HOW TO SELL ONLINE – WAYS TO SELL PRODUCTS ONLINE
The world has changed, and selling online is now a reality [ HOW TO SELL ONLINE – WAYS TO SELL PRODUCTS ONLINE ]. Online sales are estimated to account for 13.7% of global retail sales in 2022. Statistics on mobile and internet usage, on the other hand, would demonstrate the future potential of online retailing. One of the things you must do now that you have such facts and analyses is to sell your stuff online. If you’re wondering how to sell online after reading this, this post was made specifically for you. We’ll walk you through some of the best ways to sell online, as well as some of the dos and don’ts to avoid when doing so.
WHAT DO WE MEAN BY ONLINE SELLING? [ HOW TO SELL ONLINE – WAYS TO SELL PRODUCTS ONLINE ]
Before we proceed, it is critical that we understand what online selling entails. Selling on the internet is the same as selling in the real world. The only difference is the method by which the sales are made. Everything is moved from the physical to the virtual world in this mode, but the process and transactions are largely unchanged.
IMPORTANCE OF ONLINE SELLING:
For the most part, the marketplace is shifting from a traditional mode to an online one. You would have noticed all of the major companies’ internet stores. Even local firms with the financial means to invest in online platforms are attempting to gain market share. Furthermore, as internet usage and smartphone availability have increased, it has been easier for users to purchase online, expanding the trend of shopping from the virtual market. It also allows the company to cut out the middlemen in the supply chain and communicate directly with customers.
In comparison to the traditional market, the cost of entry for new players is negligible. You could even be able to sell the items without having to keep an inventory. Similarly, you won’t have to compete with well-known companies due to financial constraints. Designing excellent campaigns can provide you an advantage over your niche’s huge competitors, allowing you to effortlessly profit. Even online forums enable you to engage with your customers in a more effective manner, making it easier to get to know them and their needs while also fostering solid relationships.
Online sales are increasing as a result of all of these factors. Now is the moment for you to make your choice and join us of this marketplace unless it gets too saturated to enter. This is why we are highlighting “how to sell online” here.
A. WAYS TO SELL ONLINE:
We’ll go through some of the best ways to sell your things online in this section. When it comes to online selling, you have a lot of possibilities, but be prepared to make selections because you’ll have to choose one of them to start your e-commerce firm. We’ve divided this section into sections based on the platform you’ve chosen and the type of business you’re looking to start.
1. PLATFORM OPTIONS:
You may sell your things online using a number of various channels. Each type of marketplace or platform has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Take a look at them and choose the one that best suits your needs.
· HOSTED E-COMMERCE SOLUTIONS:
The hosted e-commerce solution is the first choice you have for selling your products online. This option is suitable for sellers who are new to the internet world and have limited knowledge of how things function. You’ll need to choose one of the hosted e-commerce systems if you want to go into this type of online selling.
Shopify and Bigcommerce are two well-known platforms if you’re seeking for instances of such forums. Apart from the benefits and drawbacks of using a hosted e-commerce platform to enter the online world, there are some advantages and disadvantages related with the exact sort of platform you choose. So, before making a decision, be sure you’ve done your homework thoroughly.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF HOSTED E-COMMERCE SOLUTION:
Here we are discussing the advantages and disadvantages of hosted e-commerce solution:
- You don’t have to pay for the entire website setup when you use a hosted platform. Buying themes and hosting, for example, might cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars.
- Simply enter products on the platform to begin your business.
- You need to follow the rules of the platform
- You don’t have any guarantee for the store. The platform can ask you to leave your store anytime.
- In case you want to move your platform to any other mode of selling, you won’t be allowed to take your data. So, you’ll lose everything that you have put on your store.
Shopify is one of Canada’s most popular hosted platforms. More than 120000 merchants have already signed up for the site, proving its popularity.
- Because Shopify has been mentioned as an example of this platform, we’ll go through some of its benefits and drawbacks to help you make your selection.
- You can choose from a variety of pre-designed themes.
- When opposed to building a full store from scratch, starting a Shopify store can be a lot easier.
- The forum fee must be paid.
- If you need to switch platforms, Shopify does not allow you to take your data with you. So, if you use this e-commerce store, you’ll end up with no standing.
