How to sell online?
It seems to be the question that people are consistently asking nowadays. Several months into the lockdown the pandemic has brought, people, especially those who lost their job, are looking into selling online.
Learning to sell online can be challenging. Below are some of the essential things when considering selling online when you already have a product (or service) in mind.
Steps on how to sell online
1) Determine the product to sell online
The crux here is that you already have a product in mind and a profitable one at that. That means you should’ve already conducted comprehensive market research. The most lucrative online business are food, fashion, and apparel, especially t-shirts, streetwear, and loungewear.
If you haven’t started with this, choose a broad category, and then narrow it down to certain niches or categories. Will you purchase wholesale products or from a trusted manufacturer? Is this OEM and, thus, open for rebranding? Will you make the product yourself and source this from a dropshipping company?
These are the questions that you need to answer first before you proceed with the next steps.
2) Decide on how you want to sell online
There are several ways to sell online, although the most popular routes are:
- A website with shopping cart and payment gateway capabilities
- An online store (e-commerce website powered by WooCommercem or Shopify)
- Social media selling with own business page
You may concentrate on social selling or use this adjunct to an online store. After all, you may capture a bigger market share if you have a presence on several channels.
Nonetheless, you don’t have to be on every social media platform. Choose the right ones that best complement the nature of your business. If you are selling dry goods such as makeup, clothes, and plants, you want a social media channel that’s highly visual, like Facebook and Instagram.
If you are looking to build your brand with multiple product categories, it would be wise to have an e-commerce website. This helps in scaling the online retail business, and Optimind can help with e-commerce development.
3) Craft an online selling strategy
Getting your online selling business off the ground is also challenging, but you cannot leave this part if you want to know how to sell online more efficiently.
Hard numbers are not necessary. However, this would give your online business an edge and direction. Answer these questions first:
- What is your financial target in 3, 6, or 12 months? Ballpark figures are good. You want to expect progress such as a 30% increase in three months from the first month, a 50% increase in six months compared with the first three months, etc.
- What margin is the most operable and profitable? Think of your target market. Determine what price points are the most advantageous for them and you. On your part, think of the costs needed to manufacture or buy and deliver the product minus the amount you needed to charge to recover the costs and arrive at a profit.
- How would you want the customers to find your products? Promotion is a critical part of the marketing mix. Nowadays, it seems easier to sell on social channels, particularly Facebook, because of its for-business services. Nonetheless, there are several other ways to explore, such as search engine optimization (SEO), that is, if you have a website, through blogging. An email campaign may also work, especially for professional services. Publishing infographics and short videos are other ways to get the message across.
As such, you must set up your online business for success despite doing this temporarily (until you get another well-paying job perhaps).
4) Get customers and sales
As mentioned above, you can attract customers by posting on social media, blogging, using the right keywords for optimization, sending emails, and more.
In social media marketing, more precisely, you can manipulate plenty of tools to get more customers. Case in point are marketplace listings and stories that even big brands utilize today for marketing purposes.
Yet another vital tactic to boost sales is through offering discounts and running contests. Today, dealer or reseller promos tend to create a cult following for certain brands that you can also copy.
While at it, you may refer to this online selling checklist before going live. If you want to sell online, at least protect yourself and the business and your customers.
- Obtain all the licenses and permits necessary to operate your business
- Check the security features of your website to ensure data protection
- Synchronize branding on all digital channels you choose
- Ensure the consistency of business NAP (name, address, phone number) details
- Check the inventory of the products you intend to sell
- Test the payment option to know if it’s working or not
- Set up shipping methods and table rates
Don’t be like other sellers who blindly take on the challenge of online selling. You want to be here in the long-term. Also, it pays to be prepared because you are not just investing your hard-earned money here, but also your time, effort, commitment, and even your reputation.
Even if you are a virtual unknown covering matters on how to sell online from the ground up is a big brand move. Of course, you’d want to emulate them to become the next household name in your chosen niche.
If you are struggling with online selling, Optimind can help. As a digital marketing agency, we know the ins and outs of online selling from setting up a storefront to promoting the products and