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BadEddy

Inworld vs Online sales

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I kept this question at the back of my head for a while now. Most of my merchant friends prefer when a client buy inworld instead of online and it is very common to see online listing that invite you to go check inworld for a better deal. Rarely I see it done the other way around. 

Why do this? Can someone explain me? Whatever how I put this I only see huge advantages in online sales and very little in inworld sales. Is there something I am missing?

 

 

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You'll probably get several views but lets just assume that we're not comparing speed of shopping online vs inworld texture rezzing lag.

inworld:-

  • You can try the demo's (rezzed objects, interactive products etc.  Not talking about clothing here)
  • You can typically see all of the products
  • Operate a redelivery terminal
  • Pick up any special offers (freebies, discounted items)
  • Impulse shop
  • Benefit from SL not taking 5% from the merchant (although this is offset by needing the land)
  • Able to have multiple creators under one brand in one place

SL Marketplace

  • You get a very linear view of the products on offer
  • Limited by "Related items" for relationship search and it's a pig to maintain
  • Search is VERY poor  (I found a merchant yesterday who named their items such as "brand.product.colour.extra info" and the period in the item listing name made the whole thing unsearchable.
  • Can only see items from one specific avatar listing the items, can't relate to a product by a co-creator.
  • Single store front

So what do you see as the big advantages of SL Marketplace over inworld?

 

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BadEddy wrote:

<snip>

it is very common to see online listing that invite you to go check inworld for a better deal.

<snip>

 

 

Not that it really matters to me but I thought this was against the Market Place rules, that is the price on the MP had to be the same as IW.

 

eta typo

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Hello :)

 

Good points. However, most are advantages for the clients, not for me, the merchant. 

I agree its great to be able to arrange our vendor the way we want inworld and have a few creators under the same banner. This is a big thing with inworld sales for me to. As for the 5%, well its little but who would complain about saving it? 

 

Online the advantage I see is that a sale will help generate other sales by making my product rank higher in the search. If I take all my clients and have them go buy inworld instead of online, my MP rankings would probably remain very poor, so a lot less people seeing them, so less sales. You forget about the 5% you lose very fast when one of your product manage to make it on top of the searchs for a category. But how to get there if you convince your clients to go buy inworld?

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and then there are just people like me, i refuse to buy anything from the dissasterplace unless it`s a demo of a store i`m tempted to buy things from and only use it as a search engine

Since the "streamlining" the checkout has became even worse then it was so i just check if there is an inworld link in the merchant store to check out and grab demo`s... 

Both come down to: no shop, no money from me :)

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I also agree a demo or a way to see the product is a must. I keep my inword shop just for that but on many of my product a sign will redirect you back to Marketplace where you can buy it for cheaper after you confirmed you like it. I really want that sale to happen on MP cause I want my items to rank as high as I can and I want reviews. 

Assuming a merchant has an inworld shop and a marketplace shop and assuming demos are there to try.  What would make that merchant want to push inword sales. It's clear many chose to promote inword sales and since I do things they other way around, I kind of want to make sure its not me who is shooting himself in the foot lol

 

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Pushing the mp sales or not that is something every one has to decide for them selfs and would support both ways
Even with your items being cheaper on the mp then inworld, i would still only buy inworld :)

Ranking no one knows exactly how it works and reviews, i think only a tiny tiny fraction of customers would even thinking of doing it and a fraction of actually leaving one

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Perrie Juran wrote:


BadEddy wrote:

<snip>

it is very common to see online listing that invite you to go check inworld for a better deal.

<snip>

 

 

Not that it really matters to me but I thought this was against the Market Place rules, that is the price on the MP had to be the same as IW.

 

eta typo

From what I remember, it doesn't have to be the same price... you can sell things for less on Marketplace than you can inworld, but not the other way around.

...Dres

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Searching for something in world is the pits. That makes the MP the perfect search engine, and if there is an in world store I would rather go there. But a lot of the time there is no in world store. And I have no problem purchasing from the MP and like that I can add Copy Modify to my search and that I can add an upper limit to what I am willing to spend. It keeps the really expensive trash out of my results. I am of the opinion that the very expensive items are detrimental to SL and is the number one thing that drives new people away when they take there first look at around. This is my opinion and what I firmly believe. Creators complain about ripped off content, but when you make it so lucrative for the thieves its like a personal invitation to them. And because they can't seam to find a way to stop it, it only grows. Make it less lucrative for the thieves and they will go away.

