How do I Sell My Products Online?
Selling through an online store is a good and relatively cheap way to serve more customers. But of course, you have to know how it works and how to get started. Developing an online store also requires a strong idea, a driven entrepreneur, and the necessary knowledge.
Why should I setup an online store?
We’re not saying that having an offline store is a bad idea. But you should setup an online store to get its exclusive advantages.
Now you say what are the advantages. Let’s check it out!
Advantages of Having an Online Store
Here are the best 7 in a row:
1. It’s cheap to setup an online store
Determine your budget yourself (it’s cheap!). Opening an online store is relatively low investment. In addition to providing space for the necessary stock, you do not have to rent or buy a commercial store. Buying the ‘online space’ for your digital business is also not a big expense.
Depending on the result you are aiming for, you will also spend as much or as little budget as desired on ‘building’ your online store.
2. Your shop is always open
As an online store operator, you do not know closing hours. Your store is available 24/7. Your customers do not stand in front of a closed-door or do not have to rush. In this way, you offer your customer the freedom to decide when to make a purchase. Also, the best way to grab customers is by offering coupons.
3. No need to maintain big stocks
In an online store, you do not have to have every product in stock. There are even online stores that work without stock. In that case, the product supplier delivers directly to the customer. In that case, you even outsource the packaging and shipping, which can be useful.
4. Less workload
Digital reduces the work. When you can let certain processes run automatically, the work for you decreases. If everything is set up and running properly, you don’t have to count your cash register and your stock at the end of the day.
5. Reach large number of customers
You should not underestimate the potential reach of your own online store. Online stores are much less geographically bound so that suddenly the entire country or even the entire world becomes a possible customer.
You can reach a large target group digitally. And…we probably don’t need to tell you that more and more people are ‘going digital’. Computer, tablet, or smartphone, your online store is accessible everywhere. Make sure that your online store is displayed properly on all different devices.
6. Easy to market
Online marketing gives you even more control. You can reach the whole country with a few clicks via social media. Through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Search Engine Advertising (SEA) , you ensure that you appear at the top of the search results in Google. You can also easily set up social media campaigns with the largest or smallest budgets.
Optimize your online store according to the customer’s wishes. You should keep track of data. How many people visited your online store? How many people viewed a specific product? Did they put the product in their shopping cart? What did they do afterward? As a digital entrepreneur, you can also respond to this. Optimize your online store based on the data your visitors leave behind. In this way, you adapt more and more to the wishes of the customer.
7. Less Fixed Cost
Also, the fixed costs are normally a lot lower. If you can still manage it from home, you don’t have to rent anything at all, but the location is less important with an online store than with a physical store. So it can be cheaper than in a busy commercial center.
How ‘expensive’ is an online store?
As a starting entrepreneur you have the choice to only sell online or to combine it with a real store in a physical location. Self-employed people with low start-up capital, for example, can start selling online only, because the initial investment is much lower than the cost of opening a physical store. This brings us directly to the first advantage of an online store: the investment. If you count on 10,000 dollars for setting up and starting your online store, then you have already calculated correctly.
Tip: It can be a lot lower, but remember that it is better to invest well in the beginning than to have to adjust a lot later. With an online store, this will be more expensive in the long run. Find a trending product to invest in so that you get maximum ROI such as homewares.
In every country, there are different VAT rules, import obligations, and so on. In addition, you also have to offer the online store in multiple languages, unless you just leave everything in English.
Anyway, if you approach smartly, you can reach more people. And if you succeed in convincing them, you can achieve exponentially more sales with your online store than you could ever achieve with a physical store.
How do you start your own online store?
Nowadays there are a lot of websites and software packages with which you can build your own online store quite easily without technical knowledge. Usually, they are standard online stores and with a different approach, customers might find your online store even easier.
You can also rely on professionals who design and develop your online store. The price for this can vary greatly. Are you willing to make a reasonable investment (think about 20,000 euros), then you can contact a top agency that thinks along strategically? If you prefer to stay in the neighborhood for 8 to 10,000 dollars, you can call on the self-employed and freelancers. Even cheaper than that is also possible, but then you have usually found a recently graduated or inexperienced developer. Which of course does not necessarily mean that the quality will be less.
After devising and developing your online store, you now really have to set it up and set it up. You have to choose your products, enter them, write explanations for them and keep everything structured and easily searchable. Starters often underestimate how much time you need to set aside for this. But it is very important because the user-friendliness of your online store will be a determining factor for its possible success.
In addition to the products, you also need to set up payment facilities, such as Visa, and determine your communication with the outside world.
That communication with the outside world is extremely important for your online store. Without clear communication, people will not know that you have an online store. The internet is infinitely extensive, being found is not always easy. In addition to direct communication via e-mails and social media, you also have to ensure that your online store is found in other ways, for example via Google. We can’t go into that in more detail here, because Google optimization (SEO) is a profession in itself these days. But you can find a lot of free courses and important information about it on the internet.
Just do it and learn
With an online store, it mainly comes down to just doing it. But even more important than ‘doing’ is learning. Every step you take, every tweet, every Facebook message, every customer contact … can teach you something about possible improvements to your online store. Above all, listen to the people who start the conversation with you and try to respond to what they say. Today, consumers want to be customers of companies with an identity, a company that gives them the feeling that they are dealing with people.