Hedging against situation with online sales

As a business owner, it is pretty much easy for you to feel like you don’t know what drives your industry. You lack the connections to those who make decisions, and you are at the mercy of what life pretty much throws at you.

Macro factors can change, and this is the element of uncertainty. As a small business owner, you can’t but feel helpless. From your area not having sufficient foot traffic to landlords raising prices due to macro-economic changes, thus affecting your sales and profit margins.

We understand the pain.

However, there are proven ways that you can help to make things much better for yourself, and one of them is through diversifying your business channels to widen your customer base.

How it this possible? Take a look.

Every business has a uniqueness, and often times not many knows of that uniqueness. This results in your sales reach being only where you are and those you’re familiar and comfortable with reaching. Say you’re a physical store in Kepong – doesn’t mean you have to depend solely on your neighbourhood sale.

What if you could leverage on innovation and technology to widen your user base? Thanks to the advent of the Internet and e commerce, we can see that retailers and manufacturers don’t necessarily need to be confined to one space when it comes to making sales. So, you could be based in a city and actually see to the needs of people outside your country or state. You may be based in Kepong, but you can easily expand your distribution to Kedah or even America, by shipping your product by way of lead generation and sales conversion through digital channels.

Your locale may tell you that your product is only appealing to those aged 45-50, but expanding your distribution may yield you different results. Your products may be appealing to those aged 20-30, ultimately, what you’ve just done is that you have widened your customer pool by opening your distribution channel. The benefit of doing so is that, the wider your customer pool, the more stable you are income wise. Believe it or not, it’s only common sense of course that more customers = more income. But what if just like investment portfolios, you achieve stability by having diverse market foothold. This is what is known as hedging, when you secure yourself market shares in various locality, you now have something to fall back to if there were to be disruptions in one market segment you hold. For example, this can be seasonal changes, suddenly sales in Kepong has dropped, but sales in Kedah has increased or is stable, you can easily shift your budget over to the Kedah segment and secure more sales in order to equalise on the drop of sales in Kepong.

Expanding into new markets can be scary, rightfully so as this incurs a lot of cost just to market test and market validations. You open your store in new areas, and unfortunately it doesn’t work out. Scary right? This is where the beauty of digital comes into play, you can easily scope out market demands for your product or services before hand and then diversify your sales channels. How to do so? Easy, here’s how;

Google’s Keyword Planner

  1. You can use a tool provided by Google called Google Keyword Planner.
  2. You’ll first need a Google Ads account, on your dashboard, clicks tools and select Keyword Planner.
  3. On keyword planner, click on discover new keyword.
  4. Enter keywords relating to your product or service.
  5. Change the location to your target location. You would want to select a range that would give you results in say the last 3 months or so.
  6. Select additional keywords, you’ll want to select keywords that best describes your product/service or is your unique selling point. Then add these keywords to your plan.
  7. The click on keywords and view the historical metrics.
  8. In addition, you can take a look at forecast as well to see how these keywords may perform in the future.
  9. You’ll be able to gauge what your performances will be like according to these figures.

Facebook Audience Insights

  1. On your Facebook Business, select Audience Insights
  2. Enter your target criteria’s such as location and demographic.
  3. Enter in the interest of your target audience.
  4. You’ll be able to see demographic, page likes, location and activity data from this. From here you can narrow down as well to what locations you would like to deliver if you have a physical product.
  5. Audience Insights will give you an estimate population size based on targeting criteria’s, this is based on the last 30 days. But what it doesn’t give you is reach, in order to do so simply create an ad on ads manager and key in the same criteria’s. You’ll get a daily reach estimate.

Peasy auto suggestion and prediction

  1. Simply create your campaign on Peasy with a desired objective and give Peasy a campaign brief.
  2. Enter your website URL or a URL that has information of your product or service. Peasy will crawl the URL for keywords and shall later use this for interest suggestion.
  3. In the audience section, create your segment.
  4. Enter in the demographic and location. You can also choose to target based on device.
  5. In the interest section, enter just one interest. Based on this interest and the crawled keywords from the website. Peasy shall then auto suggest the best interest for you. As you can see, before entering an interest, Peasy is suggesting the best interest to use.
  6. Now save the audience, and proceed to media plan. Peasy uses pooled and mined data in its prediction to forecast performance, you can tell whether the market you’re expanding to is receptive to you product/services. Even before it begins.

 

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