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Thread: Honestly I have no idea how to market this

  1. #1
    Full Member Inprogress's Avatar
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    Honestly I have no idea how to market this

    Hello there.

    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.

  2. #2
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    At the risk of sounding silly - What sort of budget do you have for marketing?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Full Member Inprogress's Avatar
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    No idea. Honestly. I still struggle to explain what this service is. As for marketing it, I don't have a budget for this, I am really flying by the seat of my pants, gun-ho with idiocy.

    And I can't really think about a budget since I can't figure out an approach to advertise it. Do I tell the consumer about the platform available to them, yet their is no content, or do I tell the business owner about the platform for them and their customer, yet there is site traffic.

    In my young inexperienced mind, word-of-mouth is about my best option. If I can get 10 businesses to register and upload their products in PE, then at least the advantages of the service can be clearly seen by the consumer, then they can spread the word.

    I'm clueless.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    So a TV advertising campaign is out, then

    There isn't much sense in trying to get consumers to an empty site. What you need to target at the moment is businesses to list. Once you've got a few onboard it'll get easier, but those first ones are probably going to take a lot of hard, focused, frustrating and massively inefficient work.
    Quote Originally Posted by Inprogress View Post
    If I can get 10 businesses to register and upload their products in PE...
    I'd suggest that would be a good start.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inprogress View Post
    I still struggle to explain what this service is.
    In my opinion (for what it's worth) this is where you should be heading:
    For businesses it's online advertising for Rx per month with a 3 month free trial.
    For the consumer, it's an online comparison shopping service.
    Last edited by Dave A; 04-Oct-10 at 01:25 PM.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Full Member G Robin's Avatar
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    Do you have a plan?

    Hi
    I don't understand what you mean about your product and seem to doubt about it...

    You have a idea,but now the idea don't have efficient structure...set yourself up a plan and see where you can improve....

    Thanks Gino

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    Email problem
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    Hi

    How do you intent on generating revenues from your site?

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    Full Member Inprogress's Avatar
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    hey minipreneur. The initial idea of revenue was by subscriptions of businesses. A business must be registered and subscribed in order to upload their products (I have a 3 month free trial for businesses). And recently I thought about advertising that might come into play. If...when I have a lot of traffic, then advertising can come into play. The monthly or yearly subscription rates was mainly intended to firstly pay for hosting (I suspect if the site gets big, I will have to move over to a dedicated server or maybe cloud hosting), and obviously cover other overheads, one of which is me

    At the moment I am offering it to businesses for free for a year (those I speak to personally) however am spending time trying to incorporate a new menu system (on the left) since I need to add more product categories and the current menu will only annoy visitors.

    You have any ideas? It seems I might not have placed enough emphasis on the business owners if you ask me about revenue generation. I do have a menu item about subscription rates. The trial badge also links to the subscription rates....no wait, just checked, it doesn't...jeapers. Need to go and change that quickly.

    But honestly, any ideas?

    Thanks for the interest

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    To throw a spanner in the works:

    My first choice for local online shopping is Bid Or Buy and Ebay for international shopping. I can buy and sell, use my credit card, EFT, Paypal and all sorts of other mechanisms. I rate my buyers & sellers and they rate me. I can ban buyers, make personal offers and even ask them questions. I can auction products, sell them at a specific price, starting on a specific date, ending on another date and automatically re-list.

    Now the question is this:
    How are you going to get me to use your site to do something that I can do very efficiently already?

    I am not attacking you - all I am saying is that there are already very sophisticated websites that do what you are planning to do.
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

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  14. #9
    Full Member Inprogress's Avatar
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    My website isn't about online shopping. My website is about finding products that are sold offline, online...if you will. Aisle five is a business directory that takes it a step further and turns the process around. Usually when you are looking for product you find the businesses and go look for the product, the type of products that you don't really want to buy online or that don't lend themselves to being sold online, and you are looking for that product right there in your town.

    When you look for a product at the moment you have two choices: Online shopping, or a business directory (either online or offline). With a business directory you are left with business names and numbers and addresses. Its up to you to either phone them, email them, or visit them to establish product availability, price ranges and service quality.

    However, with Aisle five you will find the products that are supplied by the shops in your town listed online. Not for sale online (online shopping cart I mean), merely businesses showing you what they have in stock at what price. You can then narrow down that list to a price range, a brand, you name it. You the business owner of Port Elizabeth is allowing your customers to roam your shop floor (referring to your actual physical business premises), without them being in your shop.

    Lets say you are looking for a motorcycle tyre. Or a solar geyser. Or a water tank. Or a new ladder. How bout some roof insulation. On Aisle five you can see exactly who stocks it, what brands they stock, how their prices compare, and what people are saying about their service, and in cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town, which of those shops are the closest to you.

    That is what Aisle five is. I too buy online, have before, but I don't feel comfortable buying a 40 inch LED tv online, or a new door for my house, or a wheel barrow, or a washing machine. Nor am I interested in buying a solar geyser from an website that has its premises in Bloemfontein and me living in Mosselbay.

    Aisle five is the go between of offline shopping, and online shopping. Aisle five is location based, physical location.

    Man, me and my many words. I sometimes get carried away when explaining something. Well adrainh, there you are, that is what Aisle five is, I really hope you understand the concept (not because of you, but because of my explanation skills ). Its won't be for everyone, especially someone like you who sell their products online all ready, which might be due to the products lending themselves to be sold online.

    All the best mate.

    Quote Originally Posted by adrianh View Post
    To throw a spanner in the works:

    My first choice for local online shopping is Bid Or Buy and Ebay for international shopping. I can buy and sell, use my credit card, EFT, Paypal and all sorts of other mechanisms. I rate my buyers & sellers and they rate me. I can ban buyers, make personal offers and even ask them questions. I can auction products, sell them at a specific price, starting on a specific date, ending on another date and automatically re-list.

    Now the question is this:
    How are you going to get me to use your site to do something that I can do very efficiently already?

    I am not attacking you - all I am saying is that there are already very sophisticated websites that do what you are planning to do.

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    I get what you are trying to do. The main aim of any retail business is to increase sales. Why would any company go to the trouble of placing their items online in a catalog that put them in direct competition with similar local companies.

    Look, if I were running a retail shop I wouldn't put my products into a directory such as what you are proposing because I wouldn't want customers to do direct product comparisons between my products the products of other while sitting at home. I would want them to come into the shop and browse around - this way I have an oppertunity to talk them into buying my product, even up sell and cross sell.

    Another problem is that managing the correctness of information is very labour intensive. I am a teeny weeny business but my product portfolio is huge. The portfolio changes rapidly so I run the risk of looking like a tit if I put items on your ste and they become unavailable shortly thereafter.
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

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