Jump to content

Cre8asiteforums Internet Marketing
and Conversion Web Design


Photo
* * * * * 1 votes

Brick And Mortar Retail Is Getting Killed


  • Please log in to reply
39 replies to this topic

#1 EGOL

EGOL

    Professor

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 5481 posts

Posted 16 January 2014 - 11:25 PM

The Wall Street Journal has an article titled:  Stores Confront New World With Less Foot Traffic

 

The article has an impressive graph that shows retail foot traffic (November and December) falling from about 33 billion visits in 2010 to under 18 billion visits in 2013.  That is a staggering drop, an amazing drop, unbelievable.  Those retail guys are probably sick.

 

In another graph the huge drop in foot traffic is reflected in the amount of new retail space opened annually, which fell from over 300 million square feet in 2008 down to under 50 million in 2013.

 

So, brick and mortar retail is taking an incredible pounding... but it seems to me that although online sales have been steadily rising they are not rising fast enough to account for the drop in brick and mortar foot traffic.

 

Shoppers don't seem to be using physical stores to browse as much, either. Instead, they seem to be figuring out what they want online then making targeted trips to pick it up from retailers that offer the best price. While shoppers visited an average five stores per mall trip in 2007, today they only visit three

 

Retail sites are transitioning to content sites in the minds of many visitors.  So if your conversion rate seems to be dropping a bit year-over-year, it is probably because visitors are there to look and read rather than to buy....  heh...  They are "Showrooming" your website.       This to me makes a strong argument for running advertising on your retail website that is unrelated to the items that you sell.  You can see lots of retailers doing that.


Edited by EGOL, 16 January 2014 - 11:32 PM.


#2 bobbb

bobbb

    Sonic Boom Member

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 2141 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:52 AM

   They are "Showrooming" your website.       This to me makes a strong argument for running advertising on your retail website that is unrelated to the items that you sell.  You can see lots of retailers doing that.

I hear this but the 3 sites I visit a lot do the opposite. Tigerdirect, Amazon, and Staples run adsense that compete directly with what they sell. Wondered about this. Why would they send me somewhere else when I am looking at what they sell? I guess the adsense revenue must be worth it? So does ebay.

 

making targeted trips to pick it up from retailers

There is a sense to this. I like to see what I buy unless it is a book or CD or something standard like that. Would I buy anything to wear online? or something I eat?


Edited by bobbb, 17 January 2014 - 01:58 AM.


#3 test-ok

test-ok

    Mach 1 Member

  • 250 Posts Club
  • 368 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 03:26 AM

The poor little man is becoming extinct.  :)



#4 earlpearl

earlpearl

    Hall of Fame

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1644 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 10:49 AM

EGOL:  thanks for that article.  I leased and sold commercial real estate for 2 decades and I started out working on retail space.  I've been following that topic ever since.  The article was striking as were the graphs.  I've been out of the business for about a decade.  I didn't even know there were services that provided the information on the first graph, (on the left)--traffic counts to malls and retail centers.  Interesting.  I could see why landlords and retailers would want to track that data.  For instance take all the malls around the country and all the food courts....and those places are not destination stores.  They live off of total foot traffic traffic.  So if total foot traffic to those centers have dropped by half in only 3 years...that means there are a lot less hot dogs, tacos and pizza being eaten and sodas being drunk.   A lot of those food places will go out of business and a lot of retail space will go empty.  Fascinating.

 

On the second graph let me suggest that the change in delivery of retail space is not a function of the drop in foot traffic...at least not in full...and I'd bet there are significant other reasons.

 

 

If you look at page 9 of this document :  http://www.fairfaxco...ons/ye09rer.pdf  You'll see a chart that represents delivery of office space in Fairfax County, VA going back to the early 1980's and extending to a couple of years ago. 

 

I love that data for a couple of reasons...but that chart (which actually would look very similar if you could find one for the entire US going back that far) shows that the delivery of new office space looks sort of like that chart of retail space delivery over the last few years.   Its incredibly erratic with booms and busts.   There are impacts and causes for the delivery of space that are completely different than things like "traffic counts".   

 

I just think the graph on the right is misrepresentative of reasons for why so little retail space has been built/delivered over the last few years...not a reflection of the loss of foot traffic.

 

Of note though according to this great study from a few years ago:  https://lib.sandiego...raftApril26.pdf   there is about 17 BILLION square feet of retail space  in the US.  A couple of years ago...per that study using one method they valued all that space at almost $3 Trillion.  

 

That equates to a about 570 feet of retail space for every American.  That is more than for any other nation.  Some would argue we are over retailed.

 

But enough of that real estate stuff.   Something about websites and marketing for retailers, etc.

 

Yesterday I was speaking with a local business guy in the DC area.  From what he told me, I estimated that the biggest expense he has is a fixed annual cost and I estimate it at around $2.5 million/year.  Now he has bunches of other costs ...but that is the big nut.

