March 08, 2007

Virtual CEO: How Best To Increase Net Sales?

Let's assume that your e-commerce website enjoyed another year of rampant, unfettered growth. Kudos to you!

From a customer standpoint, do you know why your business grew last year?

There are dozens of scenarios where a business could enjoy a significant sales increase over the prior year. Let's explore four scenarios.

Example #1: The business achieves increases by increasing the number of new customers.

Example #2: The business achieves increases by increasing the rate with which last year's loyal customers repurchase this year.

Example #3: The business achieves increases by increasing prices. As a result, fewer customers purchase, but a smaller number of affluent customers spend more.

Example #4: The business achieves increases by getting customers to purchase more times per year, and by getting customers to purchase more items per purchase.


Ok, time for you to be Virtual CEO for the day. Which of the four examples would you want to happen in the business you are running?

To me, Example #1 helps fuel future growth, because there are more customers willing to purchase next year. Example #2 is very, very hard to accomplish, but again, fuels future growth by yielding more customers for subsequent years. Example #3 is risky. Short-term growth that comes at the expense of growing loyal customers is dangerous. Example #4 might be the hardest to accomplish.