With the sudden rise of e-commerce more and more businesses and individuals are looking to use internet as an alternate or in some cases a primary source of income.
Today, billions of people use internet and knowing this, many are taking an advantage of selling products and services online. So, if you are one of those who is planning to make a presence online then there are few things you need to keep in mind before making any financial or time investing into selling online.
What you need to know?
1 - Research and try to select a non-competitive product
Today, with hundreds and thousands of businesses and individuals selling products/services online will make it difficult for you survive the competition if you choose products/services that are common. Some of the most common sold products sold online include apparel and electronics. With many retailers selling the same products online, its beneficial only if you take time to research well and select unique products to get a competitive advantage of selling them online.
Non-competitive product category includes automotive, furniture, baby supplies, pet care and more.
2 - Test them selling on small scales
Once you have confirmed your products/services, it always suggested to test them on small scales instead of directly jumping on a large scale. Target low-commitment platforms - like flea-market, exhibitions, pop-up store. This way you will understand:
a - What is your target audience?
b - How much are they willing to pay? Experiment different price range.
c - How is customer satisfied? That includes from the time they order until they receive it.
This way you can analyze and make better decisions in your product offerings and fulfillment process before you start selling online.
3 - Plan your budget
Planning your budget is an important factor to be considered before jumping into the world of online selling. If you plan to sell online, just building a website is not enough! You need to consider branding – how will your customers find you? How will you attract them to buy your products/services? So, if you are really serious of making a fortune out of your online business, you will need to budget at-least 1/4th of your investment to build your ecommerce store for promoting your site, product/services.
4 - Create and give a name to your website
It is incredibly important to create and name your website as to help it stand out from the crowd - both from a marketing perspective, and from an SEO perspective. If you don't have a designer to develop your website hire one to create it for you.
Spend time and work jointly with your designer to build your website. Emphasize more on your products or services that you wish to offer your customers and make navigations easy for them to buy. Avoid flashy website and keep it simple, informative and easy-to-use.
Once you create your website, select a name that is short, simple and unique. If you are confused of what to name your website then the best way is to research and discover what names are being used by your competitors and try to come up with a name that is different which reflects your niche and the type of products you're selling, without your business name being too similar to your competitors.
5 - Abide security for your site and customers
Today, shoppers find it safe shopping online. Hail to the world of technology, that have led to the safe online shopping. SSL(Secure Sockets Layer) is the most common technology used by many website owners. These kind of technologies protect and encrypt customers personal information that are used on your website - that includes name, address, credit card details, etc.
So, purchase a certificate verifying your website and abide security like SSL for your site and customers safety.
6 - Know your suppliers
Once have a clear idea about your front-end requirements, you need to know about your back-end requirements before you get your store up and running. Getting your website live, you'll start receiving orders and hence it your duty to plan your fulfillment in advance. You don't want to miss an order just because you don't have the products in stock. So, it becomes important for you to build a link of suppliers dealing with your products and services. Research and make a list of suppliers, know them well and ensure that they would be available when you require them.
7 - Choose an ecommerce software for behind the scenes
Once you have website up and running, the way you handle customers will have a major impact on customers perception - turn a one-off sale into repeat business. Today, there are many automated ecommerce software solutions available in the market. A complete ecommerce inventory and order management system solution can deliver speed and efficiency to the order fulfillment process and link up the different people in your firm who might be handling the order. Not all software available in the market are genuine, so know your business needs and take time while you research for an ecommerce software that will best suit your site.
8 - Consider apps for marketing and social media
It's of no use selling online if no one knows about it. Online marketing such as search-engine optimization, pay-per click, e-newsletter, blogs, social media, will get potential customers to your site. There are many free and paid marketing and social media apps that you should invest for your site which will help you know your visitor's response in real-time, so you can refine your marketing further.
9 - Consider a live chat support
A shopper who visits your website, will look-up for the products/services they intend to purchase. This is a stage where they may need assistance and if they do not get the information they are looking for, they will immediately leave your site for one of your competitor. So, it is very helpful to consider a live chat support functionality for your site to avoid situations that directly hits the bottom line of the business. Having a live chat support will automatically track visitor's behavior in real-time. This way you can offer great suggestion and promotions on-the-go, encouraging them to shop from your site "right now!"
With a correct approach, you will need only a handful of tips listed above to make selling online successful!
Simple, yet powerful