The opinions above are just that, opinions, and I am entitled to them.

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BadEddy wrote:

Online the advantage I see is that a sale will help generate other sales by making my product rank higher in the search. 

That's too variable to have any factor for me.  How many sales do I need?  I can't control the sales of others against which i'm being ranked.

Plus being higher in search doesn't guarantee anythings since the search is so poor in the first place.

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Ok some people prefer to shop inworld and some prefer online. I'll try to phrase my first question differently. It was very orriented to the merchant actually:

 

If you had to decide where you want most of the sales to happen, would you want them to happen online or inworld and why. In both case, are you trying to influence your clients to buy where you prefer them to or do you leave this to hasard?

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hummm yeah. I noticed that to. I mean, you can rank top one day but not the other day after. Thats annoying and whats more annoying is to not know exactly why lol. 

But we know items on MP will go up and down in the search for some reasons (sales? ranking? age? keywords? all?). Inworld, they won't do that. So if an item could be #1 in search only for 1 day each month, wouldn't that be worth it? I know a better search ranking do not guarantee a sale but thats more people seeing it.

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BadEddy wrote:

Ok some people prefer to shop inworld and some prefer online. I'll try to phrase my first question differently. It was very orriented to the merchant actually:

 

If you had to decide where you want most of the sales to happen, would you want them to happen online or inworld and why. In both case, are you trying to influence your clients to buy where you prefer them to or do you leave this to hasard?

Inworld, for all the reasonse I started with.   Plus I can provide better resources for  supporting information, the customer is exposed to the full experience and since people are visual, they're more likely to remember "the shop" and what's in it compared with remembering a sterile Marketplace page where all merchants have to conform to a very restricted format.

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Dresden Ceriano wrote:


Perrie Juran wrote:


BadEddy wrote:

<snip>

it is very common to see online listing that invite you to go check inworld for a better deal.

<snip>

 

 

Not that it really matters to me but I thought this was against the Market Place rules, that is the price on the MP had to be the same as IW.

 

eta typo

From what I remember, it doesn't have to be the same price... you can sell things for less on Marketplace than you can inworld, but not the other way around.

...Dres

You are correct.  I had somewhere along the line been misinformed.

Anti-Competitive or Abusive Behavior. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • inflating prices on the SL Marketplace, in comparison to in-world or other e-commerce sites,

https://marketplace.secondlife.com/listing_guidelines?

 

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BadEddy wrote:

I kept this question at the back of my head for a while now. Most of my merchant friends prefer when a client buy inworld instead of online and it is very common to see online listing that invite you to go check inworld for a better deal. Rarely I see it done the other way around. 

Why do this? Can someone explain me? Whatever how I put this I only see huge advantages in online sales and very little in inworld sales. Is there something I am missing?

 

 

You'll get a lot of differing opinions on this.  I own a very small shop but I always had an inworld presence as well as Xstreet/MP up until the end of last year when I temporarily closed my shop to do some rennovations; however, during the 5 years I've had my shop and even when I promoted it heavily in world, 99.9% of my sales have always been from the online stores, beginning with OnRez and Xstreet.

At this point I'm not in a big hurry to reconstruct my store in world.

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I'll take marketplace sales over inworld, inworld sales don't increase your search placement like marketplace sales do. 

All most all my items are copy/mod so marketplace makes for easy gifting.

Inworld sales records only last 30 days so create more record keeping.

Good customer service for a failed market place deliver or an accidental double purchase is the single best way to get  reviews.

With the exception of one item (a demo would likely fix that) lost inworld sales are way less then the L$ I save not having an inworld shop.

Biggest advantage I had with an inworld shop was that it attracted request for custom work, largely because of my shop building it's self, lol may be I should have taken that as a hint and made building instead of attachments.

The one other advantage I found with an inworld shop was customers were more likely to buy more then one thing at a time, but still my sales were still 80% marketplace.

I use to do the steam hunt it really helped inworld sales, but funny thing is the last 2 I didn't have an inworld shop so wasn't in the hunt, but my sales were still way up that month.

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Parrish Ashbourne wrote:

 

The one other advantage I found with an inworld shop was customers were more likely to buy more then one thing at a time, but still my sales were still 80% marketplace.

 

Just posted above and then checked my sales records and had some one buy 6 items at one time LOL

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Selling items for a little higher price on SLMarketplace than in-world, to make up for the extra cost of commissions is not inflating prices compared to in-world prices. That would be leveraging prices (to costs).

