How to build an Internet sales business

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Karl K
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How to build an Internet sales business

#1 Post by Karl K » December 15th, 2016, 5:09 pm

What do you do to help boost Internet sales?
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PeterH
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How to build an Internet sales business

#2 Post by PeterH » December 15th, 2016, 5:22 pm

That depends on the kind of product. Social media like Facebook and Twitter work well with consumer products, especially ones that people like to show and brag about. Engage in online discussions, of course. Those approaches won't work at all with industrial products or office supplies.

Affiliate programs work well for us. If you have a product that can be rated by credible sources, go for that as much as you can.

Banner ads and such are worthless unless you can target them precisely. Having someone professional work to improve your search engine rating is worth the cost. Paid placement on search results may or may not give a decent return, again, depending on your product.

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Bruce Leiser_owitz
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How to build an Internet sales business

#3 Post by Bruce Leiser_owitz » December 16th, 2016, 5:19 am

Since this is in the Wine Pimp section, and given your other post about buying a wine store, I assume this is about Internet sales for a wine store.

--Make sure you have the infrastructure and trained staff to handle a website and Internet sales, including shipping. Too many stores think they can handle Internet sales by just putting their inventory up on a website and voila, the sales will magically appear; they won't. Make sure your website inventory is CONSTANTLY updated, and make sure you can process efficiently orders and inquiries from the website.

As an example, there was a wine I was trying to find a few weeks ago. Winesearcher (which is obviously a key tool here) showed one store had it. I went to their website, saw it on the site, and then sent them an email asking if they in fact HAD the wine in stock. A couple of weeks have gone by, and I still haven't gotten a response. Needless to say, I'll never be ordering from that store.

Similarly, make sure your system quickly acknowledges all Internet orders. Since most retailers won't confirm the order until they've confirmed they have the wine in stock, make sure that you initial acknowledgement is clear that you've received the order but that a separate email will be sent out when they've fulfilled the order and charged your card. Needless to say, don't charge anyone's card unless you've got the wine in stock AND you're ready to ship it out.

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How to build an Internet sales business

#4 Post by Michael Martin » December 16th, 2016, 5:54 am

I'll tell you about one that works well and I buy from: Belmont.
I get an email a week with specials that I CAN'T get anywhere else. They ship so everything arrives on a Thursday. No weekend layovers. Each bottle is double wrapped in plastic and paper to protect the bottle. They run blow out deals from time to time. They also take PayPal which makes checkout a breeze.

Karl K
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How to build an Internet sales business

#5 Post by Karl K » December 16th, 2016, 7:17 pm

Bruce Leiser_owitz wrote:Since this is in the Wine Pimp section, and given your other post about buying a wine store, I assume this is about Internet sales for a wine store.

--Make sure you have the infrastructure and trained staff to handle a website and Internet sales, including shipping. Too many stores think they can handle Internet sales by just putting their inventory up on a website and voila, the sales will magically appear; they won't. Make sure your website inventory is CONSTANTLY updated, and make sure you can process efficiently orders and inquiries from the website.

As an example, there was a wine I was trying to find a few weeks ago. Winesearcher (which is obviously a key tool here) showed one store had it. I went to their website, saw it on the site, and then sent them an email asking if they in fact HAD the wine in stock. A couple of weeks have gone by, and I still haven't gotten a response. Needless to say, I'll never be ordering from that store.

Similarly, make sure your system quickly acknowledges all Internet orders. Since most retailers won't confirm the order until they've confirmed they have the wine in stock, make sure that you initial acknowledgement is clear that you've received the order but that a separate email will be sent out when they've fulfilled the order and charged your card. Needless to say, don't charge anyone's card unless you've got the wine in stock AND you're ready to ship it out.

Bruce
Thanks for the feedback everyone!

Yes it would be for a wine store.

Thanks.
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Barry Paul Price
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How to build an Internet sales business

#6 Post by Barry Paul Price » February 21st, 2017, 11:53 am

What did you choose to do, Karl?

I'm curious because I have now built two business through online marketing, so I am well versed in it. (That said, they were not wine retail shops)
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scamhi
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How to build an Internet sales business

#7 Post by scamhi » February 21st, 2017, 12:55 pm

put your inventory on Wine-Searcher.com
I have purchased from stores across America using that app.
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C. Bowman
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How to build an Internet sales business

#8 Post by C. Bowman » February 21st, 2017, 7:37 pm

scamhi wrote:put your inventory on Wine-Searcher.com
I have purchased from stores across America using that app.
The cost to advertise with them has pretty much become cost prohibitive for a small retailer but they do listings of wines at no charge if no one else has it.
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Karl K
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How to build an Internet sales business

#9 Post by Karl K » February 23rd, 2017, 7:10 am

Barry Paul Price wrote:What did you choose to do, Karl?

I'm curious because I have now built two business through online marketing, so I am well versed in it. (That said, they were not wine retail shops)
I haven't done anything yet. I want to be able to easily buy well-stored cellars (or parts of them) and then continue to age them and re-sell them. I live in Virginia and the process for doing what I just described is not that easy here. Basically a retail license holder can buy from a collector only when the collector first obtains a one-day auction permit.

So I'm thinking of moving to a jurisdiction with more lenient rules. I have been looking at various wine stores for sale, thinking about operating both a bricks-and-mortar and online store.

Thoughts?
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Doug Schulman
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How to build an Internet sales business

#10 Post by Doug Schulman » March 3rd, 2017, 10:40 am

Rather than trying to find a state where that type of thing is legal and open there (which could be quite tricky without living there), you might contact some small local distributors to see if one of them would be open to "clearing" the wine for you. They would technically buy from a collector and sell to you, but it could all happen in one day and you could pay them before they have to pay the collector. They might be willing to do that at very little cost to you, but it depends. Even that might be difficult or illegal in your state. I know nothing of the laws there.
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Karl K
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How to build an Internet sales business

#11 Post by Karl K » March 8th, 2017, 5:22 pm

Doug Schulman wrote:Rather than trying to find a state where that type of thing is legal and open there (which could be quite tricky without living there), you might contact some small local distributors to see if one of them would be open to "clearing" the wine for you. They would technically buy from a collector and sell to you, but it could all happen in one day and you could pay them before they have to pay the collector. They might be willing to do that at very little cost to you, but it depends. Even that might be difficult or illegal in your state. I know nothing of the laws there.

That is an interesting idea. I have heard of wineaccess doing something similar here with a large distributor in Northern Virginia.

I'm working on it, nothing set yet but still exploring.

Even though there is competition, I think that the market I would want to me in would benefit from an Internet presence, because some of my target customers are widespread across the US.
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