Seems like if you’re in the business of selling something online nowadays you’re not going to get much traffic or make many sales without paying somebody. I recently read in a study that 56% of consumers go to Amazon first if they’re shopping online and 51% check amazon AFTER they’ve found something on another site!! So what that means is, if your competition is on Amazon and their shipping or price is better, which is almost guaranteed since Amazon is a race to the bottom of price+shipping, then there’s basically 100% chance they’re not going to buy from you. So then it’s decided right!?!
You’ve GOT TO BE ON AMAZON!!… Well, maybe, do the math… Can you be profitable on Amazon? Not everyone can be. Once you calculate your cost of goods, packaging, shipping, fees, plus the only way you’ll even show up as a listing is with the best price with shipping… It may not work for your business model.
If you don’t have money, but you’ve got time and have some knowledge then there’s still a chance you can get some organic listings on Google, but that really depends on your product, your competition, your site and quite a few other variables, but it’s still possible. Chances are they’ll still price-check your products on Amazon, so hopefully you’ve got something novel and/or unique, because if you’re drop-shipping widgets, trust me there’s a billion people you’re going to compete with.
If you don’t have time, but you’ve got money. You can quickly setup a google Adwords account and start paying for traffic. Again there are no guarantees and you can still expect 51% of your site visitors to shop around and look elsewhere for a better deal on your products.
Much the same deal as Google, if you can’t optimize your site over time, you can always pay for traffic. In my experience Bing brings a lot less traffic than google currently does, but their visits do tend to be a bit longer. Conversion rates are definitely lower than google, at least on the sites I’ve worked on.
If you have room in your margins to offer other people to market and sell your products through affiliate marketing, it may be worth a shot. However, you need to keep in mind that there are some up front costs and management that needs to be considered before going in. If it’s online affiliate marketing you’ll want to make sure you have a site that can handle affiliate coupon codes or tracking as well as a system that tracks affiliate sales and payouts and internal policies and management to deal with disputes and paying affiliates.
Sure there are other ways and more are popping up everyday from Social media, to brand influencers to good old fashion cold-calling.
I always think the best approach is to have or make something that nobody else has, but that’s not always practical or possible, for other cases expect to spend some marketing dollars until your brand and products can speak for themselves.
What’s your marketing plan? Do you sell on Amazon? How much do you have to pay the man for sales? What’s your niche and what works best for your business? I’m curious, let me know in he comments below.
eCommerce Usability Optimization Expert
PNW Native, Outdoor Enthusiast and Overlander.