It saddens us to hear stories of challenges experienced by newsagents trying to get their business online. It happens too often.
One newsagent told us they spent $10,000 for a local web developer who made something complex but that could not connect to the software they were using at that time. Another newsagent told us last week that they went with a website from their newsagent software company and it never worked for them.
Here at Tower Systems we offer to create websites for newsagents using our POS software at a fixed price. There’s a deposit paid and the remainder is not paid until the site is live and useable.
We have done hundreds of websites connected to our POS software, for newsagents and many other businesses.
The challenge for newsagents, though, is unique. What do they sell is a big question, which were contemplated in making this new video for newsagents:
When people shop online they shop for an outcome. They search for the product or purpose. They do not search for a masthead.
This is a valuable insight for any newsagent considering a website for their business for putting your newsagency online with what you sell today could be an expensive mistake.
Tower Systems has built many websites for newsagents and most are not sites that represent the newsagency shop online. Rather, they present as a different business, focussed on a niche category and leveraging the shop infrastructure to help the business expand.
This is the smart move for any retailer selling online – using it as a start-up opportunity that makes use of space and labour in the shop but not relying on products in the shop.
In one case, a newsagency business has grown online to where it is more financially valuable than the shop within which it was incubated.
In another case a newsagent tested a category online, hit gold and expanded the shop to offer this, hitting more gold.
Engaging with Tower Systems to create a POS software connected website provides newsagents with access to comprehensive online sales data through deep Google results research. This can help newsagents discover opportunities not previously on their radar.
By tapping into current keyword search data using respected commercial tools, Tower Systems is able to show newsagents pathway opportunities into new product areas online. These can be opportunities tapped into with a minimal capital investment, an opportunity for expansion with a modest budget.
While we understand the push to take the shop online, in my years of experience owning newsagencies and running successful and failed websites connected to the shops, my advice is to leverage the website opportunity as if it is a start-up, playing in a space you have not played in before, with the goal of it leading you on a path of discovery.
Tower Systems is better placed to support this greenfield approach than a local web developer as we own and run shops that are connected to our POS software and do sell online. We walk in your shoes daily.