Learning how to sell online successfully is a huge challenge. You have to figure out what to sell, where to source or build your products, how to market your products, and how to sell them online.
Building a business, or even just a side income can be very overwhelming, and you have very little time because you have other things you have to manage (such as life).
But with today’s technology that’s available to you, there are ways to make this a little bit easier for you.
Gone are the days where if you want to build a business or to make a little bit more money on the side, you’d have to negotiate a storefront lease, get a warehouse, hire a staff and lie awake at night wondering if the tens of thousands of dollars you’ve invested into just getting the physical store renovated is going to work or not.
Selling products online removes a lot of overhead costs that are involved if you set up a physical store. You can re-allocate this budget to growing your online business.
Learning how to sell online products through an ecommerce website eliminates a lot of financial risks to you. It removes the need for you to find a physical location or sign a multi-year lease.
While I’m not saying that selling products online is easy, it’s true that with today’s technology, you can create and grow a business online much faster than just a couple of decades ago.
HOW DOES TECHNOLOGY HELP YOU SELL ONLINE?
“The internet enables you to reach millions of shoppers. Your ecommerce store can literally be “open” 24 hours a day.”
While technology won’t help you too much in figuring out what business to be in, what products to sell, how to manufacture / build your product, it does give you the capability to showcase your products online or help you process sales so the money goes from your customers into your pocket, in a much faster and easier way than ever before.
Technology enables you to automate a lot of these mundane processes, so you can focus more on other parts of your business.
Big online marketplaces have millions of shoppers looking to buy something every day. A lot of businesses are selling tons of products online already.
There are a number of big marketplaces where you can upload your products and start selling them right away. Marketplaces such as Amazon, Facebook, Etsy, all expose you to a massive number of potential customers and enable you to start selling very quickly.
While these marketplaces open up opportunities for you to sell online, one of the biggest assets that you can create for yourself is to build your own ecommerce website (we’ll get to more details about this below).
WHY SHOULD I BUILD MY OWN ECOMMERCE ONLINE STORE?
“Why should a shopper buy from you if your eBay or Amazon storefront look almost identical to your competition? To become successful, you need your own online store to stand apart.”
While setting up a store and selling directly on Facebook, Amazon, eBay or Etsy is a lot easier nowadays, relying solely on them can be a huge mistake for you.
For instance, the Amazon search algorithm is always changing so you might show up one day, and you might not on the next day.
You can get people sharing your Facebook store, but a change in their algorithm (which they did just recently), your shares are not reaching as many people as before.
There are always new competitors popping up, undercutting your price to win customers.
While we all understand that a price war is good for nobody (it’s a race to the bottom and everybody profits less), there’s always “that guy” that’s going to cut his price to win the customer from you.
After all, it’s not easy to “brand” yourself in marketplaces such as Facebook, Amazon or eBay. So to a lot of shoppers, you’re just another merchant the same product. And they’re going to look for the product that’s the cheapest and has decent reviews… and let’s face it, reviews can be faked.
So creating a brand for yourself, over time, can help you build a very valuable asset online.
A good and strong brand projects trust to shoppers. At the core of things, trust is hugely important when it comes to selling successfully online.
You wouldn’t buy things online if you didn’t trust the brand, right?
HOW TO BUILD A BRAND TO SELL ONLINE SUCCESSFULLY
“Creating your own online store is the best way to build your own brand & create trust with your shoppers. It’s the best way to build a long-term business.”
Building your own ecommerce website to sell online is one of the best ways to create a recognizable brand for yourself.
When you sell on Facebook, Amazon, eBay or Etsy, your store front looks pretty much the same as everybody else’s. So how do you make yourself stand apart?
By building your own ecommerce website, you can have so much creative control over how your online store looks, and how your shoppers can experience your store, and therefore your brand.
How you design your online store, how you present your products and how you have your visitors experience your website can help you build trust.
It’s much harder for a visitor to trust you if your store looks old and outdated, or if they have a hard time finding what they’re looking for. This principle applies to both offline physical stores, or to online ecommerce stores.
So design matters – this helps you build trust, and the more trust you can build, can give you a much higher chance of selling products successfully.
With Amazon, Facebook, eBay or Etsy, you don’t have full control over the design of your store. With your own ecommerce site, you can design & brand it however you want to.
In addition to building your online store to establish your own brand, today’s social media makes it so much easier to get the word out there about your website. From leveraging Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc, people love to share websites they enjoy visiting.
When’s the last time you’ve seen people “Like” or tweeted out an Amazon page? I haven’t seen a whole lot, at least amongst my social circle.
HOW TO BUILD AN ECOMMERCE ONLINE STORE TO SELL ONLINE
“No longer must you spend thousands of dollars to hire a technical coder to build you an ecommerce store. You can create one from $25 per month – all by yourself.”
Building your own ecommerce store used to be hard.
You’d have to hire a very expensive coder to build a website for you, and every time you want to make a small change, you’d have to pay up and wait a few days.
Try writing codes to connect your website to a payment processor. You would need a hardcore programmer to help you do that just a few years ago. Nowadays, it’s just a few clicks that even you can do.
Worst yet, I’ve seen terrible situations where an entrepreneur (such as yourself) pay someone to build the site, the person delivers a sub-par website and runs off with the money. That’s not something you want to experience that’s for sure.
