Many small online businesses are in the situation where:
- They have identified and sourced the products they wish to sell online
- They have a logo and brand name
- They have set up their online shop
However, sales are not meeting expectations.
The big businesses are getting most of the attention, as they have big marketing budgets to spend on expensive marketing and advertising campaigns.
What can the small business owner do to:
- promote their brand,
- attract more interested visitors to their online shops,
- get more sales?
There is only so much that a business can do to try to make their pages rank highly in search engine results, and paying for sponsored ads on search engine pages can quickly leave the wallet empty.
What strength can the small businesses leverage to improve their web presence? Their numbers and their willingness to help each other!
Could I develop a platform to help these business owners? Such a platform would help these business owners cooperate to drive up each other’s sales. Each one is a business and so has to make money, so if business “A” helps business “B” to get a sale, it is only good business if “A” gets a share in the sale. That encourages “A” to help “B” again in the future. It is a win-win for both businesses, and the customer is also satisfied.
For people who write blogs, reviews and articles, or host social sites for special interest groups (e.g. parenting, wedding, health, education etc.), the platform should allow them to refer business to the small merchants and get paid a sales commission to help them pay their bills and encourage them to keep writing.
How should these publishers refer business? There would be privacy issues if they passed on personal contact details to another party. The visitor or reader has to want to be referred. They have to take an action, such as clicking on a link or an ad and then their browser will be directed to the appropriate page on the merchant’s website. The platform must make it easy for businesses to make these links and ads and to make them available to other businesses and publishers to find and promote.
Ease of use is critical. The platform has to be accessible with a web browser, intuitive and easy to learn. Furthermore, business owners are busy people and don’t have time to be writing cheques for sales commissions and sending them out to loads of people each month. The platform has to handle these payments automatically.
It can’t be too expensive for small businesses to get on-board and to use on an ongoing basis. Affordability is critical. It also has to be flexible enough so that merchants can specify what sales commissions they are willing to pay out, and thereby control their costs, yet keeping it attractive for other businesses and publishers to send visitors to them.
Those were the challenges. The platform has been designed and built in Ireland and is now ready for business owners to join and try out. It is the Vendexo Affiliate Network, and for a limited period there is no sign-up fee. Click on the link to check it out, and working together with other business owners and publishers, let’s grow your business!