SELF-HOSTED E-COMMERCE SOLUTION:
The second alternative is to build your own self-hosted e-commerce platform. You will be solely liable for all actions in the self-hosted forum. There will be no intervention from third parties, but some benefits, such as access to a big number of forum customers, will be unavailable. You can construct specialised self-hosted platforms with Word Press and Magneto. We’ll go over the benefits of each sort of e-commerce platform, as well as WordPress, in this section, just like we did in the previous one.
ADVANTAGES OF A SELF-HOSTED E-COMMERCE PLATFORM:
Following are the main advantages of self-hosting forums:
- Your website is completely under your control.
- You will not be required to pay the platform a set price. You will own the money you earn.
- You may turn your shop into a brand.
DISADVANTAGES OF A SELF-HOSTED E-COMMERCE PLATFORM:
The disadvantages of self-hosted e-commerce platform include:
- To start an internet store, you’ll need to put money into it. The purchase of the domain name and hosting would be the most significant expenses.
- Furthermore, you will be responsible for driving traffic to your domain.
ONLINE MARKETPLACES AS E-COMMERCE SOLUTION:
Online marketplaces are the third option to earn sales in the online world. These markets allow you to sell items online, but they don’t allow you to create your own brand. When adopting this type of online selling method, the platform’s database and client flow can be extremely beneficial. Amazon, eBay, and Etsy are some of the most well-known markets today. You can go to them and take a look around at the storefronts that these forums offer so that you can figure out which one is right for you.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF ONLINE MARKETPLACES:
Following are the advantages and disadvantages of the online market places:
- While working on these platforms, you won’t have to worry about traffic. You may take advantage of this because these platforms have their own audience that searches for things.
- You may easily upload your product catalogue and begin selling right away.
- You will receive round-the-clock client service.
- To begin selling on these platforms, you do not need any prior experience with the platform or selling products.
- You are bound by the rules set forth by these marketplaces and are unable to alter them.
- On these platforms, you can’t build your own reputation. Furthermore, data will not be able to be exported from one platform to the other.
- When compared to other platforms, these marketplaces have a lot more competition.
- In most circumstances, a lower profit margin is to be expected.
- The platforms’ high fees are an additional factor that reduces your overall benefit from the procedure.
WordPress is a content management system that enables you to create content in any format you want. E-commerce stores will be one of the sorts of websites that can be created using this content management system. The Woocommerce plugin can be used to create the whole store as well as handle any payment difficulties. It will be much easier to manage the website if you use this plugin.
The following are some of the benefits and drawbacks of utilising WordPress to run an e-commerce store:
- It is simple to develop your own brand.
- Your store’s appearance can be tailored to meet your specific needs.
- All of the money you make at the store will be yours. It’s not necessary for you to share it with the platform.
- It will take a lot of time and effort to increase traffic to your store, and you will have to start with a low domain authority and other ranking indicators.
- You’ll be responsible for paying for your own hosting, which will vary based on the servers and the package you choose.
- To drive traffic to a WordPress store, you’d need a lot of content (ideally).
- Your main concerns will be page speed optimization and loading time.
Although there are a variety of online marketplaces, we will solely examine Amazon here to provide you an overview of the essentials. There are many more besides the well-known internet marketplaces that we have highlighted here. Before making a decision, you should investigate them and weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each.
Amazon began as an online bookshop, but it does not yet provide all of the things that you may imagine. Amazon can be considered one of the most important platforms because it has millions of customers and providers.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF AMAZON:
The following are some of the benefits of using Amazon as an online platform to sell your products:
- The largest marketplace has its own traffic, and if you handle everything correctly, you will be able to easily attract customers to your products, resulting in increased sales volume.
- You receive assistance from the representative in all matters, minimising the amount of business-related tensions.
- You’ll have to pay a fixed fee to the platform as well as costs on each product sold, which can cut into your overall profit margin.
- Amazon’s policies can be tough, but you’ll have to put up with them.
You can sell your things on social media in addition to marketing them. For businesses, Facebook offers the option of setting up a shop or creating a catalogue and selling products.
Even if you don’t opt for the integrated function, you may still use social media to promote the products, provide contact or order information, and create orders directly. Online payment methods or cash on delivery (COD) can be used in this instance.
Those techniques can also be simply carried out on other social media platforms. It can be utilised as a side manner to sell your products or as an internet platform to offer goods and services.
