If you are in a retail channel with big competitors, we suggest you think carefully before you take your current products online. Do your research and see if you feel you can compete with this online already, especially the big competitors.

This advice from us is especially relevant if your online plans are about attracting shoppers located outside your current catchment area.

Take the pet space. National pet retailers have a strong presence as do several online-only businesses. They own the value space, where people are buying on price, as well as the service space where people need it now. This is especially true with everyday pet food.

You have to ask yourself what is my point of difference? and can I make enough money off this to justify the website investment?

In terms of pet food and unless you are selling products unique to your business, it would be a tough road to find new shoppers outside your current catchment area. If you think about it, what do they have to go on, especially if you are selling known brands. Service and price are the two key factors. The big players will out spend and out service you.

Look at dog food, there are currently 8,800 searches a day in Australia for this. Once you add in the 65,000 variations to dog food related searches in Australia every day you soon hit almost 700,000 search results. That is the pool in which you would play if you are selling dog food. This is data from a respected data tool we subscribe access to.

Click here to see a summary report we ran recently on dog food. Click here to see a spreadsheet of of the first 30,000 keywords relating to this.

This example is relevant to all of our customers, regardless of whether they sell dog food. Each marketplace faces big business online challenges where keywords have been richly and widely mined.

If you are considering going online and want to reach shoppers beyond your current catchment area, your website will need to pitch in a way that differentiates to others.

So, if you are considering online and want to attract new shoppers, what is unique about your offer and is it financially viable.

We can help. We will research keywords for you, before you set on a path for a new or reinvigorated website. If you would like us to do this, feel free to email me direct (mark@towersystems.com.au) with keywords that you are considering. I will check out traffic volumes for you and email a report with data to help guide your consideration.

If the dog food example does not connect with you, let’s look at toys. In Australia right now, there are 40,500 searches for toys. On top of this, there are 528,000 keyword variables relating to toys with 7 million results. Click here to see a summary report based on current searches in Australia for Toys, which we ran recently.

Our core point here is that planning before you go online is critical to ensuring success once you are online. There are many opportunities online. They are often outside what retailers see as their preferred online solution.

Taking your business online is like creating a start up business. Researching before you begin is critical.

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