Thursday, August 9, 2012

Better Local Sales With Online Presence

New Australian statistics show that we DO

 Good news for local businesses wondering what the real deal is with using internet for generating local sales.

A recent Sensis report shows:
  •  small Aussie businesses do better with local buyers,
  • increased internet and social media use with +65's and 
  • jump in tablet devices, smartphone and wireless use
Report details here.

Of interest in the report:

Australian small and medium businesses (SMEs) are struggling to capitalise on the internet's global nature and are still far more likely to make an online sale to a customer located just around the corner than to someone interstate or overseas.

What this means for your local business
 Local businesses can be doing more to develop this additional sales channel to get more customers, more often,  buying from the business.  It must be understood by local business owners that the internet is not just for strangers we don't know who live overseas. It is also used every day by the people we know and our neighbours who live just down the street. These are also the people most likely to spend in your business. Or your competitor's business if you have not made the necessary effort for them to find you.

The report found most online sales by Australian small businesses were made to customers in the same city or town, and the likelihood of a sale diminished as the distance between a business and potential customers increased.

What this means for your local business

Your competition is not "overseas internet sites that don't have to pay GST". It is any business that sells what you sell and makes it easier to:

  1.  Find 
  2.  Have stock customers want and 
  3.  Make it easy to buy.

According to the annual Sensis e-Business Report released today, the opportunity to reach international markets with e-commerce is failing to translate to overseas sales for Australian small businesses

What this means for your local business
 If you are selling a product that you would like to sell to overseas clients too then you need a strategy to attract that business and handle the distribution issues that may exist or are perceived by overseas customers. 
Eighty-seven per cent of SMEs with an online presence successfully sold goods and services to local customers, a figure unchanged from the previous year. Two thirds (66 per cent) of businesses selling online said the bulk of their online sales came from local customers, an increase of 6 per cent on the previous year.

What this means for your local business
 Being online is essential for the success of a  business.  Note that the survey mentions "an online presence" - this could mean that the customer found the business online and engaged them as a result of that initial contact even though the site may not be one that has shopping cart or sells physical stock.

Although 62 per cent of SMEs have a website for their business, and 27 per cent use social media for business purposes, only 15 per cent have an actual digital business strategy, according to the report. This is despite 55 per cent of SMEs reporting that they had recovered their initial investment in e-commerce, with a further 17 per cent saying they expect to recover their investment in the next year.

There is nothing to be gained by having a poor or no online strategy. If you don't understand how your sales are coming from online visitors then you need to find out and pronto!

Lindy Asimus
0403 365 855

Hunter Social Media Marketing
Business Coaching
Personal or Life Coaching.

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