Startup sales – table of contents:
One of the basic sales methods is through a traditional stationary store. The interaction with the salesperson, tangible products or the possibility to make an immediate purchase – all these are the main advantages of this channel, which continue to effectively motivate buyers to shop this way.
A key aspect influencing final purchasing decisions is the experience customers gain throughout the process. Therefore, the opportunity to touch a product, try it on or get some advice from salespeople are core values for consumers, which assure them that they have made the right decision. As a result, selling traditionally, brings customers closer to the product and builds trust in the brand as a whole.
This solution also brings all sorts of benefits to the companies that decide to use this channel. The main one is the opportunity to dominate the local market in a specific industry. Selling in a traditional way, due to the numerous obstacles to starting a business in particular markets, involves less competition than, for example, in the case of online sales. It also allows sellers to identify gaps in the market faster and gives them a chance to develop particular niches.
However, it is important to keep in mind that, despite all its benefits, selling stationary requires investing a lot of money, especially at the beginning, when we want to get the business off the ground. At the same time, the success of stationary stores greatly depends on the right choice of location, a high-quality product assortment, as well as professional staff that will provide the best shopping experience.
With the increasing virtualization, it has become inevitable to move some sales to the Internet, where customers, with just a few clicks, can purchase products from all over the world, no matter where they are.
The virtual market has no barriers, which greatly increases the number of competitors. The multitude of available online stores makes it extremely difficult to stand out from rivals, especially without a good knowledge of e-marketing.
Also, finding a niche becomes almost impossible. So, on the one hand, the Internet gives you a chance to reach numerous customers that would be unreachable on such a scale only through physical sales, and on the other hand, it makes it difficult to break into the market.
Analyzing consumers’ opinions, the main advantages of this sales channel are convenience, flexibility and comfort. Online shopping requires minimal involvement of the customer in the entire process and eliminates the need to leave home. In this way, consumers gain valuable time, which they no longer need to spend on unnecessary activities, such as driving to the given store.
At the same time, online stores make it easier and faster to compare offers from various suppliers, including the foreign ones. As a result, making rational purchasing decisions becomes even easier. Comparison shopping engines (CSE) are also a big convenience for buyers.
The advantages of this sales channel also apply to the sellers who decide to use it. The main benefits include a substantial reduction of the costs involved in starting and running a business, which is especially important for startups that often do not have much money at the beginning.
Online stores do not need a large staff or a physical location requiring regular rent payments. It also becomes possible to move away from investing in large quantities of goods. Instead, a lot of online retailers choose dropshipping, which means they don’t even have to worry about product management or the shipping process.
However, to make an online store bring the expected benefits, it is necessary to take the right, thoughtful steps. Apart from the customized offer, the store must be properly tailored to customers’ preferences. An easy-to-use website reinforces positive feelings about the brand as a whole, and motivates customers to buy more often.
When starting to sell online, companies should take care of its market positioning. An extremely important aspect are the product descriptions and their presentation. At this stage, it is worth investing, for example, in multimedia presentations of products, which, on the one hand, will show their unique features more accurately, and on the other hand, will ensure a better interaction with the customer.
Thus, the online store also takes on the role of a tool to boost the buyer’s confidence in the purchase process. With the help of the Internet, buyers get a chance to learn more about a particular brand and instantly compare it with other offers available on the market. In addition, the communication between the two parties is easier.
In the business world, more and more often we hear that marketplaces are the future of ecommerce. Therefore, a large number of companies choose to use this additional sales channel, increasing their chance of reaching wider audiences.
Marketplaces are based on online sales, but, unlike individual online stores, almost everyone can put their goods there. They bring together a wide range of products from various sellers, becoming a valuable link between them and buyers.
This sales channel closely cooperates with individual online stores using the existing infrastructure. The marketplace is responsible for presenting the customer with a detailed offer of virtual stores, and then redirecting them to the site of the chosen retailers. As a result, the entire shopping process is more efficient, improving the overall customer satisfaction.
Depending on the specifics of each marketplace, the presented products and the market segment, sellers are subject to various regulations. There are both free and paid platforms of this kind, and the goods sold on them may be intended for specific industries or mass audiences. The most basic ones resemble bulletin boards.
Advanced marketplaces offer a more structured buying process, where two parties to the transaction must meet certain conditions. They also usually have integrated payment systems or shipment tracking tools. Most of the operations are thus automated, which makes it easier and safer to sell on a large scale.
Listing products on the marketplace is a good solution even if the company already has its own online store as it gives access to a network of new customers. What is more, order processing is a lot easier. Setting up an online marketplace business does not require investing a lot of money.
As a result, it is a good starting point for many companies. The organization and automation of the whole process, low costs, as well as getting rid of the responsibility for logistics makes this sales channel eagerly chosen by startups or companies that do not yet have a sufficiently strong position in the market.
The demands of today’s customers are constantly growing, and the ability to meet their needs is becoming an essential element to beat the competition. From the very first days on the market, company founders have to live up to the consumer expectations, also when choosing individual sales channels.
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