 

He can sell his services and make money, even a lot of money...but if he does a lousy job, has a lot of competition, the market falls out--whatever...he can lose a lot of money.  

 

Now I also know something about search phrases and traffic for his industry.  Its local...and its niche and small.  I just glanced at some data I had for this industry for NYC --which is lots bigger than DC for the same type of service and for a month the most impressions for a critical keyword phrase is about 5,000 searches.

 

Not a lot.  Not a lot in NY with a danged big population.   And then competitors are going to pick up a lot of traffic.   

 

This local guy is not going to have the volume of search traffic or other web traffic that is going to support ads enough so that it will make a big dent in his needs for income.   The topic is too narrow, the traffic is too small.  

 

Now national retailers have traffic volumes that would make nice money off of ads.  More specifically they have ebusinesses and are selling their products off the web.

 

Local businesses won't generate much traffic.  They won't make much money.  If its a very popular local product that generates a lot of traffic...they'll make something I suppose...but its not much and its derivative.  I woudn't spend much time on it.

 

For the guy above, I spoke to him a little about his web traffic.  He lets the seo's worry about the details.  He is interested in the sales.  I know his sales can be quite large per sale.  He can't be worried about the specifics of his search traffic.  I agree with him.

 

Advertising on a retail site is sort of derivative in my opinion.  It can help..but it will only help a little bit.  

 

but that is my opinion.~~ my $0.02.

 

But thanks for the article.  Very interesting. 

 

 

 

 

 



#5 EGOL

EGOL

    Professor

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 5481 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 11:08 AM

I hear this but the 3 sites I visit a lot do the opposite. Tigerdirect, Amazon, and Staples run adsense that compete directly with what they sell. Wondered about this. Why would they send me somewhere else when I am looking at what they sell? I guess the adsense revenue must be worth it? So does ebay.

 

I have a few sites that sell retail and I have adsense on the retail pages of every site except one.  That site has products with a good profit margin and  I want as many sales as possible.. but on that site I run ads on all of the non retail pages. 

 

I block the ads from direct retail competitors on one site but not for the others.  The site where I block competitors ads has a very high conversion rate and I sell most items at MSRP.  

 

If you are a discount seller I can understand easily how your profits from ads could be higher than the profits on retail.  Let the visitor see your low price, take a piece of the competitors ad budget, then when the visitor sees high prices on the competitor's site he will use the back button and come back to you.  Yep, take a piece of their ad budget.

 

I also use ads to throttle sales.  If we are close to selling out of something, if staff is having a hard time responding to sales volume... then I will crank up the ads.

 

I make good money from the ads.  In some product categories my profits from running the ads are greater than the profits from selling the products.   You don't have to do any work when you make money from ads.  No products to ship, no customers callin', just rake in the money.

 

I decided to sell some books about a topic that has really high value ad clicks.  I spent $3000 on a small inventory of books, and another $3000 on the cost of content to write a short description of what each book is about.  Now I am making about $1500 per year on the ads that these pages display.  Occasionally I sell a book.  Good ROI.


Edited by EGOL, 17 January 2014 - 11:11 AM.


#6 EGOL

EGOL

    Professor

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 5481 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 11:15 AM

Earl...  Thanks for the perspective, your comments as a person who knows the retail real estate industry are interesting.

 

When I go to the mall I am always thinking that "this place is deserted!".    



#7 bobbb

bobbb

    Sonic Boom Member

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 2141 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 11:28 AM

If you are a discount seller I can understand easily how your profits from ads could be higher than the profits on retail.  Let the visitor see your low price, take a piece of the competitors ad budget, then when the visitor sees high prices on the competitor's site he will use the back button and come back to you.  Yep, take a piece of their ad budget.

I know what you are saying makes sense, because you do it and it works, but the three I mention, and more, are also buying adwords so someone is taking a piece of their ad budget.



#8 earlpearl

earlpearl

    Hall of Fame

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1644 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 11:29 AM

Earl...  Thanks for the perspective, your comments as a person who knows the retail real estate industry are interesting.

 

When I go to the mall I am always thinking that "this place is deserted!".    

From what I read now, the majority of malls are hurting.  OTOH High end malls are supposedly doing great with or w/out more foot traffic.  That foot traffic data was very fascinating.  I didn't even know there were services providing it.  

 

Do those deserted malls remind you of living in Northern PA?  ;)



#9 EGOL

EGOL

    Professor

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 5481 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 11:49 AM

Northern PA

 

There aren't any malls up there...  If you want a mall you have to drive to NY.



#10 iamlost

iamlost

    The Wind Master

  • Site Administrators
  • 4633 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:34 PM

Just to shift the conversation a bit...

Shoppers don't seem to be using physical stores to browse as much, either. Instead, they seem to be figuring out what they want online then making targeted trips to pick it up from retailers that offer the best price.

If true that is a major change. It used to be said that folks browsed in store then bought online for best price.

 

What I would say the shift could mean is that B&M foot traffic is become less the casual browser and more the serious targeted shopper. And that requires a very different sales staff approach.

