Four Keys to Selling Online

Envisioning the main keys to selling online products is often much more fluid than the actuality of carrying out all those moving parts. Foresight always helps, but trial and error are often the best teachers. Always be willing to walk the fine line between planning and diving into action. Indecisiveness has consequences. A product can’t be sold if it’s not available and discoverable.

Decide on an Ecommerce Platform

To sell products directly from a website, the site could be hosted or self-hosted. Hosted platforms like Shopify can be likened to renting a store that is hosted on a server owned by someone else. Such a setup is easiest to use but less able to be customized. Self-hosted platforms like Woo Commerce are implemented within a user’s WordPress account. This allows for many customizations, but may require a knowledge of computer coding to successfully pull off.

Factors to consider when deciding would be whether you have the skillset or can pay to have a professional manage the online store. Ecommerce stores like the jewelry shop on ItsHot.com look inviting, but clearly require specialized development. Also, consider whether data is transferrable if the decision is made to switch platforms. Other factors include how readily the service can meet the needs of the business as it grows.

Determine Other Worthwhile Marketplaces

In addition to going with a hosted or a self-hosted ecommerce store, another option to explore the keys to selling online would be whether to sell in various online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay. This option can be a great choice for those mainly interested in selling products as opposed to running a full-fledged and branded business.

Take the time to deliberate on the sort of competition likely to be faced in such a marketplace. Just because access is granted to a global audience does not guarantee that audience will see a product. Another area to weigh pros and cons would be the fees the site charges for using its marketplace. Etsy is another marketplace giant with more of a niche focus. However, countless marketplace options are worth exploring when deciding on the best fit.

Develop a Digital Marketing Campaign

Traditional marketing campaigns are still widely used, but online marketing campaigns come with additional benefits because digital efforts are easier to track with lower costs and they can reach a more focused customer base. To make an ecommerce store more successful, this is an area where hiring a professional will certainly pay off.

While a designer can make a site visually appealing, a marketer can help ensure the site is functional. If a website isn’t converting visitors to customers, then something is amiss. It is also necessary to make sure groundwork is being laid to bring potential buyers to the ecommerce store via pay-per-click (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), and social media marketing (SSM).

Devise a Plan for Fulfilling and Returning Orders

If going with an online marketplace like Amazon, it might be cheaper to pay the fees associated with their fulfillment services rather than implementing them yourself. Depending on volume, order fulfillment requires lots of moving parts. It may very well be worth it to leave this to a larger organization that can offer lots of support.

When using an online marketplace to sell products, the seller must comply with each one’s specific return policy. Make sure the return policy is clear since most shoppers look at return policies before buying. Also, consider if free shipping or automated returns is right for the store.

As with all things related to business, do not set something in place and never revisit how well it’s working. Revisit all aspects of the selling process on a regular basis to increase the chances of success.

Awais Ahmed is a student, blogger and digital marketer who helps small entrepreneurs to improve their online presence. He has a range of interests including technology, apps and small business.