There is a simple key to success when you bring your business online. Without it, you will fail.
The trouble is most offline businesses don’t realise just how necessary it is – and how different it will be to their current experience.
The Magic Key
Having made the decision to go online, you get the buzz of excitement that goes with any new project and dash off to consult with web designers about what to do next.
Fast forward a few months and you have an all singing, all dancing website, a huge bill, no traffic and no idea what to do about it. At that point someone, somewhere mentions two little words that got in lost in all the excitement – Market Research.
Market Research is not a particularly exciting topic unless you are a stats junkie like me but it can save you a deal of heartache, time and money. Designers will build you a fabulous site but, in the main, they are coming from a conceptual point of view rather than a sales based one. Doing things on your website just because it is the newest design fad is not always the answer – unless you are selling design tricks.
A Perfect Website?
There is a huge misconception among businesses coming online for the first time that their website has to be perfect on day one, and to have all the bells and whistles designers can provide. Wrong. Far better to let your website start small and then develop to meet the needs of your customers, not your needs, your customers needs.
The way to do that is Market Research. You know your offline business has a market, what you have to do is find out how to capture that market space online. Different phases of your journey online require different types of Market Research. It will be an ongoing and ever changing process if you want to get to the top of the tree and stay there.
The success of your website is entirely based on fulfilling your customers needs, not yours. The means to achieve that is good data. Market research is the beginning of this process. Once your site is up the analysis of your visitors, your site and how the two interact comes into the mix. Market Research never leaves it. It is the foundation of success online.