Some days it’s harder to get out of bed than on other days. In the winter, for example. The dark, gray skies press me down more than they lift me up. It’s easy to let that heaviness extend into my day and my work. There’s certainly the pressure of more tasks on my to-do list than I have time to get done, deadlines are always getting closer, bills are coming due. I catch myself focusing on life’s constraints instead of possibilities. I start to feel a bit like the world is closing in on me.
I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions. But, I do try to constantly make new choices about how to think about the world around me. I try to choose to think in a way that helps me to expand and thrive, rather than giving in to emotional entropy – rather than believing the feeling that the world is heavy and shrinking.
Here at AspDotNetStorefront, I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by people who also choose to see opportunities instead of just constraints – who choose to take charge rather than to shut down. And, even in a challenging economy, we are thriving because of it.
Will you survive – or THRIVE?
So, as we enter 2013, we are thinking not just about how to “survive” the changing world of e-commerce, but how to “thrive.” And we want to help you embrace the change and choose this same expansive attitude. Rather than asking how you’ll keep failure at bay, we want to help you ask how can you actually grow and expand in 2013. What can we help you to do that will allow you to turn the challenges into a fun, rewarding game that leads to even more prosperity in 2013 than in 2012?
With that theme in mind, here are three opportunities for you to grow and prosper in 2013 as an AspDotNetStorefront merchant:
1. Rinse and repeat.
If you already have a great product and the business systems and infrastructure set up to sell and distribute that product at a profit, then what if you could simply rinse and repeat – sell that same product twice as often by selling it to two different sets of customers?
Apropos to rinse and repeat, let’s imagine you sell shampoo. Color-safe shampoo, specifically. You’ve got a great product, you have enough of a margin, and you have customers that buy this shampoo because it helps extend the life of their hair color.
Let’s imagine your primary audience happens to be women, aged 40-65. They color their hair primarily to hide the encroaching gray.
Now, if a teenager, who has three streaks of purple and a splotch of hot pink in her coiffure happens to find your product, she’ll find sales copy that talks about gray hair and looking younger. That won’t speak to her. So, she’ll go find a product that looks like is ‘for her’ and talks about preserving that neon green vibrancy she just put in her bangs.
What if you set up a second store, geared toward people aged 13 – 25 who dye their hair more as a form of self-expression? You could change the product image to be more hip. The website skin could be more funky. The sales copy would include “LOL” and references to teen pop stars. You’d be able to sell the very same product (using the same business infrastructure) but to a totally new target market.
The best way to do this is with a second store. That way you can have totally different product descriptions and images and a second website. You can also upload future products to that store that you can sell to your new customers, like disinfectant for piercings, and hangover remedies – products you wouldn’t need to sell to your 40-65 year old women in your main store.
2. No such thing as too much of a good thing.
Let’s take another scenario. Imagine that the supplier you get the shampoo from also sells a whole line of great industrial strength cleaning products. You have a great relationship with them. You’re already set up to carry and distribute their products. But, the cleaners would not be something that fits within your ‘hideyourgrayhair.com’ web store.
This is another situation where a second store is a great choice because there is not going to be any overlap in product inventory between the two stores.
3. Run with a theme.
Now imagine that the supplier where you get your popular color-safe shampoo has a huge, comprehensive catalog of bath and beauty products. You may justify having all those products on your main site – a kind of beauty supply superstore. But, you’ll be able to focus your marketing message to specific audiences much more effectively if you have a couple of MoreStores covering popular niches.
For example, your superstore may carry all of the bath products, but you could have a MoreStore that carries just a subset of products that are all related to relaxation, pampering and spa-like treatments. Or, you may have a MoreStore that carries a subset of products that are all hypo-allergenic and ideal for those more sensitive customers looking for odorless, chemical free, gentle products.
A MoreStore is a perfect way to share the same product database, but to selectively show a subset of products to a different target audience and using a separate skin and website that speak more to that audience’s needs. You keep your product maintenance simple, but make your sales message more compelling and targeted.
A couple of articles that may help (links open in a new window):
- How to Define Your Target Market (Inc.com)
- 7 Things to Know about Your Customers (Practical Ecommerce)
We’d love to hear about your plans to thrive in 2013. What great ideas and dreams do you have? What innovative ways can you imagine to use a MoreStore or a second storefront to grow your sales in 2013? Tell us in the comments below.