If I Build It, They Will Come
If you haven't seen the movie "Field of Dreams", I'll set up the title line of this segment for you. Kevin Costner is a farmer. His family thinks he's lost his mind because he keeps seeing visions of the long-deceased baseball great Joe DiMaggio, and hears a voice from nowhere that whispers "if you build it, they will come". He rips up a corn field and builds a baseball field on the advice of the mysterious voice.
If somebody you knew started doing something completely illogical on the advice of a mysterious voice...you would worry about their sanity.
Ironically, small retailers do this all the time. The mysterious voice is the left over buzz of dot-com bubble days convincing small businessmen that on the internet the streets are paved with gold. If you just build a website to sell your products - you'll make millions.
If you build it, the customers will flock.
In the movie it worked – all the greatest deceased baseball legends of the past materialize from the corn fields and play ball with the local townspeople.
But we're in the real world. Just building a retail website and then kicking back and waiting for the sales to roll in is like building a retail store a hundred miles from the nearest highway and expecting tons of walk-through traffic.
Many small retailers make the mistake of assuming that when their new site is launched the hardest part is over. If you want substantial revenue, the launch of your site signals the beginning of the hard work.
Simply building a site and registering it on the major search engines is unlikely to generate any substantial revenue. The search engines have billions of pages indexed and the odds you're going to be showing up in any web searchers results without a very concerted effort are slim to none. Further, managing a retail website is not unlike managing a physical retail store. It takes constant maintenance, updating, and development of new creative promotions to keep the shoppers coming in and coming back.
Managing your online retail venture is much like managing any other venture. It will either be an easily managed low revenue venture...or a hard working, high paying venture.
Of course you can hire out many of the tedious management tasks. Suite Spot Commerce handles much of the online management for our clients, working in unison with them to leverage their expertise in their retail niche with our expertise in online retail. But, none of our more successful clients takes a back seat in the management of their online venture.