When you decide that you’re going to start selling online, it can open up some incredible opportunities. Whether you have a physical storefront or not, learning how to sell online will ensure that you can build a revenue stream.
Ecommerce can be a challenge, so there are a few things that you should know.
Establish Your Web Presence
The only way that you can sell online is to ensure you have a web presence. This involves a few important steps:
- Create a domain name
- Build your website
- Load your products
- Start marketing
Each step should be carefully considered.
As you create a domain name, ensure that you get the name that you want – and that will have the most impact on your sales. Forget about trying to claim a .com domain extension. Instead, a .store domain extension will tell everyone that you’re open for ecommerce business.
Build an attractive website. People will shop with their eyes. Use colors that make sense for the mood you’re trying to strike. Choose graphics that will resonate with your target audience.
Create a full catalog of products that you’ll load into your website. Don’t be shy about adding as many products as you want. Once you begin selling, you can run inventory reports to see what items are more popular than others.
Finally, market your ecommerce business. When you sell online, you can determine how far your reach is going to be – statewide, countrywide, or even internationally. Particularly if you have physical products, you’ll want to determine how far you want to ship everything.
Promote Your Products
Your products have to be promoted. You might have products that are sold physically (toys, clothing, etc.) or you may have virtual products (ebooks, online appointments, etc.). Whatever it is, you have to sell those products using various marketing tactics.
List the product for sale with a photo. In some instances, you might want more than one photo – such as to show certain features or what it looks like from different angles. Professional photos will show that you’re professional. If everything looks like it was taken with a cell phone, you won’t be taken seriously.
Product descriptions are important, too. Tell people not only why they need the specific product in their lives but also the various specifications (dimensions, weight, etc.). The descriptions can help people to determine if it meets their needs. The specifications can also limit the number of returns that you get.
Promoting is done on and off your website. As you learn about how to sell online, remember that you need a way to get people to your website. Social media and other digital marketing strategies can help to drive traffic so that you can get more people browsing through your online store.
Accept Online Payment
Now that you’re selling online, it’s important to make it easy for people to complete the checkout process. This means allowing people to pay electronically – either using PayPal, a debit card, or a credit card. If you expect people to mail you a check or call to complete the payment over the phone, you’ll lose a significant number of sales.
The most successful ecommerce sites accept online payment using merchant processing accounts. This offers buyer confidence as well as security. Plus, it allows you to accept payments quickly and safely – and that places money into your account almost instantly.
Figuring out how to sell online is the easy part. Being successful is the hard part.
Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. When you establish a creative business model, it allows you to gain notoriety. You might want to create a subscription box where you can generate monthly or quarterly revenue off of your customer base. You might even want to offer ways to customize products with monograms, names, and dates.
When you have a unique product on the market, it can market itself. You won’t have as much competition, which can also make marketing more affordable. As you become more successful with your ecommerce site, you can also add to it. You can add more content to the website, increase the search engine optimization tactics, and even work on adding more products to sell.