 

As the article also mentioned that retail sales are up 2.7% YoY that means that with foot traffic down 14% YoY staffing costs per sales dollar is down...how's that for finding a silver lining?

 

Further thought: given these changes B&M with ecomm sites should all be selling online with p/u at selected store (and/or delivery). I am so tired of big box stores ecomm sites telling me something not available at my location...they are behaving as mired in muck dinosaurs.



#11 earlpearl

earlpearl

    Hall of Fame

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1644 posts

Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:44 PM

Folks:  One noted change among consumers:   Research products on line and then buy in stores:   This is one brief reference to that trend:  http://www.localsear.../greg-sterling/

 

Another trend:  shop stores then compare pricing via mobiles and buy where the price is best and/or negotiate a better price in the store.

 

OMG  isn't the world changing?   :D



#12 earlpearl

earlpearl

    Hall of Fame

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1644 posts

Posted 18 January 2014 - 08:42 AM

I made an error above. The retail sq. Ft per person should be about 56 ft per US citizen not 560. (Sorry). Still that change in foot traffic is extraordinary w/ big implications.

#13 ShawnaSeigel

ShawnaSeigel

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 36 posts

Posted 18 January 2014 - 08:33 PM

Some of the larger companies are doing what they can to keep the business "local."

 

For instance, I needed a new memory card for my new phone.

 

Best Buy had the one I wanted for $69 on sale for $39. Amazon was running a big sale and had it for $22.

 

Took my memory card to the checkout, showed them the Amazon price, and walked out with my $22 memory card.

 

They do this on all items except mobile phones.

However, they are getting smarter when it comes to computers and other high ticket items.

 

They have the manufacturer create a product just for them. Look the item up online and it's only offered by Best Buy.

 

P.S. Great article!



#14 earlpearl

earlpearl

    Hall of Fame

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1644 posts

Posted 19 January 2014 - 11:20 AM

@Shawna:  Good for you.  In retrospect both good and bad for Best Buy...and possibly good and bad for Amazon in the long run.   Per some financial reports Best Buys results in the 4th qtr 2013 were "disappointing"  probably because of huge and necessary discounting.   

 

If Best Buy shrinks its probably good in the long run for Amazon.  Less competition.

 

That experience again takes me back to real estate in a practice.  Once I started doing it for a while it hit me that the business was all about demand and supply and basic economics.  I actually went back and took economics classes and restudied it.  

 

The theory of demand and supply and price is a function in part of PERFECT information.   If all the buyers and all the sellers have perfect information then a price is resolved in the economics 101 classes.  But it depends on perfect information.

 

The internet, and the ability to instantly price compare gives consumers far better information in that regard than ever before.  It clearly worked in your behalf in that example.

 

At EGOL:   I was thinking about your suggestions for retailers.  Of our smb sites the one with the most traffic saw peak web traffic for a period at about 10,000 visits/month.  A big chunk of it was irrelevant as the web traffic was coming from around the world and wouldn't use our local service.

 

If I had ads on that local site and IF we achieved what you described in a different thread as a very high revenue per thousand clicks at $19....we would have made $190 in our best month.  During the last qtr of last year that little smb did something different operationally and on the web.  It turned out to be the best 4th qtr by an enormous amt.   We tried different things.  We adjusted it.  During the final 13 weeks with the different things we tried we had some unbelievably great revenue weeks and some mediocre weeks.   Also, because I'm there a lot I filled in on some sales.   Just a tiny bit.  I checked back...the few things I did resulted in revenues far better than $190/month.

 

Its a time investment thing in my mind, and a payback thing for a local retail site to put advertising on its site. It may help a little especially if a site has enormous traffic.  If the time investment takes away from more important things it could be a problem.   Just my $0.02 



#15 EGOL

EGOL

    Professor

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 5481 posts

Posted 19 January 2014 - 11:44 AM


 

I was thinking about your suggestions for retailers.  Of our smb sites the one with the most traffic saw peak web traffic for a period at about 10,000 visits/month.  A big chunk of it was irrelevant as the web traffic was coming from around the world and wouldn't use our local service.

That's a very valid point.   You could use an ad server to only show ads to the people in your city, in your state, in your region or in your country.  Then you make ad money from that traffic and sales money from local traffic.


 

But... I am not advocating creating pages that target local search terms. The difference between your target and mine is that I am targeting pages for clusters of keywords that will pull in over 10,000 visits per month, some over 100,000 pages per month.  Last month I had dozens of pages that pulled in over 10,000 visits each, some a lot more.

 

So if I am a local guy with a garage door service I can have many many pages (articles) in the SERPs about all of the repairs about all of the parts and about all of the products.  When a person arrives at the site on these article pages if he is from my city he will be shown ads for Egol's garage door service.  If he is from anywhere in the USA and lands on a parts page he will see ads from Egols garage door parts ecommerce store or adsense depending upon which one pays me the best. 

