Firstly, check to make sure that your existing marketplace or platform doesn’t already offer mobile or social selling tools because, chances are, they do. If you still decide to go an alternate route, the biggest question to ask yourself here is: Is there a good reason to sell exclusively via mobile or a social network? What can an app that offers your items exclusively on a site like Facebook or to mobile users give you that you wouldn’t get from a marketplace or webstore that does the same thing in addition to all its other features?
If you do decide that setting up shop on your favorite social network is the best thing for you, just do yourself a favor and make sure you still work on building on those sales with the goal of moving towards your own standalone store eventually. This way, if the social site goes down or otherwise changes unfavorably, you’ll be able to salvage something so you won’t be starting over from scratch again. If you’re smart about connecting with customers and building up a customer base, selling on your social network could be the perfect transitional e-commerce option while you’re getting your final store set up.
Keep in mind that no matter where you sell, even if you don’t use a single fancy tool or app, you still can (and should!) use social networks to market your webstore and promote your items and you’ll still benefit from mobile sales.
I’m not going to recommend a specific app for import because there are too many variables for your specific items and networks but I will give you these pointers when looking for a social selling option:
- Look for a tool that lets you control how often your customers see your items or other selling related posts in their newsfeeds. If you just blast out every single item as you list it all day, every day, you’ll annoy customers and find yourself blocked. For instance, having your items behind a tab on your Facebook page where buyers have the choice to view it or not is preferable to forcing everyone who likes your page to view all your items every time they visit.
- Does the service offer sync or just import? Import is a great time saver but sync is better. Synchronization makes the store on your social network exactly the same as the one on the original platform by keeping track of your current inventory on both platforms so you don’t accidentally sell the same item twice and adding new items automatically as soon as they are listed in the original store. If your items are only imported, you’ll need to remember to manually change quantity or add and remove items as their status changes on one platform or the other.
- Should I pay for it? There are so many free ways to import your items, what would make you consider a paid service? What advantages would they need to offer to be worth more than free?