Where Should I Sell My Products Online?

Online E-Commerce Marketplaces - Amazon, Ebay, More

Perhaps one of the biggest questions new Sellers face is this:

Where Should I Sell My Products?

Being successful with e-commerce includes a number of critical elements but there are a few points that are vital in insuring eventual success.

1.  Price
2.  Visibility
3.  Traffic

You have several options when it comes to selling online but let’s start with a few of the most obvious ones.

Mass Marketplaces

Mass marketplaces would include sites such as Amazon.Com and Buy.Com.  These are large retail sites that attract millions of qualified buyers.  As a result, your traffic problem is covered.   However, gaining good visibility and a competitive price is the challenge here.   These marketplaces typically charge a substantial commission rate per sale as well.

Auction Sites

Ebay is still the most well-known auction sites.  Ebay does draw significant traffic and visibility.  Price matters are most people shopping on Ebay are looking for a deal that is better than retail.

Regional Lists and Sites

If you’re willing to brave the risk of fraud and potentially delivering to a customer in person, don’t forget local or regional lists such as CraigsList.Org.   I recently listed my used car on Craigslist and it sold in under an hour.   This is a great place to potentially unload used or used/returned goods.

Your Own, Branded Site

When you’ve chosen a name for your e-commerce company, build your own site and store.   It doesn’t have to be incredibly robust but you definitely need a presence where potential customers can find out more information on your company, background, and contact information.  An added plus to selling on your own site is that you immediately begin building your dedicated customer base and the commission on the sale is much less than traditional online marketplaces.

Ultimately, every e-business person will have their own approach to selling online and you have to choose which marketplaces work best for you.  The main focus is to get your products and brand out so that others can find them.

For Discussion:

What has your experience been with choosing a place to sell online?  Do you have any other suggestions?

 

Customer Service: Communication Matters

Customer Service Survey
Wanna Boost Your Customer Service?

After saving money for years, we finally started the process of building a swimming pool at our home.  To say we are excited would be an understatement.

We opted to use a reputable pool company and their customer service seemed warm and friendly.  As we started the job we received an 11-page document called “What To Expect During the Construction of Your Pool”.  It detailed the steps of each process and what our expectations were and what we could expect from the pool company.

On the first page it reads “While you are under construction, we endeavor to call or contact you EVERY DAY.”

Wow, that’s exciting.  I was really pumped to read this .. until we realized that this was over-promised and under-delivered.

When Things Go Wrong:

Now that we’re 6-7 weeks into the process, I think we’ve actually been contacted maybe 4-5 times total with updates.

Over the past week, the construction process hit a snag and our back yard construction zone became a literal ghost town.  Day after day of beautiful weather and not a worker in sight.  To make matters worse, there were no updates.  No calls.  No emails.  (well, let’s say no uninitiated emails).

I finally complained and got the communication I needed.  The company apologized for the lack of communication and explained that their tile guy was backed up and it would be several more days before he was able to get to us.  Since nothing could be done until the tile guy finished his work, we were in a holding pattern.

Although I was disappointed, this update satisfied me and relieved some of the stress and anxiety I was feeling as a customer.

Lesson Learned:

Lesson learned?  Keep your customers in the loop.  Over-communicate.  Leave nothing to presumption.  Even if your news is not the best of news – keeping in contact with your customers and informing them of this makes a huge difference.

As I told the construction manager, “I can handle the bad news – what I can’t handle is no news at all”.

The Challenge:

For you to be successful in your e-business, customer service has to be a priority.  Although it’s true that the low price often wins in online comparison shopping, customer service will ultimately be the feature that breaks the tie when prices are close.  Whether it’s an update on a backordered product or a detailed, personal explanation of how an issue was resolved, communicate with your customers.  Build a relationship with them and let you know that they matter.

For Discussion:

What are some of your best customer service practices?

 

Mid-Year E-Commerce Checkup Webinar

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 2:00pmET/11:00amPT

ChannelAdvisor.Com is hosting a mid-year E-commerce Checkup Webinar.

Scot Wingo, CEO of ChannelAdvisor, as he shares his thoughts on the direction of the e-commerce space and offers 10 tips that retailers need to succeed this year. More specifically, Wingo will address:

  • Emerging trends in the online retail industry
  • Important industry changes for Google, Amazon and eBay
  • Consumer behavior predictions for Q3 and Q4
  • Best practices to drive holiday sales, and more

Register Here.

Did you attend?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!