Selling products or services online can be a lucrative business venture. However, there are a number of considerations that come into play when deciding to sell online. These include what to sell, how to market your items and how to handle payments and shipping. While it may seem daunting, learning how to sell online is possible for even the most novice entrepreneurs. The key is to take it one step at a time.
What to sell online can range from physical products you hand-make or invent, to time-based services like classes or consultations. You can also offer digital content such as ebooks and videos. The possibilities are nearly endless, but you should focus on the items that interest you and the ones in which you have a level of expertise. You can also tap into your hobbies, as they are often a great source of ideas for products to sell.
Depending on what you choose to sell, the easiest way to get started may be by using an existing marketplace. Whether it’s Amazon or eBay, these websites offer a large customer base and a variety of tools that make the process as simple as possible. These options are ideal for small businesses that are just starting out or those on a budget. However, they can limit your brand identity and you will likely have to pay fees or commissions on each sale.
Another option is to use a website or app that connects buyers and sellers in a social media setting. These apps can be a great way to reach customers who are already engaged with your brand, but they can also require more logistics than other types of online sales. For example, many of these platforms allow you to post items but expect the seller and buyer to meet up in person to exchange goods. Others, like Bonanza and Craigslist, allow users to post their listings for free but charge a fee when they make a sale.
If you want to be in control of your branding and have more customization options, setting up an ecommerce site with a platform like Shopify or Wix may be a better option for you. These websites are fully customizable and integrate with a variety of tools, including payment processors and shipping providers. Some even have abandoned cart recovery, which sends emails to customers who reached the checkout page but were unable to complete their purchase for whatever reason.
No matter what type of online store you choose, it’s important to provide your customers with a variety of payment methods. It is standard practice for most ecommerce sites to accept credit cards, but you should also consider adding alternatives like PayPal, Stripe and Afterpay. This will give your customers the flexibility they need to purchase your products or services. Additionally, you should ensure that your website is mobile-responsive so that customers can easily access it on their phones or tablets. This is an essential element for ensuring that your customers are satisfied and will return to your store in the future.