When the very last VCR was made in July, it symbolized more than a sentimental moment for baby boomers. It was a blaring siren to entrepreneurs and business owners that they must embrace change. Especially those with consumer product. Pre-planned obsolescence is a cornerstone of most technology companies (use Apple as an example).
Consider the push-pull between brick-and mortar stores and e-Commerce, both in a consistent search for consumers' attention and, their money.
Business owners need to be prepared to handle both retail and e-commerce. Why? Consider this: financial analysts predict in 2017 and 2018 the total projected US retail e-commerce sales will come in around $440.4 and $491.5 billion, respectively. That growth in the coming months and years will only help entrepreneurs if they approach it the right way.
Whether you are working on a project now or are already in market, here are some things to think about when getting ready to head to market.
One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is expecting no one to pay attention to their website that's 'under construction' or lack of products available for shipping. If you are planning to offer your products through social media advertisements, be ready for the traffic on your website. You only get one chance at a first impression and if you aren't careful you could lose potential customers forever.
Customers must trust you
The biggest concern among e-commerce businesses is the inability to make the consumer feel safe with their purchase since they can't touch or see the product in person. So, consider your consumers' fears when pricing and implementing return policies. No risk purchases with 'free trial' periods will help ease the consumer through the e-commerce process. Additionally, remember that your brand is represented everywhere, make sure you are sticking to your mission and promise and the customers will come.
Here's an example
Take entrepreneur, Marc Werner, for example. Creating things just seems to be in his DNA. His family created the Werner Ladder and it wasn't long before family business became his source of excitement and pride, as well. "They have been part of my history for 5-generations...GhostBed by Nature's Sleep is a proud part of that tradition," he says.
His upbringing was the perfect education for Werner who launched GhostBed in 2015.
After 15 years as owner and CEO of Nature's Sleep, an industry leader in manufacturing high quality mattresses, Werner saw a demand for his sleep products in the e-commerce space.
He and his team launched GhostBed, the e-commerce mattress startup portion of Nature's Sleep, he says to simplify the mattress shopping process. And it is definitely working for GhostBed, following the same e-commerce platform that other mattress companies like Casper, Tuft and Needle and Saatva have already tapped into.
In less than a year, Werner has found himself in control of a 100 million dollar company with no end of growth in sight. He believes it's because of the way they serve their customers, calling it an exciting alternative for online consumers who want less hassle by shipping in 24 hours and delivering to their front door.
"GhostBed's strategy is simple: make a bigger, better and more affordable mattress so the consumer always wins....We feel the more players in the space the better, as more people are getting the message out and ultimately GhostBed keeps winning more and more because of our value proposition," Werner says.
Digital Marketing has been key to GhostBed's success, with Facebook identifying the company as one of the top advertisers on its platform. But, Werner admits the rapid surge in business has been a double edge sword.
"In the digital world customer interactions come from all different directions. We should have done a better job sizing the demand for GhostBed with initial capabilities," he admits.
The job could get even more difficult with even further expansion in August. Werner is introducing the new GhostPillow into the market and his company spokesperson confirms further expansion into the United Kingdom through Amazon.
"Within the overall $15 billion dollar a year retail mattress market I see dramatic changes in both traditional distribution and consumer purchases behaviors; both will have significant effects on the mattress industry like nothing before," says Werner.