As an entrepreneur, what did 2020 teach you?
If your business is operating in an industry that was heavily regulated, you certainly now know the importance of business interruption insurance. That’s not all. You now embrace e-commerce.
It’s not that the e-commerce industry was struggling before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was growing rapidly, but the coronavirus has no doubt turbo-charged its growth.
If you didn’t believe in selling online, now you might have no choice but to start doing it. Even if you have a brick-and-mortar business that’s thriving, e-commerce can help take your sales to the next level.
Read on as we discuss how to get started selling on the web.
Understand How Your Business Can Benefit from eCommerce
Amazon is the poster child of eCommerce, but almost every kind of business can benefit from e-commerce. You just need to know-how.
Of course, it’s easy to sell online when your business is product-based. Both physical and digital products are easy to sell online.
But what if your business offers a service that can’t be directly sold online, like landscaping? In this case, you need to understand that the goal isn’t to sell the product online. It’s to promote your business, such that more people can find it online and request a quote for your landscaping services.
Having an understanding of the nature of your business and how it affects your e-commerce strategy is key to getting the most of selling on the internet.
Set Up a Business Website
The first practical step you can make when you want to start selling online is to set up a business website. This serves as your online store or digital business premises, depending on your needs.
If you’re selling products, you need to set up a website that’s capable of doubling up as an e-commerce store. Web visitors should be able to explore your product offering and make orders.
Your website can make or break your e-commerce business. A poorly built website will turn away potential customers while a proper website will increase your sales and enhance the customer’s experience.
The big question is: what does it take to build an ecommerce or online shop that delivers good results?
Several elements go into the creation of an e-commerce website. You must choose the right e-commerce platform and the design should be responsive.
Some business owners often resolve to create e-commerce websites on their own. This is okay if you’re a web design or development expert, but if you aren’t, DIY’ing a business website isn’t a good idea.
You should hire an expert who knows what it takes to build an exceptional e-commerce website. This will set you back some thousands of dollars, but it’s the best way to start selling online on a solid footing.
Selling on Amazon?
Amazon offers entrepreneurs like you the ability to sell your products on its website. Considering the size of the company and the web traffic it attracts, you’d be making a big mistake to ignore selling your products there.
But first, you need to determine whether your product is right for Amazon. Do seller research and identify the products that are doing well on the site.
If your product is a good fit, don’t settle with just your own e-commerce website. Selling on Amazon will complement the sales you make on your own website, and could even do better.
Unlike selling on your own website where you’re the boss, on Amazon you have to meet a range of seller requirements and comply with the rules.
One thing you need to get right is the packaging. Be sure to get familiar with Amazon’s packing and prep requirements.
If you’re overwhelmed, you can outsource the task to a third-party company like UpstartWorks. According to the company, they will be able to help you “align to Amazon’s packaging certifications with our frustration-free packaging programs.”
Besides Amazon, there are other e-commerce sites that will allow you to sell your products, including Shopify, Bonanza, eBay, and Handshake. Some of these sites focus on niche products, so ensure you’re familiar with a site’s requirements before signing up.
Selling on Social Media
A few years ago, social media used to be a place to get in touch with friends, share photos, and catch up with the news. Today, you can do more than that. You can sell your products on some social networks, such as Facebook and Instagram.
Like setting up a shop on Amazon, there are requirements you need to meet before you can be allowed to sell on social media sites that offer that service.
To be a successful seller on social media, it’s important that you find the right social network. For instance, your business is a clothing store, would you rather sell on Facebook or Instagram? Instagram, no doubt.
Embrace Digital Marketing
Selling products online has great benefits, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll be successful. You have to take steps to market your business and its products or service.
You need to craft an e-commerce marketing strategy that’s suitable for your business. There are various methods you can use, including PPC advertising, social media advertising, and email marketing.
Alternatively, you can hire a digital agency that specializes in e-commerce marketing.
Get Started Selling Online
The internet opens up new markets for businesses, which is why selling online is a great way to increase your sales. There are different strategies you can implement, from selling direct to consumers on your website to selling on Amazon and other e-commerce websites, to selling on social media.
Choose what works for your business and stay tuned to our blog for more e-commerce tips and insights.