One basic law of intention is, if you want something, it’s not enough to want it, you actively have to go for it. You go after it. You work to make it happen. And when you do so in places which provide a hospitable environment for that thing to happen, that’s a law of location.
- If you’re fishing, you go where the fish are. Even better, you go where there are lots of them, and you use the bait that appeals the most to their taste.
- If you want good grades, you study in nice, quiet places where you can do your best concentrating. And you don’t bring distractions with you.
- If you want to have a successful sideline, you grow your little starter venture in an environment where it has a good chance of getting its roots established.(This is the same for solid businesses too.)
If you can’t find the place, you make the place. Many solid enterprises began their lives as garage start-ups and back-yard businesses (or basement incubators and the odd attic-enterprises).
The people who made it work made the effort to arrange their environment towards success. They clean up their act, or clear out a space, they clean up their schedules, they clean out their heads…the prep-list for success is a long one.
But let’s get back to location.
Brick and mortar stores have to have a good location with a lot of people, or their chances of survival go down. For example, foot traffic. Not for nothing do many convenience stores take corners. People pass by at intersections. There’s always foot traffic at corners and busy streets. Plan it right, you can make a living off the stream of people passing by.
And think about all the shelves by the cashier at the grocery stores. Those places are perfect for impulse buys — batteries, candy bars, dental floss, toothbrushes….little things you can just grab and throw in the cart before paying for everything.
Those are physical methods to position merchandise for better sales.
There are also other ways to push merchandise, of course. Consider the ubiquitous offers and tag questions at fast food joints: “Do you want to up-size your drinks?” and the classic “Do you want fries with that?”
See it now? Physically, carefully making the best, most advantageous use of locations brings merchandise to the attention of shoppers, making it easier for them to buy, convenience-wise, without thinking too much.
Attention-wise, sellers and businesses make it easier for the customer to buy by bringing deals, add-ons and freebies to their attention in line with their products.
- You want fries with that? Yeah, sure.
- Hey, if you want, we can give you a deal on oil-changes, tire-checks and 2 free full-body car-wash cleaning sessions, including the upholstery and the tires. You in? Oh, why not?
- Just put your email here and we’ll send you the link to the free downloads and videos, easy-peasy. Ready? Here ya go.
You place yourselves where your market is. That’s Basic Business Survival 101. Then you prettify your products and present them so that they’re very appealing to your market. When you do this online, it’s becomes a matter of perspective: where you sell, how you sell it, how you present it…all these things come together.
Location = POSITIONING
Positioning covers stuff like product presentation. For example, look at the websites you frequent: from information to merchandise, there’s always a system in place to tell you what’s new, right? What else? Think about having an e-store of your own:
- What are your popular items, the ones that ‘fly off the shelves’, the ones that dominate your sales?
- Where do you put the popular picks?
- How do your customers vote for them or select them? How are those ratings displayed?
Positioning also covers your own presentation. Think about it. How do you present yourself in the market to get people to look to you for what you do, believe you when you say something, and trust you to know what you’re talking about? Not to mention get them to buy what you’re selling, too.
Location = NICHE
You wouldn’t advertise where there are no customers, or sell where there’s no foot traffic. In a brick and mortar store, there’s a whole science behind presentation and getting people to come in, move around, and buy.
Online, there are landing pages, and SEO, and the electronic word-of-mouth known as social media. Where you sell what you sell affects how much you sell.
Etsy touts itself as the place to go to for hand-crafted items, and their sellers go crazy all over their respective categories. Hand-made and handcrafted covers everything from wedding rings to icing flowers. Amazon is the world’s biggest virtual marketplace, and eBay is the the first thing that comes to mind when you think “online auction.”
What about your business?
Location = FOR EASE OF ACCESS
Make it easy for customers to buy what they want. Online, this takes on different aspects. Amazon does a pretty good job with their reviews. You also get to see the most helpful critical reviews, and not just the glowing ones. Their system is quite well thought out, as well as the other small tweaks that lead to a better customer experience:
- Recommendations – You know, those things popping up after your search result: “Customers also bought _____.”
- Suggestions – Using your browsing history, the website offers similar picks: If you liked THIS, you might like THESE.
- Sales and special offers – Limited time offer, three-for-two deals , two-for-one offers, and “Free shipping for purchases over X amount.”
Location. Do you get it now? Location, placement, presentation — these concepts are related in that you can manipulate things physically, virtually and conceptually to bring them to the forefront of positive attention.To make people see your products, want them, and get them without any obstructions.
You break out of your old thoughts about how location is just a physical thing not worth considering for an online business, you lose out on a powerful way of looking at the world.
One very good example is the CandyWarehouse.com. The company’s main warehouse is located in El Segundo, California, and they put an excellent warm weather and summer shipping policy in place to guarantee their products arrive in perfect condition.
Who would ever think to consider the weather when delivering food items via mail, right? Either it gets there or it doesn’t. But the elves at the warehouse did think of the weather, not wanting all their hard work (and chocolate) go to waste, and by going the extra mile made their mark as one of the fastest growing private companies in America for the 5th year in a row, and the top internet candy store worldwide.
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