized solutions that address their specific concerns. They want your brand to give them that unique experience. Do this for them, and you're on second base with your prospects. Amazon.com is great at this, with its numerous little sub-sections that present you with "Get Yourself a Little Something" recommendations based on your browsing and ordering history, "Wish List" and others.
- Community. People want to feel that they belong to something special. They want a forum where they can express their feelings and opinions and they want to feel secure knowing that there are others they can turn to when they face daunting issues. This is why brands make the effort to nurture user communities. It's like having a free tech support and brand advocacy system.
- Convenience. People are looking for 24 x 7 x 365 availability of your service. Just as ATMs revolutionized the banking system by making it convenient for them to have access to their funds, they are looking for you to provide equally convenient access to your product. Of course the definition of "convenience" is subjective here. There are some things that cannot be conveniently delivered online. Online usage is restricted to information, information products and facilitating transactions.
- Choice. It's protected by the Constitution, so it must be a big deal for people to be able to choose from among a wide range of options. The good news is, online businesses are able to provide consumers with a wider choice of products and services than conventional distribution methods have ever been able to.
- Cost Reduction. This is tricky because it's a perception thing with consumers. Most people perceive online sources as lower cost places of purchase. So regardless of your reality and situation, you can probably attract more customers if they are able to compare your prices to conventional sources and find them lower than what traditional outlets offer. Even simple price differentials can be key to having people transition to your online business.
Compare your existing e-business to this checklist. Are you equipped to attract customers?