Taking an Existing Business Online
What is the best part about an online business
Maximizing supplier relationships
- Existing retailers can use their real-world status to get product databases and images from suppliers. For some reason, vendors tend to be stingy with product data. Manufacturers and wholesalers can give you additional content for your store, too. Just ask for permission to reuse articles or sell sheets, PDFs, owner's manuals, buyer's guides, or anything else that makes your store better.
- Pick your suppliers' brains from time to time to keep up on industry trends. Suppliers have a much broader view of the market than any one retailer, and they can give information on what's selling elsewhere with new product ideas you might not notice in your local market.
- Encourage your suppliers to protect their existing customers by increasing the barriers to entry for new competition. Suggest that they have large initial orders or higher minimum orders or require a physical storefront as a condition for buying wholesale.
- Ask your suppliers for a link from their Web site to your Yahoo! Store. When you do hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars a year in business with a company, it's really easy to get a link from its site to yours. Don't be afraid to ask for a link and hound the company as much as you can until you get that link. Links from manufacturers and other suppliers really give you a leg up on the competition because they help your search engine rankings. You'll also get traffic and sales from these links. When potential customers are on the manufacturer's Web site, they're looking to buy, and you want to be one of those 10 or 15 stores with a link. If you don't ask, you don't get (a link), so ask!
Selling locally while shipping globally
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