It’s interesting that people like Gerry Harvey are being dragged kicking and screaming into the twentieth century (yes correct last century). If you are not aware Gerry Harvey runs a series of old school electrical and furniture retail “barns”, in Australia – Harvey Norman.
His entire approach to marketing and retail sales is very much locked into the flavour of the 1960-80s. He has always been anti web, but a series of recent events has caused Gerry to do a backflip and now state:
“Harvey Norman has been the pace-setter for an awful long time,” Mr Harvey said. “They’re kicking us on the internet at the moment but there’s no history of anyone making money on it.”
Clearly Gerry Harvey is very new to the web world, this is classic case of a business failing to innovate.
The key to success for any business on the web is:
- Ensure that you know what your competitors are doing.
- Have focus on your business goals.
- Understand what pain points your customers have and overcome them.
- Don’t stagnate, innovate and move forward, change your procedures as required.
- Be very aware of the how, when and why your customers interact with your services, from the web to face to face.
Things Change – Innovate.
If you aren’t really doing these things then you will fail at some point.
It’s no good looking backwards and redoing the same old tried and true methods. Yes they will work for a while, but like the online retailers verses Gerry Harvey, you will be overtaken one day while your back is turned. You will fall by the roadside, and fail.
The key is look forward and revisit the issues your customers have over and over again. To take the time to innovate, consider it an investment.
When was the last time you reviewed your web site and found out how your customers use it?
You need to be willing to rethink your business and be flexible enough to adapt and change as required.
The problem doing this, is we are often too close to our own business to notice. This is why using an external consultant in this area can be vital to your business survival.
The Web is Beyond Mobile
Take for instance the web, previously we considered that the web was always going to be viewed on a computer screen.
We now know this is not the case. In the last few years the use of smart phones and tablets has exploded within first world countries. With people accessing the web on a daily basis, viewing web sites on the go, from their lounge room, coffee shop, anywhere.
To allow for this change it’s not just a matter of re-designing your site for a mobile platform.
You really need to look at the core function of your site and what your customers want to do when they are mobile. Often this will be different to what they do on a desktop computer. So you need to be aware of what your customers want and are doing with your site on a mobile platform.
Once you have an idea of what this is, you can start to think about the mobile design.
The design itself needs to be simple, and yet responsive to the 40+ platform types on the market. Designing for the iphone, for instance, would be very short sighted. You need to have your site tweaked so it presents a good experience for your customer no matter what their platform is.
This is where good design planning and consideration of all the web site components comes into play.