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Why Retailers should be part of Shopping Portals

Whats different between DLF Mall and Rediff.com? Obvious answer: One’s brick-n-mortar, the other is purely online. And thats where the differences end. Both house a huge number of brands, provide lots of choice to their visitors and are major retail destinations today, involving huge amounts of high value daily transactions.

Like with the case of malls across the country, there have been a surge of virtual malls in the country. Some of the better ones are rediff.com, indiatimes.com, ebay.in, naaptol.com, indiaplaza.in, infibeam.com, indiavarta.com, and homeshop18.com.

So why should a retailer care about competing in these shopping portals? For the same reason he decides to rent a store in a mall. Attract customers. Brand awareness. High sales. Here are a few advantages.

1. Brand Awareness - Put your brand out there online. Gain brand recognition and be known by the online customer as a choice.

2. Attract Traffic to your brand – With the Shopping portals, you have a lot of traffic coming to the sites. Get noticed by putting out great offers, discounts to the visitors. Entice them with offers. Wow them with the experience. Dazzle them with the service. And rule a portion of their wallets for a lifetime.

3.  Acquire visitors in Shopping Portals and then get them to your own site – Shopping portals are great places for customer acquisition. It lets people from all over the country to know your brand (not just in the cities you are present in) and test you out. If they like your products and service, they will look you up directly, come to your store and increase your direct traffic to your own dot com.

4.  Learn online strategies at the marketplace - As a vendor at these shopping portals, life isn’t easy. You need to compete with aggressive pricing on the popular items. You need to provide great service, quick response times to customer issues, ensure good post sale service to have good vendor ratings on these shopping portals. So in effect you can constantly view what your competition is upto on the same platform. And thats great learning for you. You get battle ready to take on your competition directly with your dot com.

5. Focus on the business, leave the rest to the Shopping Portals - One huge advantage for smaller retailers is that they  often don’t have the resources to worry about technical stuff and thats where the portals come in so useful for their online strategies. Coz they can forget about technology, logistic, driving traffic, payment gateways but instead focus on the core of what they do.

Next Blog post: How to setup an E-store at a Shopping Portal