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The Digital Business Kit for Retailers


Learning Outcomes

Retailers will understand the different technology and strategies that can assist their retail businesses to begin or improve selling their products and/or services online. [printfriendly]

mod-arrow Direct Sales

Direct sales online


Direct sales refers to selling products or services online directly from your retail website. Any retailer that offers physical products that have broad market demand should consider direct online sales to increase market reach and gain new revenue opportunities.

Direct online selling is a natural fit for electronic products that can be downloaded by customers after purchase and avoids the need to ship physical versions, such as DVD media. Direct selling can also be complimented by indirect sales (selling through channels) where appropriate. This can include everything from consumer goods, business products, housewares, etc.

Direct Selling Overview

Customers visit the vendor business website to browse and buy products or services. Direct selling to clients requires a website and online shopping features, such as a shopping cart or store and a payment system. Businesses can sell products or services through a website.

Pros: Direct selling is less complex to set up than affiliate or indirect channel development involving third parties.

Cons: You have to drive the traffic to your website through advertising, social media and other promotional methods.

Best for: Products and services that have well-defined features and benefits and clear market demand, or products that do not require a complex sales approach or require a high degree of customisation to customer requirements. Virtually any product or service can be sold directly online in some fashion. Customers need to be able to easily make their purchase decision from information provided on your website, simply make their selection and then complete the purchase transaction without any assistance.

More complex products may require the intervention of a sales person or customer service staff to guide the customer through their purchase decision. Even in these cases, the sale can start online and may even be completed online; many businesses provide online customer support to assist customers towards their purchase.

One consideration is that recently there’s been rapid growth in the success of “niche” products competing and thriving online. While a niche product may fight for shelf space at a brick and mortar location, there is no limit to the space on the “shelves” of the internet. Focused and specific lifestyle products as well as narrow product lines sell quite well online.