Friday 20 September 2013

Online or Bricks'n'Mortar - Part II

A couple of weeks ago we wrote an article saying that Bricks'n'Mortar and online were incompatible and this week we are writing an article suggesting you do both. Let us explain.

Bricks'n'Mortar and online are indeed different animals and trying to excel at both is probably a recipe for disaster. They really do require different facilities to do really well. A pure online player needs cheap storage, guaranteed supply, efficient delivery systems and the ability to operate a high volume, low margin business. We firmly believe that traders at the Queen Victoria Market should concentrate on their best feature - retailing in a traditional market environment that provides an adventure for its customers. Customers love our iconic setting, they love the personal exchange between trader and customer, and they love being able to see, touch and feel the products they are buying.
However, as Dennis commented in our last article ( ), the same customer who comes to our market to buy goods is also likely at some stage to go online and buy. In fact, if you read of the huge uptake in shoppers using their mobiles to shop, that is becoming increasingly likely. It is all to do with convenience. You can't expect your customers to always wait until the next time they come to the market to shop, because now they can do shopping while waiting at a bus stop, or sitting in front of television at night and for many the mantra is "Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today".
The question is - Are you available for your customer when they decide to act rather than put off till tomorrow? Getting back to the Bricks'n'Mortar versus online dilemma - by all means give preference to your market stall and make sure you excel in the service you provide customers. But also having an online presence is probably a good idea. It doesn't have to be full-blown website with all the bells and whistles but at least it should give customers an easy way of contacting you when they decide they want to act. 
There are many ways of getting an online presence. Australia Post have recently partnered with SecurePay to provide an easily set up website for up to 20,000 products - That is probably worth checking out because the partners are experts in two key areas of online activity - payment and delivery. There are many other avenues to getting a website but, if you are not sure where to start, give Trader Representative Greg Smith a call on 0406 222 020.