Using Reese Witherspoon's $900M business plan, let's take the next step by creating an effective commerce program for your business.
This program consists of four steps:
A little more about the importance of commerce below:
The third most important element of a successful virtual online business strategy is commerce. Reese executed this step perfectly with a boutique online retail store that sold books and products consistent with her brand and them.
You must monetize your efforts or you won't be able to fund your programs. Yes, great communities and great content require funding. Consumers understand this and they don't mind paying for it. Neither of the first two C's above can be developed without commerce to fund the effort. But commerce itself must come last, because it will come last in the mind of your customers.
Successful online communities create opportunities for your customers to meet and interact with each other. And of course, in those settings, they will talk about you, your business and your products. And when a customer endorses your business and products independently, would-be customers convert at a much higher rate.
The commerce portion of your business can function unabashedly like a retail store because that is what it is. You will have sales, you will run PPC, retargeting and affiliate campaigns. You will promote your products within that portion of your site as any great retailer is expected to do. Your commerce must be successful for the content and the community be succeed.
Consider your business the way that you would consider a ride at Disneyland.
The long line is your content and there is great care taken in designing the build out around the line. Often times, the story of the ride you are about to take is shared in the creative surroundings throughout the line.
The ride itself is the community. It's a shared experience that you have with others that is designed to tap into your most human emotions of laughter, fright, love and enjoyment of being with others. Something we all desire.
Finally, when emotions are at their peak at the end of the ride, you exit through the retail store. Nobody is aggressively asking you to purchase anything, you choose to make a purchase on your own as a way to remember that experience and to be part of that community. You see others making purchases and it makes you more comfortable to make a purchase yourself.
Our goal at Fulton365 is to help you turn your e-commerce business into an e-commerce experience. Focus on the experience, and the sales will follow.
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