Since the pandemic, people have been changing the way they do business and some have started up completely new ones. One thing that the pandemic has highlighted is how much we love to shop and when we can't physically go shopping we go online to do it.
During lockdowns, people who had never shopped online before had to learn and the majority of them enjoyed it. People who were familiar with online shopping just done it even more. Both sets of people are now set in their ways and shopping online continues to grow. It's not surprising to know that more and more people are starting e-commerce businesses, some are transferring their shop to online, some people have been busy making stuff during the lockdown and now want to sell it, while others just want to get a slice of the action.
So, where do you start if you want to be an online seller?
What product or products? If you have products already then you're a step ahead of everyone else. Just make sure that your products can convert readily into an online store. For example, you may not have had to consider postage and packaging before and that's why you could sell at a competitive price; will going online damage your profits?
If you've not got a product to sell yet then it's research for you. Remember whatever product/s you opt for you will have to market them, which means promoting and creating content. If you choose to sell a product that bores you senseless then you're not going to sell it convincingly. Remember also that you don't physically have to have the product, you could try drop shipping which means you become a middle man (or woman). You would market and sell the products and then the supplier sends the sold product direct to the customer.
Research suppliers If you decide to buy and sell on or turn your hand at drop-shipping then you must research your potential suppliers. There is nothing worse than not being able to get products because the supplier has disappeared or your customer constantly calling you because they've paid but haven't received anything.
A lot of people venturing into online sales have heard that all you need to do is buy from China at cheap prices and sell on at a profit. Sounds great, but not so great when it takes forever to arrive and then falls apart when the customer receives it.
Where to sell? Think about where you're going to sell your products. Just setting up a shop on sites like eBay, Bonanza and Amazon is not as easy as it once was but they are a popular option. eBay and Bonanza are easier but they will want a lot of information, but Amazon will ask for a lot more information and in the UK the waiting list to join is long.
These platforms are hugely competitive and you really have you look at standing out. You will also rely heavily on customer reviews, negative reviews can ruin your shop, it's imperative that the supply chain is solid and the customer is not left waiting. Etsy is a great place for handmade products, this doesn't mean they have to be made by you, you can still sell other peoples products here. This Etsy example by TacknTweed sells other people's hand made products for equestrians.
An eCommerce site like Shopify or Magento is great as long as you are ready to do some marketing. TacknTweedhave their website set up on Shopify, it's easy to operate and manage.
Just because you've got a website though doesn't mean customers will automatically buy from you. Once you have an eCommerce site though you can go on to sell on Facebook shops and Instagram.
Marketing Every business has to market itself and selling online is no different. Marketing is the way that potential customers will find out about your products. When you love the product or the outcome the product achieves then you're going to find it much easier to create content for it. Marketing could involve many tactics from TikTok to blogging to sponsoring podcasts or showcasing them on video. Like anything good marketing takes planning.
If you're considering selling your products online and would like some help then please get in touch for a FREE consultation today
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