A little intro:
My site is basically an e-commerce site for buying and selling phones and tablets. Like eBay but only for phones and tablets.
To make the site work I need visitors. But who would want to buy phones from a site which has no sellers (so nothing to buy)?
So here we are with the two edged sword. This is a very common problem for business like this. Businesses which rely on sellers to attract buyers. Uber and Airbnb all faced this problem before they got big. This only makes me feel better 😀
What is my strategy for attracting visitors?
- I launched Facebook Ad campaigns for a prize game where you could win any phone or tablet from the site. To enter you had to like the post, the page and share the post with your friends. This got the site quite bit of traction from a small amount of money.
- Next, I am going to blog on the Facebook page of the site everyday. Share interesting tech articles and videos to keep the name of my site popping up on people’s feed.
- Every cent I make from the Google Ads on my site, I will spend it on Google Adwords until I make a sufficient amount per month.
- Once I make enough money, I am going to put up billboards around Hungary with my website’s name. Fortunately my friend’s father has a company which sells billboard places.
Okay fair enough… But how do you attract sellers in the beginning?
The ads are great to attract visitors, but a very small amount of those people will list their phone or tablet for sale on the site. To get around this, I made a mailing list with more than 150 e-mail addresses of shops around Hungary who sell used phones and tablets. I sent an e-mail to all of them to let them know my site is launching and they should upload their products if they want more buyers rolling in. I also went around personally and handed name cards around shops I found nearby and told them about the site. They all welcomed the idea, but I think only a fraction of them will upload anything. Of course, only until the site is unknown. Often they don’t have time to do this and their business is profitable enough already, so I offered them that I am going to the work for them. Of course they do not know that I am the owner of the site…
What to look out for with this?
The guys at these shops were all employes. They get paid no matter how many phones they sell, so uploading their inventory online is not a plus for them but only a pain in the a**. To get around this, I am going to have to contact the owner of the shops, because he will see the potential of taking his business online and will make the employees upload the phones. Probably, I am just going to cold call them like Uber CEO Travis Kalanick did when Uber was starting out and needed to attract drivers.
What if this does not work?
If I still can’t attract sellers to the site (which I hope does not happen), I am going to start paying them for uploading their ads, only until I have enough of them. This is my last choice though, but not something to abandon.
Have you got any suggestions for me?
Feel free to share your ideas! 🙂