If you have a nifty product to sell, there’s never been a better time to sell it. From the eBay revolution to the simplicity of starting a modern business – if you’ve got something to sell, there are more ways than ever before of getting it sold!
If you want to get rid of unused and unwanted items thanks to a spring clean, plenty of sites allow you to sell your 2nd hand items – like GumTree. If you want to sell your crafts, ETSY is the placed. Finally, there’s good old eBay.
But what if you want to take it a step further? What if you’ve got an idea, or what if your business on those marketplaces is booming and you need to take your business to the next level? The internet is the answer – once again. Thanks to the internet not only can you form a business and sell products, but you can also find out everything you need to know about selling online – just like this article!
So, what do you need to know about selling online? Firstly, you need to know where to do it. If you’ve outgrown options like Etsy and eBay, you might want to look no further than options like Shopify and Bigcartel which can offer you a ready-made marketplace for your business idea if you don’t fancy a comprehensive store. This can work wonders if you just want to get a product out there and sell it without much hassle, but you might find yourself limited.
If you’ve got world domination in mind (and why should you not?) you want to equip a portion of your very own website with the capability to sell your goods. Working with various fulfillment services can help here as you won’t be equipped with a ready made store – you’ll have to do the work yourself and things can easily go wrong, but this is the best option with the biggest room for growth and expansion. It doesn’t really matter if your business is based online or offline – you do want a website to enable you to maximize your revenue. The internet is just another outlet where you can sell your goods and if you limit yourself, you will limit your sales. Fulfillment is a good idea if you need to branch off and can’t sell from a home or office anymore due to your scale.
The first thing you need to do with internet selling is know your product. The products of your company are going to give you access to the money you need to run your business via sales. Most products are front and centre of a company website, let alone the store. Apple Computers is a good example of this – they sell software and hardware and a visit to their sight offers a display which switches through three product lines – without a price tag. The iPhone 7, the Apple Watch and the iPad are shown off and it isn’t even a point of sale. The products are described in a minimalist style. The copy used for the Watch and iPad? Live a better day and flat-out fun. There’s no specifications, nothing. In three to four words, you’ve seen the product and have been given a better idea of it. Minimalist selling like this might not work for you, but look what Apple have done to the mind of a buyer within ten seconds of landing on the homepage. If you know your product, you can give customers an encyclopedic knowledge of the products via the copy you choose to describe the products displayed on your webpage. Use as many words as what suits the style of your site – minimalist styles will need to be super efficient with their copy while vintage styles might be a lot more descriptive and elaborate. Maximising the usefulness of your web copy is key and goes a long way – if you excel in this area you will not only sell products, you’ll attract more eyeballs.
Search engines are one of the main places on the world wide web where your website will be noticed. Internet search engines like Google and Bing are used so people can have their questions answered and in many circumstances it could be a business that is the answer. That business could be your business with search engine optimization. Don’t overlook it. Using copy and keywords in combination with your knowledge of exactly who you want to sell to can help you excel and get noticed by search engines and thus climb higher when your potential customers are asking questions. If they search something like ‘good quality leather bags’, copy on your site like ‘high quality’, ‘Italian leather’ and ‘bag’ might get noticed so you must be creative with your use and be as unique as possible to standout with what could be a sea of online competitors. This is how you can use information to succeed.
Websites need to use information in the natural way as well, to inform customers. This is especially important with things like clothing sizes, allergy information and shipping. Shipping is something that dominates the business of selling online as an internet presence opens up your business to the world at large. If your business is online, you are going to be shipping out a lot! Shipping rates and delivery times are crucial as they can help customers make decisions.
As for shipping? You might want to subsidize your shipping rates as much as possible, but always ensure that your business can run as a bottom line before you get too generous. Subsidized shipping rates are great, but you are in business for a reason. Finally, ensure your products are shipped well – if it is your fault that a customer’s product came to their door in shattered little pieces, you are going to lose business.
Selling online is a simple business made complicated, but there are plenty of routes to success, just be a good seller, no matter how big the business or scope of your ambitions!