How To Create Equal Business Opportunities For Industry Newcomers

Dayana Jones

Marketing Director at Sellvia, developing and guiding promotion strategies for the company’s brands.

The number of newcomers to e-commerce seems to be growing steadily, as I discussed in my previous article.

In part, I believe this is happening because of a joint effort from numerous initiatives to remove barriers in the way of entrepreneurship and create unprecedented conditions for entering the industry. Thanks to this, neither a lack of formal training nor a shortage of startup savings are necessarily obstacles for a determined entrepreneur-to-be, whatever geographic location and educational background they come from.

To illustrate these initiatives’ essence and, most importantly, potential social impact, I will be drawing from the experience of our e-commerce ecosystem that assists first-time online business owners in three different ways.

How It Works: A Three-Step Approach

The e-commerce industry, indeed, has historically been one of knowledge-driven markets where players, even completely new ones, were supposed to have extensive experience in the sector they’re tapping into, possess specific skills or own certain assets. Based on my team’s history of operation in such a demanding market, we’ve found that these requirements are essentially preventing these industries from driving in new members, which could result in sectoral stagnation on one hand and unjust distribution of resources, finances and human capital on the other hand.

This is why the three-dimensional strategy my colleagues developed might prove valuable to countless other businesses that wish to fix any imbalances in their industries and establish closer contact with more diverse segments of their audiences, including the ones who are less familiar with their industries and seemingly less ready to give it a try.

No. 1: Free Product

The centerpiece of the strategy is allowing potential customers to try your company’s offering at no cost. Depending on your industry, you could realize this in the form of a free trial, free membership, free payment plan installment or any other free sample that introduces a complex solution or service to the potential users and reduces their uncertainty and hesitation.

How We Apply This

For example, by registering with our ecosystem, every new member gets a custom-made e-commerce store developed at no cost with a free trial period of 14 days.

What This Means For Users

Traditionally, the main reason to start an online business has been to gain an extra source of income. When they wish to improve their financial situation, people are not always ready to spend a portion of their savings on launching an e-commerce venture that’s not even guaranteed to pay off. This is why offering something free, like an online store created and put into operation at the newcomer’s request, is a convenient and highly appreciated solution, especially for lower-income users where one service alone, like website development, may be unaffordable.

Additionally, during the trial period, you can offer the newcomers additional insight they wouldn’t be able to acquire anywhere else. Give them a chance to understand whether the business model your product offers—and, if you offer an e-commerce solution, the whole online store experience—meets their expectations and to decide whether they want to continue with their venture on a paid basis.

No. 2: Free Training

The next stage, which is crucial for inexperienced industry newcomers with little to no background knowledge, is helping them understand the market they’ve just entered. This can contribute to their overall satisfaction with the business offering and facilitate healthy communication with representatives.

How We Apply This

Even without a membership, any internet user has free, unlimited access to our educational materials on how to start, run and grow an e-commerce business. For easier adoption, make sure your materials take diverse forms (videos, blog articles, road map guides, interviews and more) and distribute them across multiple free access channels (a dedicated YouTube channel, social media accounts on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok, emails, etc.).

What This Means For Users

Your educational materials should contain not only introductory advice and general business tips but also highly specific step-by-step guidelines for using your product. For us, this includes processing in-store operations, launching marketing campaigns, managing the store on a daily basis and more.

Additionally, if you offer an e-commerce solution, consider offering advertising materials for in-store products (such as product descriptions, banners, email text, promo videos, etc.) that are available for download and use. Together with advertising road maps, materials like these can allow users to launch their first marketing campaigns immediately after getting a free version of your product.

For our customers, this means they don’t waste any time on research and preparation: They can start driving traffic to their online stores while the free trial period is still active.

No. 3: Free Lifelong Support

However informative they are, guides and tutorials are somewhat rigid and don’t consider an individual person’s interests, unique circumstances and life experiences. This means your company should also provide personalized advice upon request and tailor it to each specific case.

How We Apply This

This is a topic for a separate study, but our customer support comes in several different forms as well. Before even registering with the system, newcomers are eligible for free consultations with the company’s business advisors, who explain the essence of the offering and answer all questions that arise. By signing up for a membership with your company, users should get free lifelong support for any technical matters and should also be able to request free individual consultations.

What This Means For Users

Instead of paying for expensive private coaching, you guide your customers along their journey at no cost and provide them with personalized advice on any desired aspect of their business’s management.

These free consultations, along with free product trials and free educational materials, are the three core elements of introducing interested audiences to a previously unfamiliar market. Thanks to them, even less informed users with limited industry experience may be more willing to explore unfolding opportunities through your business and lay the foundation for new achievements, discoveries and beginnings.


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https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2022/05/23/how-to-create-equal-business-opportunities-for-industry-newcomers/

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