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Best practice for sharing web content with resellers?



6:59 pm on Jan 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

My company has developed a new product line that I built a website to specifically promote. We are planning on distributing this product line to resellers as well as sell it directly ourselves.

Tomorrow I'm going to be part of a meeting with a company that wants to be a reseller of our products. They've asked for pics and copy from our website that they can insert into their website. I don't think it's a good idea to have them host our info on their site, but what would be the best way to go about this?

To have them link to our site would be best for us, and it would mean an inbound link, but I'm sure they won't want to do this, because they could easily lose control of their lead, who could contact us directly to buy.

I'm thinking I could set up a webpage specifically for them to link to. This page would have no links back to our main site, and contact links for them. If they didn't want our URL in the address bar, they could set it up as an iframe.

Or is there a better idea? I'm sure this will come up with other resellers in the future.



8:11 pm on Jan 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator httpwebwitch is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Bottom line is how much profit you make. Right above that line is how many units were sold. Whether you sold them yourself or through a partner, it's still earnings! It's *usually* advantageous to offload marketing and sales to a partner. They may do it better than you!

You have options, at different levels of involvement:

1) partner handles all aspects of all sales. That means they actually order and keep a stock of your product, and they do all handling and shipping. You sell products to them at wholesale price, in advance. aka retailer.

2) partner makes the sale, and accepts the cash. They have their own shopping cart (or store), and use you as a drop-shipper to handle product fulfilment (warehousing, shipping).

3) They do the marketing, but they pass the customer along to you to accept the cash and do all the handling and shipping. You merely keep a referral token when they pass you some traffic, and pay out a commission to the partner. aka affiliate.

No matter which relationship you have with your resellers, give them plenty of leeway & cooperation where it concerns usage of photos and marketing materials. If they want to have the info on their own domain, let them. If they want to handle the e-commerce and the marketing and the product fulfilment, let them do that too!

By being strict (greedy?) with your web content, you gain control... but you will lose sales. The more cooperation and resources you give to the partner, the more they'll sell.

If you're anxious about duplicate content and copyright, take a step back. Think of what you're gaining by hoarding your images and text, versus what you gain by letting them use your materials. Which attitude is more profitable?

I was (a few years ago) in charge of a site with a humming affiliate relationship with a manufacturer of tangible goods. We "borrowed" all their gorgeous professionally-produced product photos for use on our site, and spent oodles in marketing the products to the best of our ability. Business was excellent.

One day, we got a letter from their lawyer, asking to take all the photos down!

Instead of complying, I made a phone call to the manufacturer for a friendly chat with their rep. If we remove the photos from our site, I said, sales *will* plummet. When sales plummet, revenue drops. We were at the time their #1 reseller, representing about 25% of their total sales. After that conversation, they had no problem calling off the lawyers, giving us carte blanche with their photos, and found that with their increased cooperation we were able to increase our sales even more in the next quarter.

that's a "Win Win".

the moral of the story:
Sometimes worrying about SEO gets in the way of good business sense!


8:48 pm on Jan 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

httpwebwitch, great info, thanks!

Yes, as the IT guy and webmaster here, I was thinking more narrowly in terms of SEO. I'm not worried about sharing pics nearly as much as I am about having our content duplicated and having Google ding us for that. Also losing control of product updates and stuff like that, having to rely on them updating important info.

But you've given me given me a new perspective. Definitely the end result is to sell a lot of the stuff! So maybe freely giving them pics and copy would be the way to go. Maybe just slightly reword the copy so it's not a word-for-word dupe.


5:21 am on Jan 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator httpwebwitch is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I agree - paraphrase a little here and there so the copy isn't a word-for-word dupe. That'll work for one reseller. But what about when you have hundreds, and they're all "borrowing" product descriptions from you and each other? I'm saying... don't encourage it, but don't sweat it either. :)


12:58 pm on Jan 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

"...But what about when you have hundreds...?"

Yeah, if that becomes the case, I'm not going to be sweating the SEO too much ;-)


2:40 pm on Jan 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I don't think you've anything to worry about. So long as you get the content indexed first then I doubt any of your resellers will have sufficiently powerful site to cause you any problems. I see loads of sites completely duplicated in google ranking for exactly the same terms.

Forget the links from resellers, it ain't gonna happen. Visitors to my site can often cost me in excess of £30 each (in marketing costs) why would I want to give them to you for free?


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