In the post-pandemic situation that we are experiencing, online sales are here to stay and for SMEs it is a great opportunity to expand their audience, not having the limitation of a fixed location of a traditional stores, they can cover an entire city or the whole country.
For this, there are generally 2 options.
Publish your products on a Marketplace.
Of which the largest and best known is Amazon and Mercado Libre in Latin America.
Advantages: low cost and exposure to a wide audience, a percentage of commission is paid for the products sold, which varies depending on the platform and there are free publication options that usually expire after a while and have less exposure and option of Paid publications with monthly plans that do not expire and have greater exposure.
Disadvantages: adapt to Marketplace rules, low differentiation and price competition. Although a great exposure of your products is achieved, there are also many more offering the same and inevitably the factor that defines the sale is the price.
Create your own Online Store.
Advantages: control, you create the rules, wide possibilities to differentiate yourself from your competition, to position your company and to retain your customers in the long term. In addition to being able to translate that differentiation into added value, at a higher price for the product or service delivered.
Disadvantages: medium cost of implementation, it is necessary to make an medium investment for the implementation of the Online Store, which is made only once and then a medium-low investment in paid advertising to attract public to your website, which must be made monthly until the expected sales levels are reached.
Both options are viable and the choice will depend mainly on the time strategy, be it short or medium-long term, and can be combined to evaluate the results and the operating experience.
What about my physical store?
If the company has a physical location, it is recommended to enable the store pickup option that works very well for all people who prefer to save the shipping cost and also generates the effect of attracting a new public to the location that otherwise would not have arrived at the physical store.