This is a great video from Rebecca Troth on what would happen if we were to shop in the real world as we do online.

She has taken a lot of the expectations we have online and converted them to offline.

Well worth a look.

Her blog is there:

Nowadays customers are used to browse online catalogues. They use their tablets and phones to gather information before making a purchase.

This is true even if you cater for a local customer base.

In order to make sure they commit and do not simply take a chance when seeing a product they like on your website and hope you will still have it next time they are visiting you, make sure you offer click and collect.

It also helps your inventory and cashflow as payment is taken at the time of order even if they collect days later.

A website can be many things: a catalogue, an entertainment platform, an information resource, … The list can go on and on.

However I would like to propose a simpler definition: the purpose of your website is to transform strangers into friends. And to convert friends into customers.

Is your website fulfilling these two goals?

More than half of the Internet traffic to websites now comes from mobile devices (phones and tablets).

More and more people rely on their mobile phone to quickly check availability or prices.

You need to make sure your website can be used on these devices.

Please note people tend to browse for information however most purchases still happen from a desktop or laptop computer.

Be careful where you choose to advertise. Publishers (online or not) will always boast about how many readers they have. However, they may not translate into sales for you.

The obvious reason may be a lack of targeting: if you sell toys, a magazine about gardening is not going to produce results regardless of the size of their readership.

Another reason is what people are doing at the time of seeing your ad. For instance online forums are usually well attended and highly focused, however when people are involved in a discussion they are unlikely to react to your ads.

You probably want to have a presence on Facebook. And on Twitter. And Pinterest as well. And Instagram. And a few others…

The problem is to decide why you want to do it? If it is simply because you read somewhere you have to, you are mistaken.

Being on social media takes (a lot of) time. It takes commitment. It takes vision. You cannot be a part-timer on social media.

Is it really the best use of your time at the moment?

If you sell on an online marketplace, it is very difficult to make your brand and your name recognised.

Most people when asked where they bough an item will say “I got this on eBay” but will not be able to say the vendor’s name.

If you are trying to build a reputation and grow your customer base, you need to find ways to bring your customers to your own website, to your own shop and deal with you direct.

Do you know that if you sell on a marketplace, say eBay or Amazon, the customers are the marketplace’s?

It means you cannot do any marketing activity to them, even once they have bought from you. You are not allowed to use their contact details including email and physical address to promote your other products.

It also means you cannot add them to your newsletter or even send them an email to suggest they follow you on Facebook.


If you are selling on Amazon, do you know you are not allowed to sell the same items cheaper elsewhere? Price on Amazon must be at equal to or lower than the price you sell at everywhere else.

If means if you are having a sale on your website, you need to discount the same items on Amazon, regardless of what your competitors are doing!

It also means you cannot use price as a reason for your customers to order direct from you rather than from Amazon.

When starting out, it is very tempting to use only one online marketplace to trade. This makes sense as a single platform makes it easier to handle on a day to day, the online marketplace takes care of finding the customers and you can deal with the orders in your own time.

However you need to carefully consider the implications of such a move as this may be very scary if something goes wrong.

For instance, if you sell on Amazon, you are bound by the following article of the agreement:

” if we reasonably conclude, based on information available to us, that seller’s  actions and/or performance in connection with the Service may result in disputes, chargebacks or other claims, then we may  in our sole and absolute discretion delay initiating any remittances and  withhold any payments to be made or that are otherwise due to seller in  connection with the Service or this Agreement for the shorter of: (a) a period  of 90 days following the initial date of suspension; or  (b) completion of  any investigation(s) regarding any seller actions and/or performance in  connection with this Agreement. “

What this means is money from your sales may be put on hold for up to 90 days at their sole discretion.

Can you survive for 90 days without receiving any payment from them?

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