 

I know that you don't think that there is a lot of traffic for this garage door stuff but you might want to go to wordtracker and see how many searches are done each month for "garage door springs".  Will knock your socks off. 

 

I don't think that I am going to convice you or that you are going to convince me.   We both must be right in our way.  :)  I have a hammer and everything looks like a nail and I am really good at using a hammer.  You got a screwdriver and know how to use it. 

 

An awful lot of those people who are paying for the adsense that appears on my pages are local Ford dealers in BugTussle, Kentucky and places like that. 

 

OK... so, I am "gone for good" on this debate.  I am going to go write an article that is going to pay a pile of money per month - even after i am dead. 


Edited by EGOL, 19 January 2014 - 12:06 PM.


#16 earlpearl

earlpearl

    Hall of Fame

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1644 posts

Posted 19 January 2014 - 12:25 PM

ha ha.  Its not that I hate your idea, EGOL.  I don't know anything about adsense.  For instance I didn't know one could deliver pages to visitors from Timbukto and Texas that would not relate to the local business and deliver pages with ads.   

 

I was actually thinking about the merits of your ideas for one of the sites...but tanked it as too much of a hassle. And its clear I'm ignorant on the topic.  Good luck with the article.  :D



#17 ShawnaSeigel

ShawnaSeigel

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 36 posts

Posted 19 January 2014 - 01:06 PM

@Shawna:  Good for you.  In retrospect both good and bad for Best Buy...and possibly good and bad for Amazon in the long run.   Per some financial reports Best Buys results in the 4th qtr 2013 were "disappointing"  probably because of huge and necessary discounting.   

 

 

I agree.

 

We did a bit of shopping at Best Buy and learned a few other things as well:

1 - They will not match Amazon pricing for mobile phones. They had the Galaxy S4 priced at $199 and Amazon had it for $50. They told us that Amazon has worked out REALLY special pricing. However, they found the phone at Radio Shack for $80 and would price match.

 

This is where they really screwed up -

  • The sales person told me that if I bought it from them, I could get the phone right away. Sorry guy, for $3.99 I will have it tomorrow by noon.
     
  • The sales person also told me that they had a better insurance plan. He rattled off a bunch of numbers. Amazon's insurance cost $2.00 less a month and the deductible was $50 less.

They need a new strategy for mobile.
 

2 - They had amazing sales on their TV's. We narrowed our choices down to 3 and for the first time I could remember, NOBODY was available to help us. Most times I go in there and they are all over me. Anyway...

With no help in site, where did we go? The internet of course. We did the whole pricing matching game - Best Buy won. So now what?

REVIEWS

 

Then I noticed something on the little card. It tells you what the average reviews are for the product AND has the QR code so you can go to their page online and read more AND you can also send a text to get more details sent to your mobile phone.

http://easypurl.info/?p=1603

 

Brilliant marketing! Understand what your customers need - answers. Give them a way to directly find the answers they need so that they stay in YOUR store.

Business owners need to learn this concept more than anything else - You have to be the answer.

 

Search Engines are marketing to consumers that they can find all the answers by typing in their question. Remember the kid that had to give a speech? It was all about the questions and finding the answers on Google.

Your business has to be the answer they are looking for whether they search locally or online.


 



#18 earlpearl

earlpearl

    Hall of Fame

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1644 posts

Posted 24 January 2014 - 10:59 AM

The article EGOL sourced brought me back to stuff I used to do.  I used to live and breathe square feet, and vacancy rates and development and absorption, and sales per square feet.   Its been over a decade since I've practiced that stuff.  

 

EGOL:  I think your idea has merit.  Its the scale that I find troublesome from a practical perspective.  I looked up some rough numbers to try and get a fix on this.

 

Per this source average sales per square feet from 2005 in the US for retailers was $300/foot.  From my old experience and recollection that passes the smell test and sounds about right.

 

So take a 5,000 foot retailer doing average sales...and that comes to $1,500,000 of revenues.  With those revenues you have staff, rent, insurance, phones, pay for a web site, plow the parking lot on snowy days, heat and electricity and a lot of costs.   But on top of that you are buying goods to resell.  They cost a lot.  It could be food if you are a restaurant, it could be clothes made in China, or anything.

 

Now say you are suffering because of the precipitous drop in foot traffic the article described.  Sales are down.  Say 15%.  Uh oh.  That is a loss of $225,000.  That is going to hurt.  Very big time.

 

Can I make it up with articles on a web site?  Per some information you gave us elsewhere....$19/thousand visits to the site is an excellent income for adsense.  So if I had great articles generating 10,000 visits/ per month every month I could generate $190/month over 12 months or $2280/year.  At that rate, I need over 98 great articles with great traffic bringing in great average revenues per thousand visits...and each article has to rank highly enough to get about 10,000 visits/month per article.  Those articles have to maintain those rankings for a year to sustain the income and make up for the sales I lost because foot traffic is down.

