Whatever you’ve heard about starting an online business, it’s probably true. It’s a competitive playground that challenges even the savviest entrepreneurs, but the overwhelming consensus is that you start learning how to sell online.
One of the best parts about it is that you can sell online beyond the borders of your city, your country, or even your continent without ever leaving your work desk! Once you get started, virtually anyone from anywhere in the world can become your customer.
But where do you start?
There are simple ways to figure out how to sell on the internet, and they all stem from the answers to three basic questions – why, what, and how?
Here’s a guide to everything you need to know about how to sell online. It couldn’t get any easier.
Why Learning How to Sell Online Is a Good Idea
Can you imagine your life without the internet? No emails, no last-minute shopping, no cat videos… Let’s just stop there.
That’s precisely why the eCommerce industry is living its golden age. Everyone is connected and cozily nestled in their little online bubbles with no intention of going back to the old ways. Plugging into this trend is beginning to look like the smartest way to start an online business.
Here’s more on why.
1. Your business goes where you go.
Let’s get this one out of the way first — forget about *real* vacations without a laptop, at least for the first year or so.
When you learn how to sell stuff online, any place in the world can become your office, and more often than not, you’ll end up working weekends, nights, and holidays. The only difference is that you’ll do it with a smile on your face.
Work from the beach or your grandma’s garden — wherever you go, you’re just a tap (and a Wi-Fi connection) away from accessing your business. Everything you do must propel you towards success.
2. Cash-strapped? Start a business with a small investment!
The beauty of the online world is that you can get the business off the ground with very little initial investment. It depends, of course, on what kind of business you’re planning to start, but for the sake of this article, we’re assuming you have your mindset on running an online store. And when it comes to selling online, dropshipping seems to be the go-to strategy.
With minimum overheads, such as paying for the hosting of your website and running some online ads, you can sell products online and build a profitable business in just a few months. And it’s not some kind of fantasy. There are real success stories to prove it.
3. You can make money 24/7.
Whereas physical shops are restricted to opening and closing times, online stores run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All the time. It doesn’t take a genius to see the potential in this business model. If you have a constant stream of traffic coming to your store and you optimize your conversions to a good standard, you can essentially earn passively while you sleep.
This touches on another substantial benefit of selling online – if done right, it can be a sweet source of residual income. It is less time-intensive than, say, running a brick-and-mortar boutique because you don’t need to be present at all times. With automated inventory management and a robust online marketing plan, you can master how to sell things online with very little input from your side.
4. There’s a lot of room to grow.
Entrepreneurs often have to bend over backward to keep increasing their sales. While you may have the hottest products in stock, it can be hard to find new customers and keep them loyal to your business. Taking up the option to sell online can fix this problem almost instantly.
According to the latest eCommerce statistics, the number of online shoppers is rapidly growing and is expected to hit a whopping 2.14 billion in 2021.
The takeaway? Entrepreneurs who are still on the fence about online selling should take action before they’re left in the dust. Plus, with so many strategies for selling online, it couldn’t be more simple to capitalize on the growing eCommerce trend.
Now, that sounds like a dream come true.
1. Use existing sales gateways.
You can sell online through marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, or Etsy, but this strategy has its pros and cons.
On the pro side, there’s an established, large community of returning customers that you can access. And for someone who’s just learning how to sell online, it’s a big deal to be able to tap into a vast pool of online shoppers that already trust the platform.
Another big plus for eCommerce beginners is the opportunity to test the demand for the products they offer. In fact, you can even test one-product store ideas in which you build a brand around a single product. Once you establish a good sense of what’s popular, it’s time to start building an online store. If you create one with Shopify, it’s easy to connect popular sales channels to your store.
So, why shift the strategy when it starts returning a profit? Many reasons. First, big marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, or Etsy will charge you a commission for every sale. Second, selling through a third party will prevent you from building a personal relationship with your customers.
In essence, you won’t be able to capture their email addresses, provide useful content, or run your own campaigns to generate more sales. What’s more, marketplaces can shut your store at any time, which is a costly and damaging process to go through.
Along with marketplaces, social media channels like Facebook and Instagram allow you to get your products in front of prospective customers. For instance, you can set up a Facebook shop to showcase your inventory to Facebook users. Those interested can then add your items to their cart and check out on the platform directly. But if you’d rather create an independent eCommerce website, Facebook still offers several ways to sell online; you can use your Facebook Business Page, run ads, and sell products in Facebook groups.
Social media allows you to work with influencers. You can give samples of your items to influencers in return for shoutouts. Identify some influencers in your niche by searching for relevant hashtags, then partner with them to promote your products through stories, videos, posts, and more.
3. Create your own dropshipping website.
Thanks to platforms like Shopify, setting up your website is easier than ever. You can take advantage of free trials and endless online resources to get it off the ground in just a few days.
Also, you can install a dropshipping app to eliminate the hassle of buying and storing inventory. It’s a great way to sell online due to its many advantages, but the most profound is, of course, minimum setup costs – since you don’t need to buy the inventory or manage a warehouse.
There’s also the ability to offer an extensive selection of products, which helps to scale quickly, and the incredible flexibility that comes with the fact that you can run your business from anywhere in the world. It’s the perfect combo of potential and freedom that’s attracting digital nomads and hustlers.
However, it’s not entirely hassle-free. With so many success stories fueling the interest in this market, the competition to sell online is high and growing, so it’s crucial you do your homework before jumping on board.
Some of the other most commonly cited problems, such as finding the right suppliers, can be solved by integrating with existing eCommerce tools. With 2,000-plus, five-star reviews and a free Explorer plan, Oberlo is one of the most popular choices when it comes to importing products to your online store and managing inventory.
We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, and more.
With a successful track record of over 20,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements. Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses.
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