Effective Online Vendor Management: Tips and Strategies

Do you own an online page and struggling to manage it or experience low patronage? Then this post is for you.

Since 2020, after the COVID-19 outbreak, the word online vendors have become more popular in Nigeria. One of the major reasons is that it is easy to setup. However, it is one of the difficult businesses to manage.

Easy to setup in the sense that it does not require a long process. Setting it up is like creating a WhatsApp group or community, Facebook group or page, or Telegram group or channel and lot more. After creation you then start adding members. Simple right?

The difficult aspect of setting up an online vendor is when you have to do scout for members or subscribers and channeling your effort to retain your members. The awkward challenge is staying committed to your vision. 

I am certain you really want to learn how to stay up on your marketing journey right? Read on, this might help you stand out.

What to consider before creating your online vendor

  • Adding people to your group, page or channel
  • People leaving your group or unsubscribing to your channel.
  • Another challenge is how I retain your group members and convince to buy from you?

1. Adding people to your group, page or channel

This is a little bit trickish because not everybody will be interested in what you sell. There are these sets of people you will meet. People like.

  • "Why do you add me to your group without my consent?"
  • "Remove me from your group now".
  • "What is the group all about?"
  • "Someone to tell me what's going on here." etc.

You will certainly encounter this when you create WhatsApp group or community and add member to it without seeking their consent. If you are intending to create a WhatsApp group or any group, I will advise you not to take this route, this approach may ruin your business and also lead you to WhatsApp/Telegram ban because some people may report you while exiting your group. In other way round, if this was your approach, this kind of comment most times could be discouraging. Just have to deal with it, humans are wired differently. Ensure you post your group information before your members request for it.

2. People leaving your group or unsubscribing to your channel.

This play out when members of your group are no longer interested in your posting or feel you ought to have seek their permission before adding them up to your group. 

Talking about seeking people permission before adding them to a group, I once had this experience. My first WhatsApp group that I created, I added over 620 members to it without seeking their permission, it was less than 309 that stayed after 30 minutes of the group creation. Imagine how discouraged it was, however, I learnt my lesson, people privacy matters, never rules that out of your daily to-do-list.

Also note that when you are less committed to what inspired you to create your group, members of your group will exit, you can't bargain it. You just have to stay committed.

3. Another challenge is how to retain group members and convince to buy from you?

You can't force people to trust you, get that! You aren't the first legit online vendor. There are lots of scammers and legit online vendor out there so getting people to trust you is a game of risk. The big question is what makes you different?

Retaining members in an online group is all about selling quality and affordable products. Members will leave when you keep posting something they cannot afford or are too difficult to remarket. 

Retaining members of your group depends on your attitude. Take your time to study your group members to understand their buyer's journey. You will know this when you engage your group members that have purchase one or two products from you. Ask for their review, flow with them and see them as your physical customer. 

Be transparent and sincere with your customers. Tell them when they will get their goods, if your transporters fail to deliver on time, see it as your headache. Be the disturbing seller thriving to his his/her buyers happiness. Prioritize your client satisfaction - that is how to retain them.

Tips to make your online vendor work for you.

1. Be sincere. 

Most of the online vendors does not have their goods stocked but they keep giving their clients the impression that they have it stocked. Take the bull by the horn, tell your group members the truth, those that will do business with you will do. You stock your goods to sell or you dropship, say it. 

However, my advice is, start small. Buy what you can afford and let your customers see it on their first visit to your store. First visit matters a lot, ensure customer satisfaction on first visit and maintain it.

2. Be consistent. 

Post your products regularly. If that is all what you do, let people see it daily. As a nursing mother like Precious Closet CEO, let your customers know and set timeline for your posting as to maintain your consistency.

3. Post people review. 

On your group.  People review give the impression of your sincerity. Tell your regular customer to leave a review on your Facebook Page.

4. Prioritize your client privacy 

My privacy is key to me and so I expect my supplier to prioritize it. Instead of creating a general open group, create a WhatsApp community where customer can only see admin.

The only doubt this will create in the mind of your group members is, how real is this community? This is why you still need to create a Facebook Page where your group members can leave a comment or write a review about your online vendor.

Signing out here. See you guys for another segment. Stay up to date by following us by clicking on this underline ESG Marketplace Updates.

This post is sponsored by Precious Closets. Precious Closet is an online vendor that deals in all kinds of fabric materials, night wears, and foot wears. 

I belief you guys have learnt one or two things today. There is one thing i wanted to talk about, that is "How to get more people to join your group or know about your group and what you sell?" We will discuss this in our next post, more reason for you to follow us.

Let's hear your view in the comment section below. We hope to respond soon.