 

It seems to me that getting 98 great articles is a big endeavor in its own right requiring a significant change in direction, hiring excellent writers, supporting the articles with terrific videos and/or great photography.  One isn't going to hit "great" paydirt with every article.  Some will be traffic duds.  So you need a lot more than 98.  As you described it costs a fair amount to produce these in time and energy let alone production costs.

 

In any case as you have described the process I think its a great idea.  I don't think it takes the place of lost revenues overall.  Its a supplement.  It does take a lot of effort in an entirely new direction with new personnel with new skills.

 

Existing newspapers have shown enormous year to year growth from internet advertising.  But they got crushed on their traditional sources of income;  classified advertising, display advertising, and subscriptions.  A lot of them had relatively expensive charges for classified and display advertising.  They could often apply expensive "monopoly" pricing to their print advertising.  It was expensive.   Now they can't do that.  All in all newspapers have lost tons of money even as their web advertising revenues have soared.   In fact some significant regional newspapers have converted to all web all the time and dropped the old paper versions.  They can't sustain the costs.

 

Its a neat idea.  Its certainly one I haven't tried nor thought of.  It doesn't seem to me to offer a $ for $ exchange.



#19 EGOL

EGOL

    Professor

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 5481 posts

Posted 24 January 2014 - 11:27 AM

Earl, when I write an article it goes out there and pulls in money day after day, month after month, year after year, and some of mine will make money after I am dead.

 

I earned all of that money by writing the article one time.

 

The guy selling socks has to earn that money on every sale, day after day, month after month, year after year... and he gotta pay rent, utilities, labor, etc day after day, month after month, year after year.   While he is doing all of that sales effort to keep the same level of income, I am spending that same time cranking out more articles increasing my income.

 

As the retail guys' snowball grows bigger he needs more floor space, more staff, move overhead.  My article is out their making money with zero additional effort.  My floor space and staff requirements will not increase.  I keep cranking out a few articles per month with no increase in costs.  The retailers expenses go up, up, up in proportion to sales.  My expenses stay the same but my income and profits go up up up.   I am building income-producing equity.   The retailer is still paying rent, wages, etc.  

 

Once my costs are recovered on my article my profit margin is 100%.  But retailer is still paying for inventory, labor, rent, etc.   When he brings in $225,000 in income he has to pay for the merchandise, pay the rent, pay the labor.   His second $225,000 has the same expenses.  Maybe he keeps 20% profit (if he is damn lucky).  My second $225,000 is 100% profit.

 

I can take a month off and my articles are still out there making money.   The retailer shuts down for a month and he makes zero income.   :)

 

I am in the right business. 


Edited by EGOL, 24 January 2014 - 11:30 AM.


#20 earlpearl

earlpearl

    Hall of Fame

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1644 posts

Posted 24 January 2014 - 11:36 AM

@EGOL:  

 

lol, I was wonderin what you thought.  I guess you told me.  :D



#21 iamlost

iamlost

    The Wind Master

  • Site Administrators
  • 4633 posts

Posted 24 January 2014 - 10:29 PM

What EGOL is annunciating is the digital advantage: there is no (or close enough to no) copy cost. Real goods have both a start up and a copy cost. Digital only has the start up.

Of course, most of what people want/need/desire is NOT digital. However, there may be digital components. And those that leverage such can save huge on overhead.

What this has done that is something of a surprise is that it has made 'real', i.e. hardcopy, of something digital a luxury. An example I used some years back in Lift Up Your Eyes From The Adsense Plains was that of advertising within recipes. To paraphrase (by all means go read):
1. ad aka brand mention on html page (0.003 per recipe)
2. ad aka brand mention on downloaded aka printed copy (0.03 per recipe)
3. ad aka brand mention in free pdf 100 recipe compilation (0.30 per recipe)
4. ad aka brand mention plus coupons in bound print copy (0.30 per recipe from advertisers + 0.20 per recipe from buyer)

Unfortunately, every business is different, including it's business model and revenue streams, so there is no one or even no few 'best' way to incorporate or leverage a digital advantage. The range is quite extreme, from those, such as myself, with a wholly digital offering through EGOL with digital content plus 'real' object ecomm, to earlpearl where perhaps only (some portion of) marketing is digital.

As with EGOL the thought that I can write something once and it can both be read over and over and generate income over and over with basically no further effort on my part...is simply awesome. And remunerative. Who says there is no magic in the world?


Edited by iamlost, 25 January 2014 - 09:11 AM.


#22 EGOL

EGOL

    Professor

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 5481 posts

Posted 25 January 2014 - 08:58 AM

I just reread the "lift up your eyes from adsense" post.   I didn't appreciate it in 2007 but understand it better now. 