I know some sellers who have that as routine pricing - adding 5% to cover costs of MP vs. their in-world store. That is not an "inflated" price. In-world store costs can vary greatly, including whether you are paying only a small rent for space in someone else's store or a small parcel, to buying a region, which can make MP costs higher or lower than the other way around.

An example of inflating prices would be selling something for twice the price on MP compared to the outside website you have which you are allowed to link to, or an in-world store; that would be both  1) an attempt to drive cutomers away from MP and to your selling location, and 2) using MP in reality only for advertising.

If prices had to be identical or lower, there is no good reason that it was not worded that way. I think it might actually be illegal to require exact same pricing or less than other places in that respect; not allowing "inflated" pricing is reasonable. If you have an in-world store already, and had no intentions of closing it depending on MP sales, the cost of maintaining the store being relevant would be debatable, and the cost of MP can be seen as a real, added cost.

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BadEddy wrote:

I kept this question at the back of my head for a while now. Most of my merchant friends prefer when a client buy inworld instead of online and it is very common to see online listing that invite you to go check inworld for a better deal. Rarely I see it done the other way around. 

Why do this? Can someone explain me? Whatever how I put this I only see huge advantages in online sales and very little in inworld sales. Is there something I am missing?

 

 

I prefer in world and here is why:

1. The marketplace is not stable. One day you can be at the top of the search engines and then next day, nowhere in the first 5 pages. And nobody can say with 100% certainty how it all works. Once you think you have it figured out, it seems like something changes. So why bother?

2. When people use the Marketplace to search, say something generic like "furniture", you are competing with 100 or more other merchants. If they come in world, especially ones that you have built a loyaly with, they focus on you. They don't have 100 merchants to compare options with. Build a loyalty with your customers, show them you appreciate them and they will always come back to you first...and then if you don't have what they are looking for, they might go elsewhere. 

3. I mentioned loyalty in #2. You can't do that if you never meet them in person or at least have them into your store to fall in love with your place. It takes more than just a single good purchase. That's why I always try to invite people into my store after a MP sale.

4. There is too much gaming going on in the MP to make it fair.

5. In world can be easier to find things...if you're store is done right. It's funny I see people say they prefer to use the MP over in world because it's easier to find things. I find the MP to be horrible with the search. Most of the time if I put in a phrase for what I'm searching for it has NOTHING to do with what I'm searching. Why? Because the Marketplace search is not smart. For example if I search for something with 2 words or more, it searches on each of those words individually, rather than as a phrase. That's just dumb and will yield bad results. Make your store easy to navigate. Give them other tools like a complete searchable directory of your items (I'm not talking about the MP) where they can search for items there and TP directly to your store (or MP link if you prefer). Yes it does take work, but the more I can keep them off the Marketplace searching through mine and 100 other merchants items, the better for my pocketbook.

6. Related products? Limited to just 8 in the MP and really...they are tiny pictures and not very noticable. In world? I can put them in a section of my store with TONS of related products all rezzed out and ready to demo. And how about Latest Releases? They will never see my spotlight of new releases if they don't come in world.

As far as it increasing your ranking for purchases, sure it might, for a few days. But as soon as you stop marketing that one item to be bought in world, it drops again. Don't get me wrong I do it when I first release a product, just to get it off the last page and to hopefully get them to leave a review, but the marketing only lasts about a week or two. After that, I want them back in world.

As for me, I use the MP as a secondary sales tool and always will. It's there because if it's not I can't compete with other merchants who do use it. But I don't focus on it. I don't freak out when my products fall in the search, I really don't even monitor that, and I don't do much of anything to trick people into finding my products other than to try and be creative with my keywords and hit lots of categories. I fortunately have put so much focus on my inworld store and building customer loyalty, that I don't need to worry about the MP. I have customers who refuse to go anywhere else and will wait weeks if not months, just for me to make something custom for them because I didn't already carry it, even though a competitor might. Why do you think they do that? Because they found something on the MP? Heck no! It is because they come to my store so often to check out what's new, to explore the sim which has stuff to do (we have 2 sims of exploring areas) and they have gotten to know me...if not personally, then through group chat, notices or my subscriber group. I just wouldn't give any of that up for increasing MP sales.

