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Best Marketing Tactics?


DragonLady Merlin
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I opened a t-shirt shop in February, and now I'm looking for good ways to market it so I sell more.

I've rented small spaces in a couple of places and put up a few samples with landmarks.

I've just made a sign board so I can rent ad space here and there.

What are some other good tactics to help spread the word?

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On 01 April 2017 at 11:45 PM, DragonLady Merlin said:

I opened a t-shirt shop in February, and now I'm looking for good ways to market it so I sell more.

I've rented small spaces in a couple of places and put up a few samples with landmarks.

I've just made a sign board so I can rent ad space here and there.

What are some other good tactics to help spread the word?

Find suitable shopping groups, if you are selling goth t-shirts, find a goth shopping group, surfer wear, find a group, brand x mesh body, find the brand x mesh body sale & offers group.

Make a store group, offer a group gift, change it regularly, this encourages people to stay in touch with your store, and means your store gets posted in freebie hunting groups, bringing in more people, have a mania and /or lucky chair, as again this brings potential new customers to the store again and again, lc campers boost traffic scores, improving your search rating, and some will cam the merchandise and maybe buy something while they wait for their letter to come up.

Don't be cheap and miserly about it. I used to have a friend in SL, ran a store with 2 full regions... they stopped updating the merchandise, stopped changing the prizes in the lucky chairs, stopped putting out gifts for the paid-membership vip group, never advertised in the shopping groups they were part of, eventually closed their remaining half sim store saying "most of my sales are on the mp, why am i paying *cough* dollars a month to give stuff away". Now, they sell a lot less, because all the OLD customers have all the OLD stock they want, and there are few NEW customers because, no in world location, and finding stuff on the MP is hit and miss, type in a search for oh for example goth female clothes, and you get so many pages of hits, that theres a good chance your stuff wont be seen at all, because you only made page 47 of the results and the shopper found something in the  first 5 pages.

My friend went, from owning 2 full regions, and a SL business that paid their tier on their FirstLife apartment, and covered shopping and bills, to a business most people have forgotten, and having to try their had at novel writing to make a living.

That in world store and all that free product might seem like a silly expense, but... often that's how people find your stuff. Better to give away 100 copies a day of a clothing item in a less popular colour and have 100 strangers a day visit your store, some of whom will buy the popular colour, than  to give away nothing and sell nothing.
 

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Klytyna brought up some really good points. What you need to do is get exposure. So right now very few people know about your business. Just putting up a storefront is going to yield very limited results in terms of sales, generating traffic and interest in your products. The best advice I can give you is focus on creating quality product. Your marketing efforts will be that much easier if you can create a product that is in demand and of a good quality at a fair price.

The two biggest suggestions I have for exposure would be:

Social Media - You need a social media presence. Plurk, Flickr and Facebook are great platforms to get your name out there and generate exposure. Just be mindful and avoid the pitfall that many creators make with social media in that they setup an account and invest very little time into it. As a new business operator this is going to be critical. If your time is limited, I'd suggest selecting at lease one platform to invest more heavily in.

Events / Group Events - Get involved in group hunts and events. Both are great for exposure. Setup a group for your business and offer free gifts periodically. At this point you want a means of being able to get in touch with people that are interested in your brand and retaining those customers. Additionally, consider doing a freebie gift from your online store.

 

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Are there any third-party sites that provide better statistical information for the Marketplace?

I know other sites like Etsy have a lot of 3rd party apps that gather stats for shop owners -like the keywords used to find items, or the  general demographics of people viewing the pages.

It would be very helpful here!

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@DragonLady Merlin

None that I am aware of. The marketplace does have some statistical information available for sellers although it is not all encompassing. Based on my personal experience all of that is data while informative wouldn't really help a whole lot in driving additional business to your online store. If I do a search for "t-shirts" for example, I am going to come up with a TON of options. While you may sell some inadvertently this way—your main source of revenue will be from  driving traffic directly to your store. Make sense?

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It does make sense, but so far I've only sold five tee shirts in-world.  The rest have all been on the marketplace.  I know that I often find something I think I want in world, then make the purchase later on the MP after I've read the extended description and the reviews.  It also gives me the ability to leave a review, which seems to be a better method of gaining  a seller's attention if something is wrong with an item or if I need help making it work.

So, to that end, I'd love to see more stats.  My RL business is not so different from my SL one (do what you know), and the shopping venue I use, my shopping cart program, and web hosting together  provide me with tons of data about my visitors.  I can see what they're looking for, whether or not they viewed particular items, whether they added something to a wish list or cart.

That helps me determine what may be going through their minds.  If 50 people put something in their wish list, but only a couple actually buy, it tells me they're interested but reluctant.  So I can work on my photos, write different descriptions, offer an incentive, schedule a sale....

Without that info, every item is a random role of the dice.

So far as freebies, I do think they've been made necessary  for the SL business model, but I wish whoever started it hadn't.  I struggle to tell people with RL shops that giving away free products and continually devaluing their work is not the best route.  You really can't even give something away if no one wants it, but you can sell it at a reasonable price to someone who does.  The "trick" is finding that someone, and making sure they're happy enough to keep coming back for more.

But in SL the hard part -finding the people who want what you have- is difficult because there are so few venues for finding out who your visitors are, how and why they stopped by, what they were hoping to find, and whether or not they're likely to return.

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I don't think anyone would disagree with you that having more information could be valuable but we have what we have and unfortunately it isn't changing. Perhaps if the marketplace ever gets an overhaul they will include those tools to give sellers information that could be beneficial for them to manage their online store more efficiently.

No, freebies aren't necessary but they do serve a purpose in SL and IMO there are segments of the market for which I believe aspects of it are more valuable then others. On a broad surface they can represent exposure, assist in driving traffic, they can also aid in keeping that brand fresh in the consumer's mind and they act as a great service piece as well.

Do all brands do it? Nope. Do all brands do it effectively? No. Does it mean that your business couldn't succeed without it? No. But it is a tool that you can use for some of the reasons I mentioned above. The mileage on it will vary depending on the state of your business. There isn't a cookie cutter solution to running a successful business in Second Life (not suggesting you were implying that).

I stand by my original post when I said " The best advice I can give you is focus on creating quality product. Your marketing efforts will be that much easier if you can create a product that is in demand and of a good quality at a fair price."

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