Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

What we did to get an $800.00 online sale yesterday at 1:33pm from a shopper interstate

Mark Fletcher
September 23rd, 2020 · No Comments

We received an online order yesterday in one of my newsagencies at 1:33pm worth $800.00. It was one of 12 online orders for that business, yesterday totalling $1,800 in value.

Each one of these orders is a pre-order – fully paid for up front for stock that is another week away from arriving in-store and two months away from being paid for by us.

The specific products are not relevant to this post as what I share below could apply to plenty of products and product categories. What we have done in this two and a half year old business is what anyone could do and what I know several newsagents are doing to win online sales.

  1. Create your online presence as a start-up business. My recommendation is that you not take your existing shop online under your existing shop’s branding.
  2. Choose a product niche or category that is sought after, that is being searched for. This could be a brand, a licence, an end use or some other segmentation that makes sense to the shopper.
  3. Look for brands and categories people could be loyal to for some time.
  4. Source key suppliers. Preference suppliers who might work with you on geographically exclusive items.
  5. Register a domain and business name that speaks to the shopper for the chosen category.
  6. Develop your approach to packaging and shipping, remembering that this process has to be delivered as a brand extension. Add value here and you will bring them back.
  7. Create a site that serves the shopper.
  8. Include on the website unique knowledge / information that lifts you up as an expert in the product category field.
  9. Include a chat facility on the site, so you can answer questions from people who do not want to email or call with their queries.
  10. Create a separate Facebook page to support the website. Regularly feed contact to that page, content specifically for that page.
  11. Ask your suppliers to link to your website and appreciate them for any promotion they offer on their social media pages.
  12. Search out other social media pages that reach your target shopper and engage with those communities.
  13. Email shoppers, appreciating their business. Find ways to remain connected with them as this connection can help bring them back.

The first step revenue goal with online for any business entering that space has to be 5% (or less) of total revenue. Once there, the next goal is 10%, then 15% and so on. Goals are important.

Treat your online business as a start up. Manage it as such. Embrace mistakes and failures as they are the foundation bricks to success –¬†clich√© yes, but true.

Do you have to stock in your shop products you sell online? No. I say this as many retailers think the answer is yes. Seriously, think of your online business as a start up as doing this frees you up to be more open to what you sell.

Can I put my shop online though? Of course. It’s 100% up to you.

Isn’t shipping hard? Offer what enough people want and shipping can be resolved by building it into the price or you looking at online as cream sales, sales from which you can give up some margin.

My newsagency software company develops websites for newsagents. While what I have written here does relate to the online success at my high street newsagency, it is the same advice I provide all newsagents who contact Tower Systems querying about website development.

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Category: newsagency of the future · Newsagency opportunities

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