2. MODE OF BUSINESS:
You have a few alternatives depending on the business mode, and you may choose to sell things using any of them.
OPEN AN ONLINE STORE FOR THE PHYSICAL PRODUCT
You can start selling your product online if you already have a physical business, either by making it yourself or by reselling it. For this aim, the above-mentioned platforms can be used.
It would work similarly to a physical store, where people come in, select a product, and pay for it. In an online scenario, you’ll be establishing a product catalogue via which customers will be able to select a product, add it to their carts, and pay to confirm their transaction. In this scenario, you must deliver the merchandise to the clients’ specified address.
Almost all of the major brands use this business model, in which the physical and online stores coexist. Their revenue comes from both of these sources. The major goal of implementing this approach is to expand the brand’s reach and provide the best possible service to customers. As a result, the brands will reap the benefits in the form of increased income.
Dropshipping is one of the most popular methods of selling online these days. You don’t require any form of inventory in this style of operation. All you have to do now is open a store and connect with customers. When a customer orders your product, the original suppliers are alerted and the product is delivered directly to your client. The profit earned would be based on the difference between the rates offered by your supplier and the prices offered to your client.
You’ll need to set up a storefront to conduct this company online, and the marketplace-based platform would be the most practical alternative. However, the nature of the product, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of it specific marketplaces will require you to make your decision.
· AFFILIATE MARKETING:
This is another another method of product sales. This method can be used to make a commission by assisting others in selling their products. You would technically sell them, and you would receive a commission as a sales agent. You may start a blog for that reason and generate a lot of traffic. After you’ve built up enough traffic, you can start looking for people and businesses who want to sell their products. One thing to keep in mind is to think about products that are related to the niche you’ve been writing about. It will aid in the establishment of better credibility for the goods that you will be selling. You can profit from each product that you sell by charging a commission.
Similarly, you can hire affiliate marketers to sell your products. You won’t need need your own store in this situation. If you wish, you can keep it. You’ll pay commission for sales and profit as the difference between sales and the cost of products sold if you hire these affiliate marketers.
· SELL ONLINE:
You can create an online store if you don’t have a physical store but do have a source for getting the merchandise. The difference between this option and dropshipping is the amount of inventory available. You don’t require any form of inventory while dropshipping. However, in this scenario, you will be the owner of the goods and will resell them like you would in a real store.
This business model also allows you to use any of the platforms we’ve spoken about. They’d all be able to seamlessly integrate this business model. However, in order to be successful, you must put forth the necessary work.
3 – HOW TO START ONLINE SELLING?
We’ve covered the medium and sorts of business formats that you can use to sell online up to this point. Our goal in this section of the essay is to walk you through the entire process of starting an online business. Here’s where you should begin.
WHAT TO SELL?
The first question you should consider when selling products online is what you should sell. You should sell your things if you already have them from a physical store or a supplier. However, if you want to start a business or get into the dropshipping business model, deciding what to sell is a critical question that you must answer.
There must be certain attributes in the product you are considering. For your convenience, we’ve highlighted those aspects. To begin, strive to select a product that will help clients solve their difficulties. It would assist UN in grabbing the market with relative ease when compared to standard items. If you are unable to locate or do not choose to pursue such a product, you must select a niche in which you have a strong interest. Choosing a category in which you have no interest will cause you a great deal of trouble. At the same time, you won’t be able to connect with your target market, which will cause a slew of issues.
Other factors to consider while making this decision include the possibility for becoming a brand and the market acceptance of similar natural items. With the availability of online marketplaces, you may undertake in-depth research to determine the desirability of a niche and specific products. Although it is not the only criterion for success, as a newcomer, you can investigate the niche and gain an immediate advantage by focusing on the proper product.
WHERE TO SELL?
The next step is to discover an acceptable forum where you can sell your stuff. It could be any of the above-mentioned methods of online selling. Choosing the best technique to market your goods may ensure your success, so weigh all of the advantages and disadvantages before making a decision.
Furthermore, a long-term view must be taken into account, as building a brand reputation within the target market might pay off. However, we recognise that the expense element may be tough to manage at first, forcing you to concentrate on the short term benefits.
WHICH MODE TO USE?
