So you have decided to start selling your awesome products on the Internet. And who can blame you? The World Wide Web offers businesses and organizations a global marketplace – something that is hard to replicate offline.
Millions of people sell their wares online daily, and the vast majority are very successful at making a good profit by selling online. In fact, I personally know of some small business owners that state the vast majority of their turnover is from online sales!
If you are thinking of selling your products online, this blog post will help you to do so.
Deciding what to sell
The first thing you need to think about is what you would like to sell online. Some firms sell all of their products online, whereas others might only sell a small subset of their product range, opting to sell everything else from a bricks and mortar store.
There are also going to be some products that you cannot easily ship through traditional courier companies, and so it makes sense to sell those products offline.
The trouble with selling products online is that various fees for advertising, marketing, processing payments and so forth can eat up a large chunk of your profit.
You will need to assess your product portfolio and determine whether you can still make a good profit by selling online despite these additional overheads. For the most part, online sellers tend to make more profit selling online than they do from traditional offline stores.
Another factor to consider is whether you should sell products in a saturated market or not.
For example, if you build computers for a living and you want to sell other products such as software and accessories, are you likely to make a good profit by selling those items online? Sometimes, it might make more sense to sell such goods alongside other items rather than separately.
I once asked a friend of mine who works with some website designers in Perth about setting up an e-commerce website for my business.
On the subject of shipping costs, he said to me that even if you have an awesome website, customers can easily be dissuaded from buying online through your website if your shipping costs are too high.
Courier companies will expect you to negotiate on price in exchange for a guaranteed number of deliveries made through them, so it is important to choose your shipping supplier carefully and take the cost per shipment into account when setting up shop online.
Make it easy for customers to buy from you
Once upon a time, marketing professionals would tell you that all you needed to sell online was an e-commerce website.
But with the rapid growth of m-commerce (people buying products using their smartphones and tablets), online sellers now realize that they need to implement easier ways for their customers to buy from them online.
Examples of m-commerce include developing dedicated iOS and Android apps, as well as building responsive, mobile-friendly websites.