The presence of online markets has grown exponentially throughout the pandemic and it looks like they’re here to stay. Here we give you some of our top tips in acing the role of ‘virtual stallholder’!
- Adjust your perspective, and possibly also your expectations
- Why should you participate in online events at all? Considering that ‘In 2020, over two billion people purchased goods or services online, and… e-retail sales surpassed 4.2 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide’, the potential benefits to your bottom line are quite attractive. Also, the ability to connect with many people is arguably the best means with which to provide small businesses with the resilience to weather the storm of commercial and social uncertainty, but…
- Recognise that online events are not the same as doing in-person ones. They just cannot quite compare to the golden touch of direct personal communication.
- Accepting this change in perspective and expectation can help lead to business growth. Utilise the benefits of both worlds, namely the, essentially unlimited, reach that online exposure can give you in terms of sales potential, but also give customers the illusion of being at your stall, through video live-streaming (such as through the Tresstle events platform via Tresstle TV). This allows both to work in tandem to increase your public profile and generate more sales.
2. Event(ual?) advantages
- Hosting online events the right way can create excitement and persuade customers to visit your stall when they might not otherwise. Because you’re always reaching new customers, each builds up the other in a ‘cycle of prosperity’, truly the best of both worlds!
- Anticipation is the root of desire. By giving potential customers something to look forward to online, customers will flock to your stall when it does open, but if in the meantime you provide purchase options online you’re covering both bases. So increasing demand through online events allows the cultivation of a positive reputation for brand image desirability.
- In essence you are more than doubling the platforms you can use for sales, due to the internet’s diversity of users and gaining the means to sell to potentially anyone, anywhere, at any time. More customers overall equals more sales.
3. Naked exposure!
- This provocative title in itself is a technique you can utilize: be bold when it comes to showcasing what you offer. Create tailor-made and unique events. Be provocative, use colour and catchy headlines to hook website surfers in so that they take notice of you and get involved – as long as it’s kept appropriate!
- The benefits of online markets don’t count for much if people don’t know who you are, where or how to find your stall/physical location. If you’re just starting out, consider contacting friends and family for initial support, whether it’s a direct purchase or helping to advertise.
- There are many ways to spread the word and let people know your business exists, the key is to use a range of methods (social media, emails, flyers) simultaneously in order to maximise the chances of reaching as many people as possible.
4. Social Media
- In the world of creatives, it’s important to have a strong social media presence. Many customers will now search for you on social media in order to get in touch with you, or to view your offer.
- A top pick in terms of finding potential customers is Facebook. With an estimated ‘2.89 billion monthly active users’, this social media platform offers a good starting point if you’re new to hosting online events. It is the best way to reach many potential customers very quickly.
- Creating your own business page that you can link to your personal account/profile is a great starter tool. You can use your existing friends list as your initial customer base who through online activity such as likes/posts or even actual direct offline conversation, can virtually sell your products for you through positive digital word-of-mouth. You never know just who might discover your business or highly recommend your products.
- Getting customers involved and possessing a strong online reputation is absolutely pivotal because individuals are far more likely to buy from you if other people they know rate your products highly. They will effectively trust in another individual’s ability to find quality products – this is extremely powerful marketing tool.
- Using the ‘events’ function in Facebook, you can give people a calendar reminder of your event on their smartphone, saving you the job.
- Instagram is another social media platform designed for creatives. It’s a great way to showcase your products, as well as get involved with the wider maker community. Learn more about navigating the world of Instagram here: https://pedddle.com/help-with-instagram/
5. A lasting image
- At an online event, ensure that you display your most popular items front and centre. This also goes for Instagram and other social media platforms.
- It is also very important to have a clean, non-cluttered, attractive and appropriate set design for live events. Consider whether your presentation is in keeping with your brand and target audience.
6. Conclusion – make your audience work for you!
- The online events world is your oyster – ensure that you are choosing events that work best for you and your brand.
- Don’t forget that people can buy more or less anything from anywhere, it’s what sets you apart from the rest that counts. People want to hear your story. What is your unique selling point (USP)? What is something that only you can offer?
- You can choose your own ways to keep online and offline separate, as well as the ways to integrate them. You can be flexible in choosing how much emphasis you want on either.
- If the only benefit you gain from an online event is the ability to identify or understand the behaviours of your target audience, you will have succeeded where some of the biggest companies in the world have failed. With this knowledge, you can tailor your online and offline image to attract your customers in the most effective ways possible.
Be sure to check out our Pedddle website for a comprehensive list of outdoor markets near you. If this article has been useful to you please share and do consider joining Tresstle or Pedddle for more great tips suitable for fledgling businesses to seasoned pros alike, in order to help your business reach its full potential.