Where & How to Sell Products Online? The Complete Guide
Everyone seems to be making the transition from brick and mortar stores to online stores. Based on current statistics, eCommerce sales are expected to reach a staggering $ 434 billion in 2017. With this number likely to go up in the near future there has never been a better time to start an online store than now. If you want to venture into the competitive eCommerce market, it is important to know what it takes to be successful. The one factor that will significantly influence the success of your eCommerce venture is design and aesthetics of your online store. Customers are always looking for a new and innovative way of shopping for products online. So how and where do you start selling products online? This article will give you an in-depth guide of how to commence your online business.
Where to sell products online
One of the most critical factors to consider when thinking of venturing into the lucrative eCommerce market is where to sell your products. Fortunately, there is no shortage of places where you can sell your products. However, with the vast array of options available, choosing the most appropriate place for your business strategy and brand can be difficult. The options available can be divided into two broad categories, hosted and self-hosted solutions.
One of the priciest ways of setting an online store is creating it from scratch. This involves hiring a web developer and other technicians to create a bespoke website. This option is costly and can be time-consuming depending on the complexity of the website you want. However, it gives you more freedom regarding customization and software updates. Nevertheless, maintaining a self-hosted website is costly, since you have to incur hosting and maintenance costs. As a beginner with limited funds, this is not the best solution to go for.
The alternative of the self-hosted solution is a hosted solution. A hosted solution is cheaper but does not have the flexibility and freedoms offered by self-hosting. Hosted solutions are also referred to as cloud-based or cloud hosted solutions. Essentially, with these solutions you outsource the hosting and maintenance aspect of your eCommerce business. When choosing a cloud-based platform to host your online stores, there are several factors to consider.
As a start-up online store, there are two business models you can adopt, B2B or B2C. The first model entails you selling products to other businesses or salespersons who in turn sell to consumers. The second model involves selling your products directly to consumers. For a start-up, the B2C is the best business model. However, if you want to be a reseller of products, the B2B will work. Many solutions support the B2C model. However, the number of platforms that support the B2B model is low. Thus, if you want to take the B2B approach, it is important to inquire as to whether the platform you want to choose supports this model.
Volume of traffic
The traffic you expect to get to your site will also influence the platform you select. If you own a brick and mortar store and want to make it easier for your clients by taking it online, the chances are that you will have a high traffic volume. On the other hand, if you are starting a brand new eCommerce business chances are you will have low traffic. If you are expecting high traffic, choose a platform with sufficient bandwidth and capacity packages. Also, compare prices for these premium packages. For example, Wix’s connect package, which offers 1GB of bandwidth and 500 MB storage will not work for you if you expect high traffic. If you expect high traffic, choose a package with unlimited bandwidth and at least 20GB storage capacity.
When the storage capacity of your website is low, it will struggle to accommodate a large number of customers. In this regard, if it is accessed by a large number of people it will most likely crash, which will not paint a good picture to your customers. 20GB of storage capacity is a decent capacity for maintaining a growing clientele base. Also, choose a platform with features that will be beneficial to your customers. For instance, the payment modules on offer need to be convenient for your clients.
How to sell products online
While figuring out where to sell your products, it’s equally important to know how to sell your products. There are many differet strategies you can adopt to maximize your online sales. To aid you in your goal of maximizing sales on your store, below are some useful tips on how you can successfully sell products online.
Utilize a “what’s new” category
When creating an online store, ensure that the home page of your eCommerce website has a “what’s new” tab. The one purpose of this tab is to show clients what new products you have to offer. It can be frustrating for your frequent clients to browse through the same products over and over again. This frustration can lead them to seek services from another site. Thus, to keep customers coming back, ensure that you update your product portfolio regularly. Also, make it easy for clients to view your new products by creating a “what’s new” or a “new arrivals” tab.
Select a convenient payment system
Customers want to purchase products from an online store that they can pay for their products easily. Thus, the payment method you select for your website will determine the number of clients that frequent your website. Changing trends have led to an increased popularity of PayPal, credit and debit card payment systems. As such, to make things convenient for your clients use the payment methods as mentioned above methods.
Shipment or delivery
Another important factor clients consider when shopping online is the delivery of products. There are several avenues you can use to ensure your products get to their intended consumers. The channel you use should be convenient for your clients. The main shipment avenues are via postal office and private couriers. Of more importance, the delivery avenue you choose should be fast and convenience. As an online retailer, you can have a standard shipping avenue as well as a costly avenue.
There's nothing that's more annoying for a customer than a difficult to navigate website. It is for this reason that you should ensure your eCommerce website is easy to navigate. Use drop down menus and category tabs. For example using a “recently viewed” feature will help your client's revisit products they want to purchase. Customers will likely sample the products you have to offer before making a sale. Thus, it is important to make it easy for them to revisit any product that might have interested them. This can be done by creating a “recently viewed” tab or using the drop down menus.
There are over 110, 000 different eCommerce websites for customers to select from. To be successful in such a competitive market, you need to stand out. One of the best ways to be unique is to create a unique selling point. Research the selling proposition of other websites to create a unique one. Also, do general research on what your target audience is most interested in. Using this information create a unique selling proposition for your website.
Blogging can increase the traffic of your eCommerce website by up to 50%. Each week try and post at least 2 to 3 articles. If you do not have the time to create content you can hire a web content writer to do it for you.