1. Who are their clients?
Presumably some of them are exactly the very same kinds of folks who do business with you. But could they also open up a new market for you? Grandparents? The pink dollar? Curated gift ideas? Through their site, could you market to clients in different countries on special occasions which don’t apply in your own country? If you normally deal with B2C clients, a merchant with many corporate customers may provide you a slice of the profitable B2B industry. Examine where you found themif you are not advertising or advertisements in that area, it might be a new prospect. Ask how they market themselves. It will give you lots of suggestions to try out a variant of what they’re doing, possibly on a smaller scale.
2. How do they market you?
Do they have newsletters, Twitter, facebook, Pinterest or other social networking areas featuring the latest suppliers? Can they run competitions? Discover how much clients contact the customer support team to learn more about the services and products. You could consider treating their employees to a familiarisation with your goods and service so they may be completely across it when clients query about your services or products. If they are big enough, you might need to do this on a regular basis as you might only have to offer a sample or”famil” after (in a while) with a family-run site.
3. How can they charge you to be contained on their site?
Some companies need upfront payment or government fee that you join and then may charge a commission on sales. Others only charge a commission that may vary from 10% to 30% or more. Before you register, grab your calculator and subtract that commission from your gain and then compute a further reduction of say, 25%. Would you still make a profit if they ask you to offer a fantastic deal? Check if you must pay to get involved in any promotions, too.
4. How do you best maximise the supply?
Do they vet each and every item? How easy is it for you to add new products as they come available or perhaps upgrade the images? Do they have a big name in the business which would provide you leverage to approach other vendors? Can they organise events? Workshops? Can you offer to offer any product if they exhibit in expos? What about prizes and handing out your own brochures? How much protection do they get from the media? Put your hand up for allowing journalists write about their most recent product/service. Be a fantastic supplier and inform them about media opportunities also.
5. Exclusivity (or not) as a provider
Can anyone provide your kind of product or are you going to get exclusive coverage? You might see a class you could belong in and realise you are the only one of their kind. That is great — as long as they are large enough or specialised enough to send you sales. Is the exclusivity two-way? Can they frown on you linking anyone of a similar kind?
6. Exclusivity (or not) by area
Should they provide exclusivity by place, check first if that is by suburb, city, country, region or nation. Should you sell, say cupcakes on the internet on the east shore, you might not mind if they signify cupcake bakeries on the west shore. What if you get larger? How do they decide whether it’s possible to distribute in new territories? Bear in mind that if you are a solo operator, you might be knocked out with a national player with a bigger standing.
7. Sales promotions
With the widespread use of daily bargains’ sites by clients, many online retailers that represent numerous providers, now hold similar-style deals. Have you got to join in? Ask what happens if you do not. Can your company be penalised at all? I failed to offer you a daily deal offer during Valentine’s Day — my main gift occasion of this year — for a single broker and has been excluded from the Valentine’s Day gift ideas. Since my products are created for parents and couples, and can be, and are, sent globally, I was quite unhappy to hear that my products were excluded because they”were not right” for Valentine’s Day. So my earnings this year from that merchant were a third of what they were last year consequently.
What have you learnt from distributing your products through another online retailer?