5 Benefits of Multi-Store Distribution

Be Everywhere. Everywhere you go, there’s a McDonald’s there, or a Walmart, sometimes a 7-11, a Circle-K, a BP Station, or a Safeway. Chain stores exist for a reason. Amazon.com is trying to go everywhere for a reason. Many companies set up affiliate programs for even more points of presence… for a reason.

Five Benefits of Multiple Store Distribution:
* market reach and potential for market share
* more selection in choosing “where to focus”
* building brand name recognition
* developing customer and networking relationships
* diversification for long-term revenue potential

Companies come and go, just as people shift between them. Market share fluctuates as new technologies emerge and older ones bite the dust. Market share also changes as new markets are brought up to speed.

Some developers take the approach that Google’s and Apple’s app stores are all that matter. That’s like saying, “Our products will only be sold in Walmart… or Sears.” Okay… But really, it is worse than that. It’s like setting up a sales booth right next to 100,000 other mobile app developers. That strategy can and does work for the top developers. Even for them, it’s sub-optimal – but that’s relatively good news for everyone else.

The more places that carry your product the more customers you *can* reach. This is true for brick-n-mortar, it is true for the Internet, it is true for mobile.

Why would you not want to have your product/s in the hands of more customers? Probably not. There are ONLY three reasons why a company would not. First – exclusivity, the value of your product is tied directly to the “relative” prestige of the “few people” who do have it. Second – your company is overwhelmed servicing its existing customers, so you scale back growth as you bring on and train more support personnel.

The third reason – the cost of doing so exceeds your ROI. With Mobile Apps – that’s not a factor.

You are dealing with an electronic product that involves no physical storage space, no shipping and handling, no physical packaging, no hard copy marketing materials AND most importantly – virtually NO BARRIER TO ENTRY!!! Let’s add a few more of those!!! And a few more!!!

Compared to the process of getting a physical product to market – Electronic Products — Digital Downloads ROCK. With brick-n-mortar, there is an arduous process of convincing distributors and retailers to carry your product and give it some shelf space in their stores.

Online vs Offline Shelf Space In a brick-n-mortar store, you are dealing with shelf space. Online, you are also dealing with… shelf space, essentially. The BIG Difference is that most physical stores have physical limitations; online stores have virtually no limitations.

The more products that are offered in any store, the lower the conversion or buy rate for any given one will be – unless it is in some way a featured product (Most Popular or Newest), on sale or running with some other kind of promotion.

So, it is easy to get into the online market — not so easy to get on the most viewed shelves. It is up to developers to arrange a way to get their app into the “best shelf space” – especially if the products are being offered for “free”. Why would a store give your app “special exposure” over any of the 10,000’s of other apps?

That’s one of the major differences, presently not very well understood within the mobile app developer community – that sales and marketing is NOT a passive effort. UNDERSTANDING THIS immediately places you at a MAJOR ADVANTAGE over most of your competition. The more attention to actively promoting your product is what will move it.

Even if placement of your product on a store yields few downloads, that’s more than you would have had. Some developers think it is the store’s role to push their app – and to some extent it is. Most usually, store’s promote products in near direct proportion to the extent the developer is promoting it and makes that known to the store managers. This is one reason for this blog – to provide you an additional, easy way to communicate with Opera Mobile Store. Let us know what you are doing!

Concurrently, being on multiple stores gives you the potential to sequentially stagger your promotional efforts to get the low hanging fruit of each store’s “power users”. User distribution by venue (store/advertiser) deserves another article. It is sufficient to say here that some portion of any given audience (3-4%) are frequently downloading and trying out new apps; another 15 – 25% are regulars… there’s the median group and lastly the hardest to reach.

Many of the points above also deserve further elaboration, but I will bring this to a close and remain open to any questions you may have about anything covered.

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Project Manager at the Opera Mobile Store providing Sales-Marketing support. Content development and research.

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