In many ways, rural sellers are the same as all sellers. Both use several different methods to reach customers – online and offline, wholesale and marketplaces, and direct-to-consumer apps. Every sales method has competitors vying for sellers’ allegiance, and there is no one-size-fits-all or dominant solution. For example, Amazon’s marketplace may be the most popular, but other marketplaces are almost as popular, and the vast majority of Amazon sellers also sell on other marketplaces and through other methods.
In other ways, rural sellers are markedly different. For example, while the most popular sales methods for small sellers generally are traditional brick and mortar and wholesaling, for rural sellers the most popular methods are online web stores and marketplaces. We believe that rural areas’ lower population density requires further travel distances for traditional sales trips, i.e., wholesaling, so rural sellers find it more efficient to utilize online sales channels to reach distant customers. We’re confident that many rural sellers are “online first.”