Taking Your eCommerce Business on the Road: Conventions and More

At conferenceYou do your business online, but sometimes, there are venues where you can generate new customers and sales, especially if you specialize in a specific industry. For example, if you sell comic books online without a physical retail space, there are all kinds of conventions that focus solely on the comic book industry.

Many eCommerce merchants will pay for booth space to vend their wares in the flesh, if only for that particular event. The idea is to draw in customers who will continue to give your online store their business, and develop a more personalized connection to the merchandise you offer.

The Game of Business

Having a great looking online store and functional website is always the primary focus of an eCommerce business, but you can augment your business by attending appropriate events and conventions if they’re in your field. By setting up shop in a physical space, all you need is some of your inventory, and your customer base is already provided there in the flesh to converse with you and ask questions.

Many specialty vendors will also offer to order specific requests for customers when they next update their inventory, and this is a great way to establish rapport with your customers. They may only meet you once, but they’ll remember that you offered to acquire a particular item for them if it became available.

Selling on the Spot

When you take your eCommerce business on the road, it’s essential to have access to payments via plastic. When you’re in a convention center, for example, ATMs are often expensive and con-goers may simply run out of cash before they get to your booth. The fact is that people are crazy for points of cashless sales.

For example, in the restaurant industry, 81 percent of the money spent at restaurants in America in 2012 was charged to debit, credit or pre-paid cards, according to the HuffingtonPost.com. This is why portable credit card readers are a great idea if you’re on the road with your online business. It allows people to purchase items at your booth, and of course, the point isn’t just the sale of those actual items, but to build a rapport with future customers.

The Power of Your Card

The most important part of taking your eCommerce business on the road is to maintain the interest you’ve generated by providing your new customers with a chance to connect with you online, where your primary presence resides. Even if they don’t make a sale at your booth, if they’re interested enough to stop and ask for your contact information, chances are they’ll look you up.

Don’t neglect a chance to interest a new customer in your products, and engage them in conversation. Have a stack of your business cards with the URL of your online store out on the table and make them visible. Encourage people to take them as they browse. The more cards you give away, the more likely it is that your presence in the physical world of a convention will generate business.

Have you ever considered attending to conferences to boost up your business and brand?

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2 Comments

  1. Very practical wisdom here Chris. At Fincon 13 this year for example there were a number of institutions that had set up shop and its certainly a great way to promote your business and connect with clients and gather real time physical unadultered feedback on your products.
    I think being there physically also gives your business a stronger reputation. There are thousands of online stores out there some not so legitimate, coming out in the open might give you an edge.

  2. Totally agree simon. Being there in the flesh is a great way to build relationships with others. The interenet is great at getting those relationships going but confrences will take them to a whole new level.

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