Selling products online is a convenient way to earn an income and even launch your own business. There are plenty of success stories that can be found of entrepreneurs who have gone this route and succeeded. With so much competition in the eCommerce industry, how do you differentiate yourself from the competition? Well for starters, it always helps to find an industry that you’re passionate about and have extensive knowledge in. For instance, I am passionate about laptops and over the years I have gained enough knowledge to start my own business of buying and selling laptops online. So where do I start?
The first thing you’re going to need when starting an online business is merchandise to sell. In order to have merchandise you’re going to need capital. For those businesses that don’t have much capital a great way to start selling products online is with drop shipping. Dropshipping isn’t a get-rich-qucik scheme.
It requires dedication and hard work in order to succeed (Source: What is Drop Shipping by Doba). If you have access to merchandise through a dropshipping account or you want to experiment with merchandise you own, you can try your hand at selling products online. Many people earn a living this way and find that it’s both flexible and exciting. Use the following tips and advice to help you sell products online.
Set up a Website
If you are determined to make a go of online sales, you can set up an ecommerce website. A business website does not require a substantial investment, but you can design it to showcase your merchandise and provide a platform to transact sales. There are many online venues that can help you design a great website inexpensively and provide you with the templates you need to get your online business underway. Setting up a website is quite simple and with content management systems such as WordPress, you don’t need any coding knowledge to start.
The first step would be to set up a hosting account that allows you to easily install WordPress so you can get your site up and running with just the click of a button. Here’s a list that you can check out of the Top 10 WordPress Hosting Providers of 2014. My personal favorites are Bluehost and Hostgator. Hosting comes cheap but remember that you want your website working fast for your potential customers so a great solution would be to go with Wiredtree. Although they quite a bit more then other hosting providers they have exceptional customer service and you’ll notice that your website will load a lot faster. This is great for both the user experience and search engine optimization.
Set up a Storefront
If you want to test the waters before setting up your own business website, consider setting up a store for your merchandise on sites like eBay. This is a great way to gain experience selling items and building a repertoire. You can begin selling at your own pace and figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. Remember that you can start to advertise your own website on sites like Amazon and eBay by listing your website in your ad and using your business name as the account name.
You can also try selling goods through social networks like Facebook and Pinterest. Social networks have become an excellent tool for marketing materials that you want to sell. You’ll still need a venue to actually transact the sale, but you can check into sites like Shopify to obtain the software you need to sell on your website. You can use the social websites to promote your site as well as specific merchandise. Remember that sites like Facebook and Twitter allow you to advertise your products. Having a social presence could be the difference between failure and success so make sure that your social media strategy is up to par.
Many sellers post online infomercials that are great for promoting merchandise. You can provide a lot of information about the merchandise you sell. Once you create your infomercial, you can post it to your social media accounts to draw traffic to your merchandise. The more professional your infomercial, the better the support it can provide you.
Online Craft Fairs
Websites like Etsy allow you to sell homemade items, craft supplies, and vintage items. These places are great venues to build a following. You can sell products at prices you set and gain experience selling online. You’ll be able to create great product descriptions and learn more about online selling as you go. Remember to get creative and think outside the box for more opportunities to market your products to potential customers.
Tips and Techniques
You can research different types of merchandise to see what you’d like to promote and sell. You can even sign on with a dropshipping network to gain access to thousands of brands and products you might want to carry. Dropshipping is a great way sell online and offers you the ability to test different products to see what sells well. You can pay for merchandise as you sell so there’s little risk involved. It’s also a good idea to check out other sellers’ websites to get ideas about how they sell.
Then you can get busy creating your own online business. Selling online is gratifying because you can do it from home. Because you can start small, you don’t need to make any big investments or commitments. You can simply try it to see if you enjoy it.