Selling products online today is a given. In fact, I would go so far as to say it is a prerequisite for launching or selling any product in today’s market. If your product is not online in some way, shape or form, your company is simply not in the game.
Of the many different ways to get started in ecommerce the one we place 1st in our clients strategy is getting their own site up and running and beginning the process of interacting face to face with their customers. It is very common for clients to want to go big right out of the gate. After all, they have put so much time, money, energy, sweat, tears and more into the making of their product, moving slow and methodical doesn’t always sound sexy as they are more than ready to hit the big time. No matter how quickly they want to get rolling our recommendation is always not to skip this key step.
Below are the 4 reasons we suggest getting your own site up and running first:
- Face time with your customers: The fastest way to learn the maximum pros and cons of your product is to sell it yourself and have no one between your company and the customer. Understanding your product inside and out before you take it to mass is critical to your companies overall success.
- Establish price: Establishing your product's pricing strategy is key to your long-term strategy. Although many factors go into pricing your product, typically your company’s website will set the price that all other retailers will look to when establishing their price. (click here, if you need help establishing your product's pricing).
- Product and company information: Your website will act as the main go to place for both wholesalers and consumers wanting to know more about your product and company.
- Work out the kinks: Before you take your product to the main stage in mass retail or on Amazon you must first work out all the kinks in a more personal setting. Selling one or two units per day on your own site will allow you to move through your initial buy of inventory and then make any necessary alterations to the product before placing your second order. You certainly don’t want to sell 40,000 products on Amazon only to find there is a fundamental issue with your item.
Case study: We have a client who sells a dental product. Prior to taking this product to mass retail it was sold on it’s own website and Doctor to patient in the dentist office. Although we had huge interest from Bed Bath and Beyond, Costco and HSN the owners noticed a flaw in the floss that was being used. This flaw caused the floss to break quickly and was causing some customer issues. Because they had started small these issues were researched and resolved resulting in a design change. The product now being sold in Costco and on HSN is better as a result of the identification of this issue. Had they bypassed the first steps this issue would have been caught long after 100’s of units had already been sold jeopardizing future relationships with these retailers and consumers, not to mention virtually killing their "Customer Lifetime Value".