 

I have a site with a lot of free printables and started placing my domain name on the printable and the result was a lot of repeat visitors to my site typing the domain name into the google search box.  That was the intent.  I was hoping that the growing number of domain queries would help organic rankings - and since google owns the Chrome browser they might be tracking type-in navigation too.   After rereading the lift up your eyes thread I realize that I am missing other free advertising and traffic driving opportunities by not adding a six word sales pitch along with the domain.  Since thousands of these are downloaded every day, if I got a response rate of just one in 10,000 I would be making a couple dozen additional retail sales each month.  Thanks!

 

As for selling downloads... one of my friends has a very popular home repair site.  He has repeatedly told me that I am missing the market by not charging people for some of my downloads - or making deluxe versions that could be sold as a digital product.  I need to look into that since it is a make-it-one-time then sell-it-forever venture. If I would have made those products a long time ago I would have raked in some dough from them.   The problem is that there is so much gold layin' on the ground and I only have two hands to grab at it.... and jobs that have a greater fun factor seem to get more of my attention - but they are payin' good too!   But, I can delegate a couple of these. 

 

Thanks


Edited by EGOL, 25 January 2014 - 09:00 AM.


#23 earlpearl

earlpearl

    Hall of Fame

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1644 posts

Posted 26 January 2014 - 12:09 PM

@EGOL   @IamLost:   I get it.  I understand your points.  We are working on the concept.  

 

From our perspective and from that of many retailers though its a tough nut...simply because of time and resources.  I know in our cases we have sort of 3 types of verticals.  Two are very similar and overlap.  We have worked for about a decade to make them pretty independent of search.  They have reasonably good search presence in their regions.  I spend a little time on that.  The search presence gets a little better.  Most of the marketing/sales effort is non search related though.   

 

The simple reason is that we don't want to be dependent on google.  That is it.  No other reason.

 

The other vertical is search dependent no matter what we do...and we have spent tremendous amts of time to make them non search dependent.  Nothing else has worked well.

 

Getting back to time investment its significant.  There was an interesting thread about "selling to restaurants" in Cre8 back last Autumn.  Ablereach is obviously familiar with them.  So am I.  She wrote a great piece on the challenges in this post .   A big problem is about time.   The other issue is investment.  

 

I know in our cases we would have to make an investment, hire new people who were strictly web oriented to try and do the things you suggest.  If we did a great job we wouldn't see return for a year or longer and probably longer.  We understand that.

 

Lastly one little anecdote.  Not too long ago I interacted with a regional retailer who also has an ebusiness for its merchandise.  The ebusiness is worldwide or web wide or national.  The retail imprint is regional in one section of the US.  The retail imprint looks pretty good, is old, solid, has a lot of name recognition.   

 

The business is struggling with the ebusiness.   I didn't go very far with them.   

 

It turns out I was familiar with a similar regional chain of that ilk from years ago.  I actually leased some b&m stores for them years ago.  I knew and was friendly with the founder...."the old man".

 

They stopped needing stores and my real estate focus changed to office from retail.  We lost touch.   In the early 2000's I read about them locally and discovered they had shuttered locations and converted to an ebusiness.  They had absolutely great serps.  Great!!!!   I called the owner, the "old man".  He was in the background now and his sons had generated the change.  We had an interesting conversation back around 2004.  That was it.  I completely lost touch.

 

After speaking fairly recently with the regional chain in the same business I looked up the serps and specifically looked for the business I knew that was locally based.   

 

Its GONE.  VANISHED.  No more.  You know who overwhelms the serps, the product sales, and ppc?   Amazon and Walmart among other huge branded retailers.

 

Business is rough.  As Iamlost referenced somewhere else, its sort of nice to be under the radar screen.

 

But we are considering your ideas and exactly how to implement them.



#24 EGOL

EGOL

    Professor

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 5481 posts

Posted 26 January 2014 - 12:32 PM

@EGOL   @IamLost:   I get it.  I understand your points.  We are working on the concept.

 

We are just tryin' to give you more and higher caliber ammunition.  :)

 

Just sayin'......   You post an awful LOT of stuff on this forum.  Tons of great content.  So, if you start adding all of the... "how to make your small and local business into a kickass powerhouse" content that you are writing here to your website... but just rewording to make it a little more specific, you will have an awesome resource... and you might quit doing what you are doing and become a kickass small and local business consultant.  



#25 earlpearl

earlpearl

    Hall of Fame

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1644 posts

Posted 26 January 2014 - 12:43 PM

yeah.  It would be an improvement to be a "kickass"....whatever rather than just an @ss.  ;)



#26 earlpearl

earlpearl

    Hall of Fame

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1644 posts

Posted 18 February 2014 - 08:01 PM

Some data on retail sales, web traffic, mobile traffic, how mobile traffic converts into retail or web sales, etc:   http://marketingland...ail-sales-73866



#27 earlpearl

earlpearl

    Hall of Fame

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1644 posts

Posted 19 February 2014 - 04:16 PM

And one more piece of news, that might have been hastened by the dramatic drop in traffic to malls:  Sbarro's a frequent tenant of mall food courts closed a lot of underperforming stores:  http://nrn.com/corpo...any-owned-units



#28 iamlost

iamlost

    The Wind Master

  • Site Administrators
  • 4633 posts

Posted 19 February 2014 - 09:22 PM

I am not familiar with Sbarro's beyond what I read in the linked article nor the foodcourt numbers at those closing locations. I do know that at the local mall the food court is never less than 50% occupied, that some venues have a constant line waiting to be served while others don't see a customer while I'm there (I do wonder how a couple stay in business). Of course different locations equal different economies. Such a mass closing does say something rather ummm about management response though.

