By: Lisa Slagle
The internet has changed the face of retail. That’s old news, right?
But what’s new and awesome is that the digital era has cultivated a healthy playing field for boutique online brands to actually compete with larger companies. These digital boutique retailers can sell their products directly to consumers, eliminating both the overhead of a physical retail store and the need to offer wholesale pricing to other retailers.
This is cool because you can be nimble, listen your customers, and niche existing niches.
You’re a woman who rides bikes and wants technical gear?
Road biker? Check out FemmeVelo.
Mountain Biker? WildRye is your jam.
You also want to paddleboard in your mountain bike shorts? You’ll love Shredly.
The nuances that make these specialty brands unique are exciting from a consumer standpoint. Customers get to buy exactly what they want from the company that echoes their beliefs and personal style.
This encourages design innovation and a celebration of the uniqueness of humanity. Love it.
From an agency standpoint though, it’s our job to be the Alfred to your Batman and point out that marketing and selling to consumers (B2C) is a different animal than marketing and selling to retailers or other businesses (B2B).
Marketing for Business to Business:
Marketing for Business to Consumer:
Most importantly, when you are selling B2C, your digital presence is everything. At Wheelie, we cannot emphasis that enough.
If you’re selling B2C, don’t cut corners on your website.
Not only does your website (and social media) need to provide an excellent user experience, but it also needs to reflect your company’s values. Focus on what it feels like to use your products, not just what your products do.
In B2C settings, individual humans are shopping behind the screens, not decision-making teams in meeting rooms.
Make your website for that individual human who is shopping from her laptop in her pajamas on Sunday morning instead of riding her bike because she has yet to find cycling apparel that works and fits. She’s frustrated, yet hopeful, and a little skeptical of sizing without trying something on first.
This means you need to put thought into everything she comes across on your website from the ethnicity of your models to how you photograph your products to the diction and tone you use in the copywriting to what kind of hashtags you use on social media. (And of course your exchange and shipping policies.)
Creating a successful B2C brand is s a lot to take on. The more thought you give, the more you’ll get.
(…and the more bike shorts you sell, the more women are riding bikes…and the world is just better. Good job, you.)
Be mindful. Be thorough. Be direct. Your customers will notice.
It’s an exciting time to build your online store. You don’t have to do it alone.
Us nerds have your back.
PS- We are working hard on putting an office in Colorado this summer, so if you’re in the Denver area, give us a holler, and let’s go for a ride! Or a Rockies game on us— Rockpile of course— come on, you know you still love it there.