The following is a guest post by John from Bamfordtrading. Detailing how we are developing a marketing plan for Bamford Trading.
To the best of my knowledge, John’s not read “The Purple Cow” by Seth Godin. But John “get’s it”. I don’t want to be average or even just plain-old good. I want to be “remarkable”, so does John.
Part 1 – Why would anyone buy from you?
Unless you are lucky enough to sell unique products with high demand you will know that selling online can be tough. The barriers to entry are low – there is little need for large amounts of capital, it’s not even necessary to have business premises (or even stock in many cases).
Because online retail is an easy business to enter, competition can be fierce. How many times have you said out loud “how can they sell it for that little?”
The Holy Grail of selling online is to have your buyers come to you by preference and not because you are the lowest priced seller or because eBay’s Best Match brings them to you. The marketplaces are all keen to get you to focus on price by pushing towards catalogue selling. Sometimes it seems that price is the only way to compete.
Why else would someone choose to buy from you?
Well it’s a hard question, but one we often ask ourselves. We know that around 10% of orders come from buyers who have bought from us before – this percentage is even higher on our website. We would like to increase this to around 30%.
- How do you become a supplier of choice?
- Why would someone choose to buy from you?
- Who are you?
- What differentiates you?
- What’s special about your offering?
We sell mass market products that can be easily sourced from many suppliers so there actually isn’t anything unique about many of the products we sell.
The first step is to agree a ‘positioning statement’. (I hear the groans). Lets agree what and who we are. We know who we are but do our prospective customers?
We could agree to be:
“The lowest price seller of hardware products in Britain”
We would certainly get sales – lots of them – but the winner of this “race to the bottom” wins a business which would soon go bust.
Once we know who and what we are, we begin to build reasons for people to automatically come to us first….
Who and what are you?
To be continued.