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Questions & Answers

Posted by Ryan Mulligan on 2014-04-21 11:29:25
Title: There are so many different online stores available out there such as Ebay store, Facebook store, Sh...
Category: Marketing

There are so many different online stores available out there such as Ebay store, Facebook store, Shopify etc. Which ones should be used to sell and market your new business?

Answer:

Sunil Godse
2014-04-23 16:21:50

There are advantages and disadvantages to using each of the different online stores you mention. What you have to do is ask a number of questions:

  1. What product are you looking to sell which will maximize its potential on the online store?

  2. How crowded is the online store for your product?

  3. Do you need any branding around the product that you want people to see?

  4. Do you need to have an online storefront to showcase your products?

  5. Are your potential target customers friends and family?

  6. What are your short-term and long-term goals?

  7. Do you have enough inventory to supply orders?

  8. Is your price point reasonable for the online shop?

  9. Do your margins support the going rate for your product?

Ebay and/or Amazon

If you are looking to sell your product on popular online shopping sites such as Ebay or Amazon, make sure they appeal to a large audience as the product needs to be searchable. Products that target a small niche group are not effective on these sites. Also recognize that you will not get any branding opportunities or any name recognition from posting a product on the larger online stores. Although you have a lot of potential customers on these sites, you will also have to contend with a lot of competitive products. You need to have pricing and a description that “speak” to the customer. Ebay had a plug-in for Facebook, which give you an excellent opportunity to drive friends and family to Ebay for the sale if you are looking to include them as a part of a larger potential customer base. If not, then stick to Ebay for a more general outreach, or Facebook if starting with friends and family. Ebay and Amazon are much better for one time or infrequent sales with a reduced marketing effort.

Shopify

Shopify is an excellent online shopping tool if you need to have branding and pictures surrounding your product. The challenge here is that you will need to drive people to the site to buy, which takes a lot of time and effort, and there is an additional cost to use it. An online store may show a more professional look, which is the impression you may need to impart, especially if you are looking to generate revenues on a consistent basis by continually selling product(s) over time.

Facebook Store

This leverages your existing and potential contact list that you have built (and will be building) via your Facebook presence. You can attach some branding around it as well. Your friends and family contacts are also able to help in reaching out to their contacts to drive people to your Facebook store. But you are really limited to your current and potential network. Similar to Shopify, you still need to reach out to others to drive them to the Facebook page to buy. And don’t forget, not everyone in your network prefers to buy on Facebook. The message you send as a business may not be quite like the one you send with a Shopify account.

Margins

When dealing with any of the above, make sure you take into account the fees involved as these will eat into your potential profit margin, leaving you with less money in your personal or business account after the sale. This means that you will have to sell a lot more to make the same amount of money at the end of the day/month/year. Simply raising the price of the product may also make the item too expensive to buy, which could result in lower sales overall. So be careful.

Other online stores

Investigate what type of products they sell online and what the fees are. Certainly, you can sell you product using multiple online stores. You just need to keep a track of each of the online stores. Make sure you budget your time wisely as spreading yourself too thin is not great, and you don’t want to direct your network to too many places unless there are specific disparate groups that you are marketing to.

Good luck!

Sunil Godse, President, Radical Solutions Group