When it comes to taking your business online Fiestafy recommends to start simple, learn, adapt and continuously progress.
“Many businesses build complex tools or eCommerce stores without validating whether customers want what they are offering online, and secondly, whether they can even get customers into their store,” says Fiestafy founder and chief events officer Kevin Jochelson.
Founded in 2013, Sydney-based startup Fiestafy is a multilingual search engine for major events, allowing travellers and locals to find and book tickets for festivals, concerts and sporting fixtures anywhere in the world.
“What makes us different to typical businesses is that we often use technology to solve problems with models that have never been created before,” says Jochelson, who recommends thinking like a startup to ensure you get the best from your online strategy.
“In startups you usually break your businesses down into assumptions, such as ‘How can I make my website work better for me online?’ Regardless, your first assumption should be ‘Why do I need to be online?’” says Jochelson.
“Then iterate from there based on what your customers need – not what you think they need.”
Why do you need to be online?
“Our goal is to work through as many assumptions as possible regarding our ideas before we even consider utilising technology to solve the problem,” says Jochelson.
So before you start aiming to join the ranks of Australia’s top 20 online retailers, you need to first confirm whether you need to be online in the first place, and the reasons for this decision, he says.
“Most likely you’re trying to get more customers. If that’s the case, ask yourself: ‘What can I do to validate that an online strategy will get me more customers?’”
For example, Fiestafy’s first assumption was that people struggle to find major events while travelling.
“I didn’t build a website, but used a paper and pen and surveyed a significant amount of university students who loved travelling and attending events. The first thing to realise with this assumption is that it doesn’t mention a website.”
Make analytics your friend
Increasingly, small businesses are using big data to understand their customers and make improvements to their offering. And with many sites offering analytics to assess your online presence, Jochelson says you’ll need to be somewhat scientific in order to validate your business.
“We use a variety of analytics tools to assess our user experience and continuously change our site based on how users interact with it. We spent several months sitting with entertainment companies sketching out how they would use our site before a single line of code was written.
“Further, to assess what channels your customers are coming from you can simply ask when they call or buy from you, and how they found out about you – then document this. Or if you already have a website, it’s never too late to add tools like Google Analytics,” says Jochelson.
Start simple, learn, adapt and continuously progress – the internet is filled with free tools so don’t feel you need to reinvent the wheel, he says. Your customers will love you for it and your business will reap the benefits.