 

A lot of mobile interjection into the sales cycle/funnel is untrackable so I agree that mobile is under reported in that regard. I suspect that more and more B&M will take up logging customers' mobile MAC addresses and tracking them about the store...yes, there really is a real world version of online click tracking. Store history will be added to site history to whatever for a more complete picture and better targeting. Of course it will mean either paying for qualified tech and analysis staff or outsourcing. Given the reluctance many smb show about online this new 'expense' should be quite...amusing.



#29 EGOL

EGOL

    Professor

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 5481 posts

Posted 19 February 2014 - 10:05 PM

I do know that at the local mall the food court is never less than 50% occupied

 

Don't be fooled... most of that is old geezers waiting for their wives to finish shopping.   They aren't eating Sbarro's :P


Edited by EGOL, 19 February 2014 - 10:06 PM.


#30 earlpearl

earlpearl

    Hall of Fame

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1644 posts

Posted 06 March 2014 - 06:47 PM

Well Staples is closing 225 stores:  http://www.usatoday....osings/6114525/   and Radio Shack announced they are closing about 1,000 of about 5,000 existing stores.  

 

On a side note I'm definitely a dinosaur.  Speaking of office supplies we had a nearby Office Depot that closed last year.  I would get office supplies for the office I work out of.  I'd personally shop there.  Our younger smarter savvier staff converted to buying from the same supplier on line.  Speaking of that Office Depot it closed about 8 months ago and remains vacant.  It is a tough space to lease though.

 

@EGOL:   I'm just adding these news points to acknowledge the opening post you made and stroke your ego.  ;)       :D



#31 bobbb

bobbb

    Sonic Boom Member

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 2141 posts

Posted 06 March 2014 - 08:39 PM

The advantage of that Staples brick and mortar store is that if they have what you want, you can see it, touch it, and walk out with it (well after paying) no shipping, no handling, and not in 2 days. They are just down the road a bit called Bureau en Gros in French.

 

Oh and I can shop their catalogue on line and check in-store availability. No need to go if not there.


Edited by bobbb, 06 March 2014 - 08:41 PM.


#32 EGOL

EGOL

    Professor

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 5481 posts

Posted 06 March 2014 - 09:07 PM

If they close the store near my house I will forget about them.  Every time I drive to work I see their sign and it reminds me where I buy my office supplies.  I can stop at their store or buy online.  If they close those stores they will lose more than the sales from those stores.  People will forget about them and just go to WalMart.



#33 sansonj72

sansonj72

    Mach 1 Member

  • 250 Posts Club
  • 479 posts

Posted 06 March 2014 - 09:26 PM

As a real estate professional I can speak of the death of mega big brick and mortar buildings, and many traditional print medias. However, it is not the death that we speak of. It is the world of efficiency. We use to have 5000 SQFT building, and now we have 1400 sqft. In theory we can have 500 sqft, and be just fine. Most of our business in done either at the homes we show or the homes we list. We do many things on iPads. However, we still need a fort a home base to go to, etc. It will never be eliminated, but it will be forever changed. The question is always where can my dollar be best spent to maximize my profits. If you want to be a real estate brokerage with a big mighty building and low advertising or do you want to be in a right scaled building with max advertising. Adding in print - you can mail to mass amounts of home owners too for your post card + 17 cents. If there is science to your offline marketing and advertising, which enhances your online presence, etc aka overall branding then you do it.  I mail out weakly 

 

1. Find your Home Value MaricopaHomeValues.com 

2. Just Listed

3, Mega Open House

4. Just sold

 

They tie into two sites MaricopaHomeValues.com and MaricopaHomesForSale.com - this is my farm or geo target area for business. It all links together. You then find me on Zillow, Trulia, etc and it just keeps building. 

 

Not sure if this was good for anybody, but this is my logic 



#34 bobbb

bobbb

    Sonic Boom Member

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 2141 posts

Posted 06 March 2014 - 11:08 PM

People will forget about them and just go to WalMart.

So true because it is right next door.



#35 sansonj72

sansonj72

    Mach 1 Member

  • 250 Posts Club
  • 479 posts

Posted 07 March 2014 - 01:22 AM

Brick and Mortar also is just humanly enjoyable. Even if it is not efficient, etc. We in our personal lives do not have to be efficient.  We sometimes like to just stroll and let the items of the store talk to us. Buy me. Look at me, Oh Squirrel. 



