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From the Entrepreneur’s Perspective: What is the best way to manage brick and mortar retailers concerns about online retailers?

As more and more consumers shop online these days, I think it would be hard pressed to tell any product-based entrepreneur NOT to sell online whether it’s on our own web site and/or on others’ sites. That said, you can do the following to manage a brick and mortar buyer’s concerns about online retailers by:

1) Limiting the number of online retailers with which you partner. By doing so you have better control over your pricing and where your inventory resides (i.e. it’s in the hands of those you intended and not being offloaded on third-party web sites at a discount or under MSRP).

2) Differentiating your product assortment online vs in-store by color, quality, or packaging (i.e. a two pack vs. a one pack).

3) Tagging (featuring) your brick and mortar retailers via regional and/or national ads or press. The retailer wants to know that you will be driving business to their store(s). Make sure your marketing plan supports this effort and that your buyer is aware of this plan.

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