We’ve previously talked about the advantages of cloud-based software systems. As well as using digital tools for data storage, and to run software platforms used to manage your business, the internet is an integral part of maintaining a strong presence in the marketplace – especially when selling online.
Having an online presence, or portal, for your business is pretty much expected these days. At the least, it’s a gateway for your customers to find you, and to get to know your product, whether it be service based or engaged in retail product sales.
If you run a retail based business, then an online presence is integral for opening up additional channels to sell your products.
There are various platforms that you can use, apart from your website, to get your products out there. The most familiar are eBay and Amazon, although there are others, and you don’t have to limit yourself to just one platform. By using multiple online outlets, you have the opportunity to expand your customer base – some people like to use big, well-known sites such as eBay or Amazon, others might prefer smaller, independent or niche outlets.
Not all options suit every type of business, or every target market, so research the options to discover which ones are the best fit for your business.
Also be aware of the costs involved; not just in setting up a shop within their space (renting a virtual shopfront, so to speak), but also their policies on sales, the payment options they support, regional restrictions, shipping, taxes, etc.
The biggest positive aspects of utilising established online marketplaces are their large, existing customer bases, and their in-built advertising, marketing and search features. The costs, however, can vary. Some will charge monthly fees, some will take a cut of your sales, so make sure you are fully aware of what it will cost you to operate within their marketplace. There may also be limitations on what you can customise in terms of branding – whilst you gain in general reach, you do risk losing the ability to get your ‘brand’ out there.
Some tips for effective selling online in marketplaces:
- Be Active – Your ability to fully customise your online shop may be limited, but take every opportunity to connect with your customers. Respond promptly to queries and thank people for their purchase, or interest.
- Showcase your product – Presentation is important. and online, making a strong visual impact is key. So take really good photos and provide different point of views shots and angles.
- Stay on top of your stock – Know exactly what you’ve got in stock and make sure your listings reflect this. Don’t frustrate your customers by offering an item you can’t deliver. There are inventory management add-ons you can use, which are particularly helpful if you sell through multiple outlets.
Having an online presence can be a great way to boost your sales and your products. Do it right, and it help your business grow and potentially offer new opportunities.
If you’d like to discuss low cost options for getting your presence felt, please get in touch for an obligation free chat.