Thanks to technological innovations, selling online has become easier than ever. And because it’s scalable, it’s precisely the type of business that entrepreneurs need to get themselves into. Instead of trading your time for money, you can just increase the number of units you shift over time, generating massive returns.
If you’re currently selling on Shopify or any of the other platforms, this post can help you. Remember, flogging goods is about more than setting up a website. It’s also about putting the systems in place that will allow sales to happen.
Here’s what to do.
Choose Where You’ll Sell
The first thing you’ll need to do is choose where you want to sell. There are lots of platforms out there, each with advantages and disadvantages.
Remember, if you choose one of the larger e-commerce vendors to host your goods, you’ll have to pay them a commission every time you make a sale, so your margins will always remain depressed.
If you go down the hosted route and sell independently, you’ll get bigger margins, but you’ll also have to do more marketing. Thus, it all comes down to where you think your competencies lie.
Choose How People Will Pay
Payment systems are the most complicated aspect of setting up an ecommerce business. Just displaying goods and writing descriptions is easy. But connecting your site to POS and banking is much more challenging.
Fortunately, most platforms now provide tools that do this automatically for you. For instance, the Shopify FFL checkout allows you to sell restricted goods safely. Other services use their own methods.
Where possible, you want to offer a variety of payment methods. Try to include PayPal if you can, as people who haven’t been to your site before are much more likely to trust this method.
Start Marketing Your Online Store
The next step is to start marketing your online store.
This is more challenging than you might expect. You can have a great ecommerce platform. But if you’re failing to reach out to the community, you won’t get anywhere.
Social media is perhaps the best place to start drumming up business. It’s relatively inexpensive and a great place to begin getting people interested in your services.
Work Out How You’re Going To Do Shipping
Shipping is one of the most challenging aspects of e-commerce. Finding a system that allows you to deliver the right goods to the right customers on time is a notoriously challenging process.
The best option here is to simply outsource the task to a fulfillment provider. These services store and then distribute your goods on your behalf when customers order them.
Please note that these solutions aren’t just “cutting into your margins.” For many new companies, they’re a necessity. You simply don’t have the systems to bring distribution in-house, unless you’re selling just a couple of dozen items a day (and even then, it can be a hassle).
In summary, selling online has never been easier, but it requires a degree of patience and strategy.