Whether you’re hoping to start an online business or simply want to offload some old stuff, there’s plenty of potential online to sell. A website is a really powerful window for getting customers in and it can be a very powerful sales channel.
Starting an online sales business is a great way of getting yourself an extra income and it’s especially great if you’re selling items you make yourself.
Whether you design clothes or make toys there will come a time where you will realise there are more people out there interested in your wares. It’s a big decision but one day you’ll have the revelation ‘I should try and sell some stuff’ and then it’s time to test the waters and see if you can sell online.
Here are some tips of the trade to help you make sales:
Have a Strategy
Building a professional strategy will be essential to keeping an online business afloat. You need to think about whether you’ll be using a website for all sales or it will be part of a large sales campaign including other techniques such as pitching to shop owners or setting up at fairs. Spend time researching other ecommerce sites to help build your strategy.
Build your Shop
If you’re selling solely online then your shop needs to be the best it can be. It’s the online equivalent of a shop window and needs to represent your business clearly and be easy to navigate. You visitors basically need to be able to browse and buy easily but you also need to consider security measures to keep their bank details protected and other elements to build customer trust.
Fulfil and Deliver
You need to research and find the best distribution channels for your business. If you’re selling software or mobile apps you can deliver via download but physical handmade goods may need to be handled with care. Researching independent couriers is a good place to start to ensure you fulfil all your orders on time.
Market your Goods
Your products won’t sell unless you tell people they’re available. This is one of the hardest bits of business as it involves lots of showing off and being proud. There are a range of different marketing methods for ecommerce including SEO, PPC advertising and e-newsletters – all of which will get people to your sites. You can also dabble in social media and engage with customers there too.
Stick to the Rules
Make sure you understand and are aware of all the laws and regulations relating to your business. You have to follow a number of laws including the Data Protection Act 1998, the Consumer Protection (Distance Sling) Regulations 2000 and the Electronic Commerce Regulations 2002. These regulations are in place to ensure that your customer’s personal data is kept secure and that your products meet both quality and suitability standards.
Selling online takes a bit of planning and a little work especially if you want to make a success of it all but it’s a brilliant way of adding a bit more cash to the household budget.