Exposure and sales are as close as your computer with an e-commerce website or as old fashioned as a lemonade stand with small events.
The Marketing Square warns clients that getting out of the neighborhood with a brand is the best thing to do if you’re launching products or services.
Get out of your comfort zone and sell where no one knows you if you’re going to insist on doing small events.
If you’re selling at local events, paying hundreds for a booth, getting 11 sales in a 12-hour day, getting cutoff on your pitch by people who only want freebies, you need to consider an online store.
It’s your choice: lemonade stand tactics or online e-commerce sales with a website.
Option A: Local Event
You attend a local event because it’s close, easy and you think it will be worth the money. You’re familiar with how it works. You sign up, setup, cross your fingers and hope for the best.
The local event promoter tells you how many attendees will be expected and it’s always less than predicted, and bad weather can kill it.
You’re told your booth will be in a great location, but you’re one of 100 total participants.
Your booth visitors, traffic and sales will be an average of those numbers and your ROI will be the total sales minus the total amount invested. And there’s always the promotion that you have to pay or do in advance to assure attendance. RSVPs from friends, families and loyal customers will always be about one third of the total RSVPs. So was it worth it?
Option A: Local Event
Booth Price Invested $500-$1,000, 10 events per year annually
Hours 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (includes travel, setup, breakdown)
Costs associated with event (booth or display table, staff, packaging/bags, advertising)
Expected attendees 1,750 to 5,000 (+/-20%)
Total booth participants 100
Average Expected booth visitors 375 (+/-25%)
Total expected No. sales/exposure 11.25 (+/-3%)
ROI Total sales per event-investment=ROI
Option B: E-Commerce Website
You can work from a home office where you produce, house and ship your product from anywhere to clients worldwide who find your product in a simple Google search. You control the amount that you sell, your price, and how you market to the online world. There are no limits to your options or strategies.
You grow with the store and increase or decrease profit dependent on the market interest in your product, your margins and your market efforts. There is no fear of rain or bad weather, no reliance on unreliable people or fair weather friends. E-commerce traffic can be refined with SEO, marketing, launches, PR, promotions…the list is endless.
Option B: E-commerce Online Store
Website build $varies dependent on what client provides
Marketplace store $varies dependent on photos, video, No. of items for sale
Hours 24 hours, 365 days a year
Launch Managed by seller or The Marketing Square
Self-promotion: Newsletter, Facebook, Managed by seller or The Marketing Square
Public Relations, Website, Blog, SEO
Shipping Paid by buyers
Total traffic to website Search Engine Optimization & Self-promotion
Cost per item Set by seller
ROI Total year-round sales-investment=ROI
The Choice is Yours
There are huge events that make sense for product launches, but if you are a new entrepreneur or small business with a beer budget and champagne dreams, then the choice should be simple.
Of course you can supplement your online store with the occasional strategic event, but only if you know your target consumer will be shopping there. And if it’s an outdoor venue, you have to have a backup plan for rain and bad weather.
The days of lemonade stands are over. If you’re setting up a stand in a big city with multitudes of competitors doing what you’re doing, it’s a loss. Get an online storefront, an e-commerce website built to get your sales moving at your pace and within your budget.