You have finally got a good supplier who is reliable and has given you a good deal with the products that you are selling online. You are happy with the prices that you have negotiated with your logistics provider. Your listings rank well in eBay search and your business is growing. Everything seems to be going well. The only fear you have in your mind is that, for some God-forsaken reason, out-of-the-blue, unknowingly you violate some obscure eBay policy and your account may get blocked. And when that happens, you will have a backlog of inventory with nowhere to sell. You will need to build up your reputation again on another account from the beginning.
Well, you are not alone in that boat. Many on the eBay platform worry about the same thing. In fact many others have been a victim of this kind of blocking. Suddenly the account gets blocked and the steady stream of business that was flowing gets dried up like a river in a hot Rajasthan summer dessert.
Business Continuity Planning (BCP)
As the old proverbial saying goes – ‘Never put all your eggs in one basket’. Similarly do not count on all your business from one sales channel. It is very important to safeguard yourself against the unforeseen circumstances like the one mentioned above which will endanger your business in case of an account shutdown. Business Continuity essentially means that the business on the whole remains unaffected when one or more channels of sales get affected by external circumstances. This can be achieved by putting some processes in place and the act of creating these processes is called Business Continuity Planning.
How to maintain Business Continuity?
The best way to maintain business continuity is to start putting your products onto other online shopping sites or marketplaces like Snapdeal, Flipkart, ShopClues, Tradus, etc. The strategy of selling on multiple online stores is known as Multi-Channel Sales. Each online store is considered a separate sales channel. In the traditional offline businesses, multiple channels are made of distributors, retailers, affiliates and resellers including Mom-and-Pop stores and large high street stores. On the other hand, in the online world these channels are made of online marketplaces as mentioned above where the visitors are mostly online buyers.
How multi-channel selling ensures Business Continuity
The marketplace sites like Flipkart, Snapdeal, etc. are spending a significant amount of money and energy on advertising and marketing themselves. Hence people or consumers flock to these sites to buy products. You can make use of all this traffic to promote your products and sell your inventory. By putting your catalogue and stock on multiple marketplaces, you will maintain a greater visibility for your inventory and hence a wider sales funnel. Visitors coming to all these websites will ensure that you have enough clicks coming to your products in order to ensure a steady stream of business from various channels. In case one suffers due to unforeseen circumstances, then the others bring in the sales.
[Read more on this: 5 Things to Keep in Mind When Doing Multi-Channel Sales; Which marketplaces are available to sell online in India (story coming soon)]
Cross-Border Trade as a means to Business Continuty
Another way to ensure Business Continuity is to start selling internationally otherwise known as Cross-Border Trade (you might know it as Exporting). Read more about why and how to sell abroad from India.