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Publishing in the Microsoft Store - Part 1 of 3 : Why Sell in an Online Store Alongside Competitors?

News, Business

Why does anyone sell in a store alongside competing products?

It seems illogical to present the customer with such a choice. Far better to tout your product without competition to a customer on the verge of making a purchase.

Except it is impossible to only advertise at the moment of decision without competing distractions.

Google and similar online sites get close. Putting an ad for an item next to a search term can be far more targeted than old, offline advertising. Plus, with online advertising you get accurate counts of how many prospects saw and rejected your ad.

But, still, why a store with competitors if you can influence so closely to the moment of purchase?

Unless you are an established brand like Apple or Microsoft you will need to teach your customer about your brand and stores do that. Lets take your local supermarket and its classification of goods for sale. The store offers the following services:

  • Find a product by class – you don’t go to the ‘Ambrosia’ (yes, a real brand in the USA), apple aisle, you find the apples, and maybe have a choice from there.
  • Information about the brands, returns, and sometimes support is available through your store.
  • Brands are curated before the store offers them because shelf space is expensive and the store protects its own brand by selling products that are fit for sale.

Competing products trade exclusivity for being discoverable, sales support and update, returns, and the quality halo of being included in the store.

But why not sell directly on the web using targeted ads?

Let me answer that with a question: how much is your brand worth? Do your customers understand what you are offering, trust it, and know how to learn more and get support? Finding a customer is much easier if you start with a store’s existing customer relationship.

Later, lets hope soon, you can take your now-established brand on the web all by itself; but a store is a good place to start learning about your customers.