Should we sell our new product online or through traditional retail?

We have a patented cricket training aid. Basically it acts as a bowler, it will sell for about $60 and we have video footage of 50 overs being hit in under 12 minutes.


Brad Hodge tried it and loved it. How would you sell it – online or in retail outlets?


Congratulations on coming up with an innovative product! This product would have big appeal in Australia, and could be easily adapted to other markets (e.g. baseball for the USA).


How would I sell this product to the Australian market? There are several options, all of which have their own pros and cons that should be considered.



As founder and CEO of Milan Direct, Australia’s number one online furniture store, I am obviously going to recommend selling your product online, as I believe this is the most efficient manner to get your product to your customers for the lowest possible cost to your customer.


But it’s the ‘how’ you sell your product online which is where you will succeed or not. Looking at your current website you have not invested at all into SEM (search engine marketing) or SEO (search engine optimisation).


In order to be found by online shoppers, my tip would be to either outsource to a firm that specialises in these fields, or teach yourself via all the readily available info on the net (which is what we did when initially launching Milan Direct).


Your current site has not been optimised for the search engines, and needs to have the proper keywords and meta titles added or your site will not appear in search results.


Likewise, it appears you have no Google AdWords campaign. When I search “learn to play cricket” or “cricket training aid” your ads are not appearing.


If you wish to sell online you need your potential market to be able to easily find you! You could set up an AdWords campaign within half an hour for as little as $20 a day, pulling highly targeted traffic to your site, and achieve sales instantly.



Another way to market your product online is via eBay, which is the world’s largest natural marketplace. If you want to see if there is actual demand for your products, put them on eBay and list at 1c with no reserve.


The natural marketplace will show you exactly what customers are willing to pay for this product. If your product is in demand, you have nothing to worry about and will achieve a high sale price.


Conversely, if there is not a large enough demand for your product, you will take a hit as the product can sell for well under cost price.


Our view has always been we are willing to sell a product at under cost price on eBay, for the lesson it gives us. E.g., that the item is not in demand and should be immediately discontinued.


In store


Another option is to sell your product in bricks and mortar retail stores. If you are not concerned about providing your customers with the absolute best price then this could be the option for you!


The cost price of your product will now have to take into account the margin retailers expect to receive to cover all their extra expenses that their outlets bring with it: high street rent costs, showroom floor staff, electricity, etc.


The pros are that your customers could see the product first hand and even “touch and feel” it. However, the same can easily be achieved online via detailed YouTube videos, detailed product descriptions, product photos, plus live chat on your website to answer any further questions potential customers may have.


Disclaimer: So I am clearly an unabashed fan of running a Pure Play Online Retail Model as the best means to get your product to market in the most efficient manner.


If you came across a dinosaur in the street however, he may bark at you saying I am mad, and that the only way to retail your product is to buy up chunks of expensive TV, radio and newspaper ads (that nobody is paying attention to anyway) and then to scream at the entire country hoping someone will listen!


Beware of the dinosaur, because, as we know, their destiny is extinction.


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