Creating a successful online business

Last month I attended a Glasgow Chamber of Commerce “Glasgow Talks” presentation by the former managing director of amazon.com in the UK, Glaswegian Brian McBride. I’ve finally found time to look at the notes I made.

Brian reflected on his career in business, and offered thoughts on leadership.

During the Q & A following Brian’s fascinating talk, debate amongst attendees inevitably turned  to the decline of the High Street, and how to create a successful online business.

Some great tips emerged:

  • Don’t be scared of playing with pricing to attract customers, even if it means offering a loss leader.
  • Make available as wide a selection as possible, at as competitive a price as possible.
  • Your website has to be transactional, and ideally should support transactions made via mobile devices.
  • “Classic” kind of products may yield great sales/higher margins than you think.
  • Your website has to be search engine optimised. If your site isn’t on the first page of a Google search result for the name of your business, or one of your principal products – then you’re in trouble.
  • If you haven’t yet read The Long Tail by Chris Anderson – then read it.
  • Don’t forget your legal obligations, not least the E-Commerce Regulations.

PS a short video about the event is here. It’s worth watching, if only to check out the really hunky guy who appears around 2:27.

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