Fishing Without Bait
One of the most common and damaging assumptions made by small online retailers is the concept that if they launch a retail site selling their products they will get business by simple merit of the fact that they exist.
The internet is like a giant pond, with millions of fish - and millions of fishermen. If you throw in a hook without any bait on it, you’ll not catch a fish very easily. If you choose the same place to fish that everyone else is fishing, and use the same bait they are…you probably won’t catch many either.
Launching a retail site and spending money marketing it is a waste if you don't have a specific “unique selling position” - a specific need that you satisfy that will lead consumers to purchase from you instead of your competitors. That unique selling position is the bait on your hook.
The internet is a highly competitive marketplace, and becoming consistently more so.
In just seconds, an online shopper can “Google” a product description and find dozens of retailers selling it, often with options to compare them side by side for price and other criteria. If a shopper does not have a specific reason to purchase from you - chances are they won't.
If you have a unique product in demand that's difficult to find, then you have a unique selling position already. But most online retailers do not have a truly unique product.
If you don’t have the advantage of a truly unique product, and you can't give me compelling reasons in five seconds or less why I should buy from you instead of your competitors - then you've made this mistake. You’re fishing with no bait.
Lots of factors can make a unique selling position - including simply having a unique idea to market a mainstream product, in a way that your competitors don't. This is like finding a whole new fishing spot that no one else is fishing – as long as there are fish in that area, you’ve got good odds of catching them.
Whatever will appeal to your target customer audience is fine - but you better have one that’s compelling, and your site must communicate it effectively.
Suite Spot Commerce declines to work with one of every five potential clients that approaches our company, simply because they do not have a clear unique selling position, and their market space is so competitive that they lack the resources to create one.
That’s how important it is.