Everyone is selling and shopping online these days and there are many facets of online sales and competition. Learning more about online selling, the best ways to sell online, and how to increase your sales will hopefully give you a starting point for selling your products.
How to Get Started Selling Online
When selling online you must first know what you are selling. What excites you? What are you good at? Perhaps you have a hobby that could be turned into a business. Would people actually buy your product? Once you are familiar with your product and your potential customers, you can determine where you want to sell online. A great place to start selling is on your website. You can sell to people all over the world as well as locally with a well-made website.
The Best E-Commerce Website Platforms
There are several e-commerce website platforms to choose from. You can choose what works for you based on the pros and cons of each platform.
Wix is mainly known for its website-building platform. However, they can also provide a great, fully functional e-commerce option. Wix is good for small businesses because it’s simple and you don’t need all the bells and whistles of a larger online store. It’s also easy to set up and manage. There are a variety of templates to choose from that can be customized for your business. Its payment options include major credit card companies, PayPal, and Stripe.
Bluehost + WooCommerce
WooCommerce is a free plug-in used on a WordPress website. This plugin will turn your WordPress website into a fully functional e-commerce site. Bluehost provides everything you need to complete the WooCommerce platform by having a shopping theme and essential plugins. There are two different plans but the Standard plan offers just about everything you need. Besides a storefront, WooCommerce includes other features such as a blog, payment processing, discount codes, and email marketing.
Shopify is the most well-known e-commerce platform available. There are many templates that you can choose from or you can design your own store. Shopify accepts a wide range of credit cards, offers 24/7 phone support, instant messaging, and email. The platform provides a full CMS with which users can manage the layout and functionality of their online store.
BigCommerce provides several templates and themes to help get a store up and running. Users can also design their own store. The platform has a CMS which allows users to run an entire website, not just a store. BigCommerce has flexible product management, search engine rankings, and analytics tools for you to use as well.
CoreCommerce offers e-commerce options to both larger and smaller businesses. As a company, they emphasize simplicity and transparency. They offer an easy-to-use platform with no hidden charges. All of CoreCommerce plans offer all of their features, no matter which plan you choose. CoreCommerce has functionality for store design, product management, order processing, and marketing. They offer unlimited customization options, a blogging engine built-in, and secure hosting by Rackspace.
Another online selling option is through a marketplace, like Amazon.
Amazon is the biggest online selling platform in the world. At some point or another, we have all shopped on Amazon. Some of the top products sold on Amazon are electronics, books, games, and toys.With Amazon, sellers have the option of using Fulfilled by Amazon to hand over logistics responsibilities to the platform. You can also track your online sales performance using the Amazon Sellers app. Finally, every seller is verified so that shoppers feel like they can trust sellers.Unfortunately, because Amazon is the biggest online marketplace in the world, selling is very competitive. Plus, they also have their own private label e-commerce business, which will inevitably be a competitor. Finally, to maintain high ratings on the platform, you must stick to Amazon’s high standards.
Etsy is a marketplace where people can sell creative and unique items. Many of these items are often homemade. Some items sold on Etsy are party decor, craft supplies, jewelry, and hair accessories.On Etsy, you can sell your products under your own brand name with customizable storefronts. There is also an easy-to-use interface and learning tools for both new and existing users. However, it can be difficult to stand out on the platform, since competition is so steep. You will also have to give Etsy a cut of your sales for using their platform, which can cut into your profits. Their specific fees are a 5% commission fee on each product sale and a $.20 listing fee for each product on your storefront.
eBay is a similar platform to Amazon, although it is typically reserved for secondhand goods. It is a global platform where buyers and sellers sell full-time or part-time as a hobby. The platform is particularly popular in the US, UK, and China. Some goods sold on eBay can include electronics, furniture, health, and beauty items. eBay already has a huge, ready-made customer base that you can capitalize on. Plus, you can sell products at fixed prices or using an auction format. Like the other platforms, it is a competitive platform that is difficult to stand out on. Your success on eBay depends greatly on customer ratings and negotiating skills. And the fees the platform charges vary per category, which makes it difficult to monitor.
Facebook Marketplace is a place to sell on social media if you don’t want to set up an e-commerce business or create an account with a specialist marketplace. It’s a great place to shop, promote, and sell secondhand goods. Some items sold on Facebook Marketplace include furniture, clothes, toys, or antiques. On Facebook Marketplace, customer service is directly in your hands. You can also set up filters that keep your possible customers local, saving you on shipping costs. Facebook has also partnered with Shopify to help full-time merchants use their platform. The difficult part of Facebook Marketplace is that sellers are face-less. There is no way to stand out or showcase your brand.
The Best Way to Sell Online
There are some great ways to sell online and reasons why selling online is beneficial. First, your business goes wherever you go. You can work from wherever, and whenever you want. Second, you can start a business with a small investment. With minimal overhead costs such as paying for hosting and running online ads, you can sell and build a profitable business quickly. Third, there is a lot of room to grow. It can be hard for businesses to find new customers and keep them. The number of online shoppers is growing rapidly and online sales can help this problem.
How to Increase Sales
Now that we’ve explored online selling platforms and options to sell online, you might be asking how can I increase my sales?
A great place to start when trying to increase your sales is to keep your homepage simple. A simple homepage allows you to focus on specific products and services. It also gives you a chance to interact with visitors and answer their questions. Creating videos for your homepage or landing pages will help visitors get to know about your product or service better than just text.
Capture Email Addresses
Next, finding ways to capture visitors’ email addresses is a way to grow and increase your sales. One way this can be done is by offering your visitors something valuable like a free download, step-by-step guide, or instant special offer for new subscribers. Another way to increase sales is by offering an online chat option. Oftentimes visitors prefer a quick answer to their questions and inquiries rather than using a contact form. You can also use live chats to capture email addresses and other information.
Create a Google My Business Profile
Another way to increase your online sales at a low cost is to use Google My Business. Be sure to fill out all or most of the information when setting up an account. The more information you supply, the higher your business profile will rank on Google. The higher your ranking, the more likely customers will choose your business over your competitors. Be sure to take advantage of Google My Business and get good Google reviews. People are more apt to believe what others are saying about your product and the number of positive and negative reviews. This helps customers make an informed decision and trust your product over others.
Write Product Descriptions
Some good ways to increase your sales on Amazon specifically include making sure you have well-written, compelling descriptions for your products. Taking great photos and videos of your products will help grow your sales. However, make sure your photos and videos follow Amazon guidelines. Purchase advertisements on Amazon such as sponsored ads, search ads, display ads, and video ads. Whether a business chooses to sell from their website using an e-commerce platform or selling on the marketplace, it is a must for them to have online selling options. Once you set your business up on a platform, you’re sure to start seeing an increase in profit.
- What are my online selling options?
- Where should I sell online?
- What products should I sell online?
- How can I increase my online sales?
- Why should my business sell online?