My website is finally online, ready for action, and an improved site is already in planning. The idea behind the site came from me needing a vacuum cleaner, and my reservations of ordering online based on possible warranty claims, as I am comically experiencing now with a flash drive I bought online from Johannesburg (found the model I was looking for there), yet the thing is faulty. Do I send back a R180 flash drive at R30 postage? Suppose so
Back to my site. That is where the idea came from, and i proceeded to develop it to the best of my acquired skills the past year. I thoroughly believe in the service based on the mere fact that its bluddy practical and I wish a service like this existed.
Yet, I honestly have no clue how to market it It will only work for the consumer if they think its practical and then, if they think its practical, the suppliers/businesses think its practical. In other words, to show consumers what it offers them it needs businesses, and to show businesses about traffic, it needs consumers (maybe I'm over thinking this)
Hence, how do I market this?
What is it you ask? The three word description I can best come up with is "Product-Business Directory". YES! Another business directory...like there ain't enough of those around. The problem I found with business indexes and the internet is that they don't save me time or help me find what I am looking for, not virtually anyway.
Firstly there is a ton of business directories and some local businesses might be listed on indexes you only find on page 10 of the Google results page. Also, like another prominent one that gives you a book, they don't list hardly the number of businesses online as in their book, albeit their strength is in the book which will be around for the next 100 years at least I suspect.
My service saves you the time by turning the searching process around. Traditional business indexes lets you find the business, then the products - you visit the business to find the product. My website (as primitive and badly designed as it might be) lets you find the product, the then business - you find the product that is sold by the business, the visit the business to buy the product.
In other words, you are looking for a 32 inch LCD TV, you go to my website, you go to TV Sets, filter the listing to a price range, LCD, and your town/city. You are presented with a list of all the LCD TV Sets available in your town. You can also see how the businesses are rated by other users on service, see comments. You can compare up to three different models.
And once you decided which TV set, or have a short list, you can see which businesses sells that specific model - a product is uploaded by a business. By the way, you can even see if they have stock or not. You can see their profile with location and contact details. You can contact them if you like just to ensure they do have stock, hell, even make an EFT payment so you basically just pick up the TV set during lunch. Its like kalahari or Take2, only its not online shopping, its in your town.
So how do I market something where the main service it supplies its users is based on the participation of other businesses, and the participation of the businesses is based on the usage of consumers?
To date my two marketing schemes are: Direct marketing pilot project, i.e. Market in my town of Port Elizabeth. And social networks.
Any ideas and advice is greatly appreciated.