Is the Online Marketplace Moving Offline?

by G.B. Oliver

Last week e-commerce provider Shopify announced it had secured $100 million in financing to help fund, surprisingly, its offline commerce endeavors.

Shopify-ecommerce

You may be wondering why an e-commerce provider now wants to focus on offline selling. The truth is, while the online market has grown, research firm ShopperTrak indicates that over 90 percent of actual commerce still takes place in physical stores.

I wrote recently about Square.com, who, with the attachment of their small reader, lets you take credit card payments right from your smart phone.  Shopify is planning to come up with a similar product offering.

pop-up-store
Etsy seller’s pop-up store at West Elm

Sell Anywhere, Anytime

The goal is to give you the ability to sell anywhere, anytime. If you want to sell online, if you want to sell in a pop-up store hosted by a major retailer (West Elm hosts Etsy shops), even if you want to sell out of the back of your car.

What does this mean for the online sellers? More opportunities. I always tell my customers to never just focus exclusively on their online business because customers are everywhere.

Where You Can Sell Offline

Start to think about your offline selling opportunities. If you have done well selling online, use that clout to convince local retailers to carry your products. Or approach a store like Whole Foods and see if they have any opportunities for you to set up a “cart” in one of their stores.

You can also sell on college campuses, shopping malls (remember my blog post on selling at shopping kiosks), community centers, ice rinks, building lobbies, corporate lunchrooms, farmers markets – just seek permission and make sure you have a sales permit.

The opportunities are endless. Besides online, where else do you sell your products?

Need Help Launching Your Online Business?

Offline blog postI offer a variety of affordable consulting services that will help your small business get noticed. Check out my new service the “Market My Business All-Inclusive Package“. See Hire Me! above. Be sure to follow me on Twitter HERE.

© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

Author: Gail Oliver, Online Small Business Consultant

I'm Gail Oliver, an online small business consultant. Welcome to my blog, chosen one of the Top 10 Small Business Blogs to Follow in 2014 by American Express Open Forum. If you need help with your small business, be sure to see MY SERVICES, above.