One Degree’s Michael Garrity takes first stab at the submitted Ask A Marketer question, by providing some helpful tips. His response is below:
I have a simple answer to her situation based on my 7 years experience working with the major retailers in Canada: Go here and stop worrying: http://www.prostores.com/. Outsource the entire service to ebay.ca immediately to get you up and running fast to an instant community with all the tools she is looking for built in and charged to her as a monthly ASP service. They have “get started” packages for as low as $30.00 a month and will scale to $250.00 a month when she is ready for it.
If, at some point, she wants to go the ways of the “big guys”, here is what she is up against:
- build a production e-commerce environment
- design a consumer friendly site
- build comprehensive analytics tools
- build and manage a payments and receivables system to support the site
- market like mad to build a community
Every one of these item is a hornet’s nest of expense and mis-fires and requires complete organizational buy-in and coordination. Why bother. If you find you are overwhelmingly successful on ebay’s hosted service, build your own to replace it when you can cost justify it against an existing loyal community. Just to place online retail in Canada in context, according to ebay, less than 30% of inventory from the Big Chains is actually available through their websites. She has time to be better, faster. My two cents.