There are ecommerce website builders available today where you no longer have to hire expensive developers just to get a basic online store set up.
These ecommerce solutions are built specifically so you can build your store yourself, and without you having to know how to code.
They’re also not super expensive at all! Considering that it can cost anywhere from $2,000 to hire someone to build a very basic (borderline crummy) store, to well over $10,000 for a good online store.
With the ecommerce solutions I’m going to share with you below, they only cost you anywhere from $25 to $200 per month to build a very high-end, professional looking and function store that you can manage yourself.
The $200 per month is very high end and advanced, and is meant for much larger businesses. I certainly don’t recommend you start there right from the beginning. You can start small, and grow at your own pace.
With an ecommerce website builder, you can start off with a low monthly payment and upgrade only when you are ready. This limits your financial risks & commitments”
The beauty of this approach is that if you decide that it’s not for you, you can simply cancel your store and stop paying. Compare this to committing tens of thousands of dollars to an expensive developer and not knowing what you’re going to get – it’s a no-brainer to explore using these ecommerce solutions which I’ll go over below.
ECOMMERCE SOLUTIONS TO HELP YOU SELL ONLINE SUCCESSFULLY
Here are a few ecommerce solutions that can help you create your own ecommerce website cheaply and quickly, all without knowing how to code at all.
1) Shopify (500,000+ Active Online Stores)
Shopify is probably one of the best ecommerce builders in the market today.
They deal with all the technology behind the building and powering of a website, so you don’t have to worry as much about that part so you can focus on creating and selling your products.
(Click on image above to see short video overview of what Shopify is all about and how it can help you build an ecommerce store)
Remember that we discussed how having a professional design can help you build your brand? Shopify provides you with over 100 beautiful and professionally created designs for you to choose from, that can make your store look great to build trust with your shoppers.
All of their design themes are also mobile-ready, so you can take advantage of the growing trend of mobile ecommerce.
With Shopify, you can sell anywhere from a hand full of products, all the way to thousands of products. Their technology enables you to build your store by yourself, all without you having to be technologically savvy.
Another thing that really makes Shopify stand apart from others, is that they have a large App Store where you can bolt on additional business tools when and if you need to. You might not find them useful when you start, but as your business grow, you may need them down the road. At least they’re there for you when you need them.
The cost of using Shopify starts from $14 per month all the way up to $299 per month. As mentioned, you can start small, and if your business starts to grow much larger, you can then evaluate if you want to migrate to a higher plan.
2) Wix eCommerce (388,000+ Active Online Stores)
Wix is one of the easiest to use drag & drop website builders in the market today. Its versatility and flexibility makes it a great choice of ecommerce builder for small and independent businesses.
Wix may not be as comprehensive as a pure ecommerce website builder like Shopify, but its ‘back to basics’ approach ensures that you have all the essentials you need to start selling without getting weighed down with in-depth analytics and options that you may not even need.
Wix is functional and reliable, so you can trust that your site won’t suddenly go down in the middle of the night. It’s easy to add products with variations (e.g for size or color options) and the integrated shopping cart keeps shopping simple for customers.
Wix also works with a range of leading payment gateways such as PayPal and WorldPay so that you can get selling sooner rather than later.
One aspect that I really like about Wix is that they have a big selection of good looking ecommerce template designs for you to choose from – especially when compared to Weebly.
Further, they have an App Market where you can get more tools for your site.
Wix’s ecommerce plans start from $17-$25 per month. So it’s similar to Weebly’s plans, and a lot cheaper than Shopify and BigCommerce, which is great news for those of you who want a simpler, more streamlined ecommerce platform.
3) BigCommerce (95,000+ Active Online Stores)
BigCommerce is another well-known ecommerce software to help you build your online store without you getting tangled up in technology.
They have all the basic tools for you to build your online store, and just like Shopify, they also have an app store for additional tools if you need them.
(Click on image above to see short video overview of what BigCommerce is all about and how it can help you build an ecommerce store)
BigCommerce’s biggest competitor is Shopify, and each of them has their own pros and cons. While a lot of the tools they provide you are somewhat similar, in my view, Shopify gives you much better store front design options.
At the end of the day, you should take a look at BigCommerce as well as they are a solid builder.
BigCommerce starts at $29.95 per month all the way up to $199.95 per month. Again, you should start small, then migrate to a higher plan only if necessary.
4) Weebly eCommerce (441,000+ Online Stores)
Weebly is probably one of the easiest drag and drop website builders in the market today.
Their tools and user interface are so simple to use, so if you are “extra” afraid of anything that has to do with websites, Weebly is a good candidate for you to consider.
(Click on image above to see short video overview of what Weebly is all about)
While they don’t offer you ecommerce tools that are as comprehensive as Shopify or BigCommerce, they make that up by being very simple and straightforward to use.
They’re a good ecommerce solution and they provide you with all the basic tools to build a functional online store.
Weebly is really cheap to use, starting from $8 per month, up to $25 per month. They’re cheaper than Shopify and BigCommerce, as their ecommerce tools are not as advanced and comprehensive.
So if you’re building a smaller store and don’t have the need for advanced tools, Weebly is a very good ecommerce software to consider using.
CONCLUSION – HOW TO SELL ONLINE
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