#36 earlpearl

earlpearl

    Hall of Fame

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1644 posts

Posted 10 March 2014 - 08:06 PM

Sbarro's just announced bankruptcy AGAIN.   This one could be significantly tied to the drop in Mall traffic referenced in the Opening Post.   Of course it might not be the drop in traffic initially referenced in the first post.  It could be, as EGOL referenced, the old geezers in the food court aren't eating at all.  They are just waiting for their wives to finish shopping.   I don't know.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/11/business/struggling-pizza-chain-sbarro-seeks-bankruptcy-protection-again 



#37 sansonj72

sansonj72

    Mach 1 Member

  • 250 Posts Club
  • 479 posts

Posted 11 March 2014 - 02:56 PM

If we do not evolve the we die. Their pizza is nasty anyhow. They need to make the best possible product, deliver the best possible service, and why not deliver their pizza to the community?  Little ceasers had to rebrand, and WOW they appear to be killing it. 



#38 earlpearl

earlpearl

    Hall of Fame

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1644 posts

Posted 14 March 2014 - 08:26 AM

....and still one more article about the 2nd banruptcy of sbarro  ( a pizza chain that really doesn't deserve much reference)   http://economix.blog...-in-bankruptcy/

 

the Times article references some of the above comments:

 

@Sanson:  the writer agrees with you:

 

Let’s get this out of the way first: The food at Sbarro, the pizza-and-pasta chain, isn’t very good. The pizza crust manages to be both thick and limp, the tomato sauce bland, the cheese the victim of sitting for too long under heat lamps.

 

@Egol:   (he who sourced the article about declining foot traffic at malls)

The company is in financial trouble because one of its big bets on real estate — that Americans will keep going to mall food courts en masse — has turned out to be wrong. ShopperTrak, a company that measures foot traffic at retailers, reported a 14.6 percent decline in the 2013 holiday season compared with 2012, continuing a pattern of double-digit declines.

 

 

@me.  these guys owe a lot of food court rent.  Hey...I suggested that.  ;)

 

The story is told in Sbarro’s filing for bankruptcy protection early this week. Six of the seven biggest creditors listed are entities to which the company owes lease payments. It owes more to several individual landlords than it does to the supplier who provides the soda to enable Sbarro’s customers to wash back their greasy pizza.

 

 

I wonder if Amazon is going to start offering food delivery with its overnight delivery of electronics, books, shoes and stuff?   :D



#39 earlpearl

earlpearl

    Hall of Fame

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1644 posts

Posted 02 July 2014 - 04:34 PM

Before this video starts there is an ad for about 21 seconds...but then take a look at a variety of startling abandonment.   http://money.cnn.com...wless.cnnmoney/

 

Now actually per the photographer and his reference to Cleveland losing population since WWII some of these abandoned retail properties became abandoned long before ecommerce.   Still the shots are pretty amazing.

 

Boy:  Some photographer could do wonders with the amazing volume of abandoned property in Detroit....   The city probably began to lose large numbers of people 40 years ago...so it isn't a recent phenomena...but I'd bet any shots would be similarly eerie to the shots in the above referenced video.



#40 iamlost

iamlost

    The Wind Master

  • Site Administrators
  • 4633 posts

Posted 02 July 2014 - 07:18 PM

Detroit has been increasingly abandoned and burning every Halloween since the late sixties if memory serves. I remember reading about Cleveland and house abandonment due to the real estate mortgage shenanigans prior to 2008/9, there were pics of streets of boarded up houses and houses where all the copper et al had been stripped plus man hole coves, street light poles etc. Not sure what the population drain was prior but it was definitely a deluge in that year. While ecom has had an impact in both cities I'm sure it was not the primary driver by any means.

 

Also it is rather (black) humourous - it is/was malls on the outskirts that killed downtowns since the late fifties; to see the corpses of malls in turn is...

 

Retail is in an interesting (in all senses of the word including the Chinese curse) flux. How the B&M storefront will mesh with the virtual, the craftsperson and 3D printing, knowledgeable servers with drop ship wage slaves backed by computers... unfortunately the real accommodations are occurring mostly outside of North America where corporate capitalism is engaged in Luddite responses.

 

It will be interesting to see how dispersed communication, control, command, (hopefully) continues to leverage the individual and small organisation to compete far beyond their apparent economic and political weight. It is also fascinating to see how many communities and organisations can be so badly run into the ground with the best of short term status quo thinking.

 

You might find the following of interest:

Note: there are a large and growing number of sites and vids documenting industrial/urban abandonment. Worldwide.

Note: I've been fascinated with this since boyhood what with growing up in the Klondike before the tourists and government pillaged the place.

* The Abandoned City of Detroit (site with pics)

* Abandoned America (site with pics)

* Abandoned Russia (site with pics)

* Urban Exploration, Decayed Industry (YouTube video)

 

NOTE: I enjoyed the ad - it caught the SM lemming brigade perfectly. Of course Adobe Cloud is NOT a solution to that but who cares, the story was great! :D





RSS Feed

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users