How can I start selling online?

This question of “How can I start selling online?” is super common, because so many people are looking for ways to make money in 2018.  Whether you own your own retail business now, or you are just in your mom’s basement, anyone can start selling a product online.  Luckily it has become easier than ever to get started but the competition can be a challenge.  We created a way to show you 7 quick and easy steps to start selling a product or products online.  Try these out for yourself and let us know how this works for you.  We want to see all of your success stories.

 

1) Find the niche of products you want to focus on

So this seems to be the sticking point for most people.  You need to try and find something you know.  Something that you have a passion for so that you can not only help your new clients but also help keep you moving forward as you go through this process.  I recommend trying to think of products that have a decent size audience to purchase it, but not something that is already easily accessible in a local store near you.  Probably the biggest mistake most people make when on this step is choosing electronics.  There is just not enough margin in these products and normally way too much competition.  This may be something that you look at multiple times so keep going till you find the right thing for you.

 

2) Check your competition in the places they are marketing

This is the most important step in this whole process.  You want to see how your competition is marketing and make sure you can find your competitive advantage.  A few places I would check are:

These are some of the best ways to market your products and to check out what your competition is doing.  We will be doing blog articles on each of these platforms and how they work so make sure you subscribe to our blog for more information.  While looking on these platforms check the price, competition quantity, and look for any other trends that you may not have thought about.  Sometimes when going through this process you realize you may need to start over.  That’s ok!  You can go back to step one and try out the next niche you have planned.  Getting this right the first time is super important.

3) Determine what is your competitive advantage

This step takes some time to think about but is very important.  You want to make sure that you can provide some level of value that your competition isn’t providing.  Most everyone online sells for the same price, whether the company mandates a MAP or the retailers dictate the price.  You need to find another reason for someone to buy from you.  Not all customers care about just price.  They want quality support or knowledgeable staff.  Maybe a video showing how to use the product.  You will have to determine what that is based on the niche and the customer. When you go to build your new site, you want this to be the main pillar that you build it on.  This will make it so people will easily know why you are better.

 

4) Setup your new store

Setting up your site can be a daunting task.  You want to find a solution that can be easy to learn but powerful to build in.  We recommend using Shopify as your hosting and web development platform.  Most people think have many reservations because of a few questions.

  • Do I need to know how to code?
    • No, you do not.
  • How do I accept credit cards?
    • Shopify has it built in for you, all you have to do is give them your info and bank account to deposit the money.
  • Do I need to get a shipping account, and how do I get shipping supplies?
    • Shopify has this built in as well and you can get free shipping supplies from USPS.

There is much to talk about when it comes to Shopify and we will have another blog to discuss this very soon.  Use our link here to check out Shopify if you can.  It helps support the blog and shows us that you actually care, so thanks a bunch!

 

5) Build out your new site, the easy way

So once you have Shopify setup then go check out Shopify’s themes here and select a one you like.  They have plenty of free ones that work great, just to get you started.  If you pay for one you will not be disappointed.  Choosing a good theme is very important because this can make building your site super simple without needing to know much about sites.  It is an almost drag and drop experience and you should be able to figure it out pretty easily.  If you have a question then comment below and we will help you out.  This also leaves questions and answers for anyone new to see and help them through their journey as well.  Once the theme is selected you want to build out your home page, contact us, about us, and product pages.  Also look into a privacy policy, terms of service, and shipping policy as well.  Shopify will help you with this but we will also have an article very soon to guide you on what you need.

 

6) Add your products and get ready to sell!

This is the most fun part of this process.  Once you have the site set up, add some products and get ready to make sales.  I would normally recommend getting a minimum of 20 or so products to start but that all depends on your niche.  Also, think about add-on items that compliment your main products.  For example, if you sell a notebook they will need a pen to go with it.  This thought process will help you flush out your store and make it look much more professional.  If you need to set up accounts with manufacturers or distributors I would do that now.  Use your professional looking site to show an example of your “store” and let them know you want to sell their product more than anything.  Any challenges you have in this process please comment below or contact us on our page here.

 

7) Start Marketing your site and open up for business!

This is where the fun begins.  It is where you start hearing that KaChing of the cash register.  As I said at the beginning of the article, look into advertising on those platforms.  Depending on your budget really determines where you start but know that you don’t have to spend money at first if you don’t have it.  It takes more time and effort but organic sales will come as long as you stay focused and are consistent.  Talk about the pain points of your clients and show them that you offer the solution.  The two biggest things you focus on should be fear of missing out and the pleasure of enjoying the product.  This is a great place to start on your marketing journey.  It is definitely a trial and error process, so take your time and keep working on it!

I hope that these steps help you out to start your online business.  If there are any confusing points or you have a question feel free to ask.  We will do our best to respond as quickly as possible and we are happy to help anyone in need.  If you like these type of articles please comment below and tell us.  Also, subscribe to our blog by following the link below.  We really appreciate the support and we wish you the best on your new online store!

 

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