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It's all to do with personal preference, this one... heheh

I run a store that does all sorts of stuff, but it's most popular for the animations. I always advise on MP posts that customers should consider dropping by the store in-world to try the animations on their own avatar on vendors - otherwise it's hard to know they work for you, especially with a huge variety of avi sizes. I do video some to add a link to a MP listing, but that's mainly for group dances, so they can be seen fully in action.

I see the point about trying to boost ratings and all, but honestly, people rarely actually do review items. If they do, I get all over-excited and IM them in world to thank them... haha

But moreover, I like my shop - lol - I like to build, and it's nice to have people drop by and see the place. It kind of doubles up as a Medieval style village and woodland. And there is much more there than on the MP (tbh, I could never face going through every single animation and listing them all!) and it's a more personal shopping experience. As a merchant, it's nice to see customers browsing, maybe have a chat and a laugh. It can be a pain to some, waiting for a store to rez, this is true - people do like things to be instant.

I've never set out to try to gain huge popularity, but I have a nice niche of followers, which is all I want. It's for the merchant, if they're really wanting to promote themselves and gain a huge customer base to embrace in-world and MP business alike - as neither are going away anytime soon, regardless of complaints. A canny merchant should try to figure out how best to use both to their advantage, I suppose... :)

 

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For the creator there are several advantages of having your customers shop in world vs on the marketplace. For one, 5% of our sales on MP go to LL.. Sales in world however go directly to us without the middle man factor and I mean who the hell wants to PAY the Lindens ANYTHING? -.- I don't :/... Also, every shopper who comes on your land helps with the traffic count, higher traffic = more people stopping by to see what the big deal is lol :P. It's usually easier for people to try demos in world and as someone said above impulse buying happens more in world then on mp :P 

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2 reasons come to mind.

No 5% commission.

Misdelivery is less of an issue.

Another one may be that while in the store you can sign up for groups, join mailing lists and whatever other things they have that you might like to sign up for.

I am not sure, but on the old MP (some listings are old that say that) you couldn't review if you didn't buy the item there, so maybe they are avoiding bad reviews by making sure you can't review lol. Not likely, but you never know!

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I see two 'real' reasons why some people would want to push inworld sales.

 

1. Linden Lab merchants don't have to pay tier costs for their giant stores on their free full sims giving them a competitive advantage inworld only.

2. Well established merchants have a big competitive advantage inworld by virtue of their well known-ness. This allows their inworld stores a much greater degree of attractive magnetism that is required to make an inworld store make more money than tier costs that the SL Marketplace can and has only take away from. This also explains their irrational animosity toward the SL Marketplace.

Preaching brick and mortar wondrousness is like saying that if we get rid of purchasing via the internet in the real world, (especially sites such as e-bay, Amazon etc.) the world will be better off for it somehow. So they think by minimizing the 'damage' of the SL Marketplace, prices will inflate, and they will gain from that inflation personally, and the small fry competition will never get established or just go away and fall into obscurity. No more of that small fry presumptuous pin pricking! They believe that getting rid of the marketplace would somehow cause the grid to repopulate again with peeps happily spending on land purchases and rentals just like the good ol days. ;-)

Without X-Street/The SL Marketplace, SL would be doing much worse as a whole by now in every way and particularly in the area of profits. ;-)

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I suspect that a merchant's preference for selling in world or in Marketplace is often based on intangibles as much as it is on factors that you can quantify (search rankings, traffic stats, 5% commissions vs. land fees ... ).  Speaking purely for myself, I hope to sell to people who share my tastes and interests.  I'm not a major merchant in SL.  I'm a creator who happens to like earning L$ by selling to people who like what I create.  I certainly enjoy the income, but it's not the primary reason I sell.  It's important to me that customers see what my work looks like in SL, not just in a picture on line. I like having them be able to walk or cam around and inspect my home furnishings, birdbaths, and whatnot.  (That's the way I am as a customer in RL too.  I dislike buying from a catalog or on line.  I want to see what I'm getting.) 

The distinction gets blurry when I am selling clothing -- about half my items at this point -- because even in world the customer is seeing a photo.  Still, my vendors display life-sized images that flip dynamically from front- to back-view so that a customer can get a better feel for my designs than they get in Marketplace. 

I guess what I'm saying is that I prefer a shopping experience when I am a customer, rather than the (to me) boring experience of choosing items from a catalog.  As a merchant, I hope to attract customers like me, so I love it when they visit the shop in world. 

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