Those who were so used to brick-and-mortar stores might be a bit uneasy about putting their businesses online. While most of these websites are just complementary storefronts to their actual offline store, they still worry, and the really traditional ones won’t ever consider putting up online stores without the brick-and-mortar one.
This is a strange phenomenon because the principles behind online and offline marketing are actually one and the same. Some factors are just replaces with others. For example, instead of meeting your customers face-to-face, you talk to them over emails or char messages instead. The process is also slightly longer when you exchange money for actual goods online. Shipping can take up to half a week, so customers are forced to trust shop owners to complete the exchange. Usually, shop owners require a “deposit first” policy.
There are a lot of things that stay the same, however. For example, there’s the “customer is always right” policy. To effectively carry out business online, small business owners should try to please their customers. If they ask for minor adjustments in a made-to-order product, you may have to comply with it just to keep them interested. If they request for special packaging, or a different shipping company, it’s also better for you to bend unless your store has already implemented a strict policy about these things.
Strict policies hardly work for online shops, though. Remember, online stores have more difficulty trying to look credible for consumers, so when you’re putting up the wall too high and making sure that the terms benefit you and not your customers, you will eventually lose them. Try to keep the playing field even. Lay it easy with the profit as well. Once they find out that you’ve “robbed” them because you priced a product too high, things are going to get ugly.
If they’re nice, they won’t say anything about it. They just won’t buy from you again. Most online consumers are a bit more vocal, though, and they could start an online campaign against your store. Remember, it doesn’t cost much to keep your store when you’re selling your goods through the net. If the shipping fees are shouldered by the customer, there’s no reason for you to price your goods too high. The old marketing rule here is to trade fairly, and that’s always the golden rule whether you’re selling online or offline.
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