As previously said, you do not have to be the owner of the products in order to sell them online. Similarly, you can advertise and sell your own stock. So, before you start selling online, one of the most important considerations you’ll have to make is which mode to use.
4. IMPORTANT TIPS FOR RUNNING UP AN E-COMMERCE BUSINESS:
Because there is so much competition when selling online, you must stand out. We’ve put together a few pointers to help you maintain your competitive advantage.
GIVE IMPORTANCE TO NICHE SELECTION:
The most significant characteristics for niche selection are those we’ve mentioned thus far. You should analyse the niche you’ve chosen based on each of those traits, and if it’s determined to be viable, you should keep it. The reason we place such a premium on niche is that a popular niche would have lesser competitors but more searchability, allowing you to generate more money.
DESIGN YOUR STORE APTLY:
If you use online marketplaces, the appearance of your store can be really important in terms of attracting clients. While creating your store, you should think about the appearance of your store, the speed of the page, and the ease of use of the user interface.
Customers won’t be able to touch or feel the merchandise because you’re selling it in the virtual world. A professional image of the product can help in this circumstance. This is why you should utilise professional photographs in the catalogue to catch the audience’s attention. It is not a good idea to include false photos or photos from other stores, since this will not assist.
When it comes to photos, SEO is equally vital to consider. You must assist search engines and market forum algorithms in determining what the image is about. It may be done by using the alt-tag, so don’t forget to use it.
IMPORTANCE OF SEO:
Furthermore, if your store is built on WordPress, you will be able to attract the majority of your clients using SEO. Because SEO is mostly focused on content, you’ll need to ensure that you not only manage the material properly, but also that it is SEO optimised and updated on a regular basis in order to attract more visitors from search engines. Even in the case of Amazon and other such forums, SEO plays a significant role in attracting customers. These marketplaces, like search engines, use specific algorithms to rank the stores, so make sure you get everything correct to get to the top.
PROTECTION OF CONSUMER DATA:
Most of the time, you’ll be letting your customers to pay you online. Sensitive information, such as a bank account number and other personal details, would be necessary in all of these instances. As a result, you must ensure that the risks of data hacking are as low as possible. Customers don’t want to disclose all of their personal information with an unprotected platform, which is why secured platforms are becoming more popular. As a result, you’ll need to get a secure platform certification. It can be obtained for a small charge through the SSL Certificate. All of your information will be encrypted after you include this certificate into your business, and the possibilities of data loss will be minimal. As a result, you may establish a safe atmosphere for your clients, encouraging them to transact.
This certificate is valid for self-hosted platforms like, but the stores on marketplaces already have the security feature active and so does not require any such settings.
BUILDING CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP:
After a consumer has purchased items from your store, you may surely contact them again to upsell the items. Furthermore, showcasing the store’s new offers and current products could be another reason to keep in touch. Make certain that all of these communications are sent in such a way that they are compelled to visit your store anytime they require a product.
Some of the ways you can communicate your message include using a polite tone, providing excellent customer service, and viewing things from the perspective of customers. Keeping all of these things in mind increases the likelihood that your consumers will return to your store and spread favourable word of mouth for you as well.
TAKE CARE OF THE REVIEWS:
If you sell on online marketplaces, customer reviews of your product, business, and customer service are critical. Ensure that you provide them with the greatest product and service possible so that the review exchange at the conclusion of the transaction is favourable, attracting new customers. Make your consumer feel like he or she is the ultimate authority and that you want to please him or her in any way possible to earn the best rating. With this approach, you’ll have a better chance of persuading your consumers to give you a positive review.
It is always necessary to account for the time and effort spent on behalf of a company. It will assist you in doing a cost-benefit analysis, indicating the best course of action for the future of your company. If you don’t get the expected results after putting in a lot of effort, it’s time to try an alternative product or platform. In this case, community forums can be used to seek advice from experts.
We’ve attempted to cover all you need to know about selling online. Because the majority of decisions must be made early on, you must have a clear vision for your e-commerce shop. There are pros and disadvantages to each of the platforms or modes of business that you have. So, in order to achieve ultimate success, you’ll have to find a balance between these advantages and disadvantages. Profit and brand development would be considered success in this case.
If you have any questions or opinions concerning this topic, please leave them in the comments box below. As a result, we’ll respond to your questions and continue our learning journey together.