Travis Romine suggests ways to set your business apart and raise the barriers to entry, and make it harder for competitors to copy you
This post is by Travis Romine, an ecommerce growth consultant at Sharp Commerce and previous owner of ParadiseFibers.com. He consults for online retailers throughout the US on building high performance ecommerce businesses, growth strategy and digital marketing.
Why would someone buy from you rather than your competition?
That’s an incredibly tough question even for some of the veteran online retailers that I review.
If you’re new to ecommerce, make sure you determine your differentiator before lifting a finger on your website. Doing this will help keep your business model relevant regardless of marketplace trends and Google algorithm changes.
It’s no coincidence that my most successful clients, who are doing over $25 million a year, all have a solid differentiator.
Escape the confines of your office, hear from experts and network with fellow retailers – there’s no better way to grow your ecommerce IQ
When you have an online business it’s easy to spend all day staring at a computer screen, devoid of real human contact, especially if you work alone. You know there’s events out there, but attending is a big step when you have a growing business taking up all your time.
It does take time and effort to attend a conference, there’s no denying that. But nothing can beat learning and interacting in person. A webinar, for example, can’t replace the experience of hearing from a range of experts in a room full of like-minded people, who you have the opportunity to network with face-to-face.
Industries like blogging and cyber security, which could not be more rooted in the online world, have huge and successful conferences with tens of thousands of people attending. Conferences are just as valuable to businesses who sell through Amazon, eBay and their own online stores.
That’s where Retail Global comes in. Now in its third year, it gives sellers a chance to learn, network and interact with industry experts and fellow sellers. It provides two dedicated tracks for marketplace sellers alongside keynote speeches, panel discussions, intensive workshops and even a gala pool party.
Finding, fixing and “flipping” web-based businesses can be a profitable strategy, says Victoria Duff. Here’s how the professionals do it.
This post is by Victoria Duff, a web business mergers and acquisitions broker with WebPropertyInvestor.com. Victoria works with both institutional and individual buyers and sellers of established and profitable online businesses, including ecommerce, SaaS providers and blogs.
My job, brokering web-businesses at WebPropertyInvestor.com, means I work with a lot of website flippers. I sell them small web businesses and I broker the sale of their completed projects – hopefully, large and profitable ones.
I see a fairly even split between the number of professional flippers looking for their next projects and the inexperienced wannabes who have been lured by tales of huge profits. The number of wannabe website flippers grows yearly. Most have no practical experience in flipping of any kind and need some detailed advice – which is why I am writing this article.
Take your partner by the hand, and do-si-do your way through Matt’s advice on building sales using social media and blogging
Have a question for us? Send it to email@example.com. Readers’ Questions are in partnership with Emanaged and Online Seller Consulting.
I’m in need of some advice. I sell vintage cowboy boots, traditionally on eBay, but I’m now interested in selling them on Facebook, Instagram, any other similar social selling sites you might know of, and my own ecom site which is due to launch in the next month.
[a] What multichannel listing software will allow me to sell on Facebook and Instagram, as well as pushing the listings to eBay and to my ecom site? I have about 4,000 Facebook followers on my biz page but rarely any sales there.
[b] Is it best to start a blog attached to my ecom site, or use an independent hosting site for a blog?
— Tracy, Minneapolis, MN
Marketplaces are hyper-competitive and ultra-demanding. Is it time to protect your business by building your own independent brand?
There’s no question that marketplaces like Amazon and eBay are powerful sales machines. Offer the right products at the right price, while keeping your service levels high, and the orders will roll in.
But competition is always fierce. Buyers don’t know who you are, so they will trust the marketplace to guide them to the best seller each time they make a purchase. That usually means whoever happens to be the cheapest. The marketplaces don’t play favorites.
Nor do they look after you. If you falter and stumble, they don’t pick you up and dust you down – they kick you out. It doesn’t take many complaints from their customers – the buyers – for you to become persona non grata.
What’s an online seller to do? How can you rise above the endless mass of competing sellers, all fighting to reach the top? The only way is to strike out on your own. Build a real, recognizable brand. Sell through your own online store. Build your own social media following. Unlike your marketplace selling accounts, those things really belong to you. They can’t be taken away easily, and they are a powerful asset to build your business on.
In this post I’ll walk you through the Online Stores & Social Media category of the Web Retailer directory. It covers store platforms, tools for creating Facebook stores, tools for feeding existing listings through to social networks, and connector apps between marketplaces and store platforms.