As the amount of people with internet access increases, so does the market for online sales. Over 2 billion people purchased goods and services online in 2020, with worldwide e-retail sales surpassing $ 2 trillion!
If you’re a business owner, you shouldn’t ignore a market like that. But depending on the nature and size of your business, setting up an e-commerce store of your own might be too costly or overly complicated for your needs. Luckily, there are ways to sell online without e-commerce perfect for business owners who don’t want to maintain an online shop.
From online marketplaces to social media and landing pages, in this article, I will show you three different ways of how you can sell your products online without needing to open an online store. Ready to find out more? Let’s go!
1. Online Marketplaces
Source: Amazon Seller Central
Online marketplaces are a great way to sell your products online without having to launch your shop. Visitors to online marketplaces are already looking for products to buy, so it is just a matter of drawing them to your listings with techniques such as good product images, keyword-rich descriptions, and competitive prices.
There are several different online marketplaces, each with its benefits and features. eBay is the original online marketplace with an extensive global network of sellers and buyers. Becoming an eBay seller is easy, with the only requirement being an eBay seller account and payment method. Products are easy to list, with eBay offering support in customizing your store and organizing your inventory.
Selling on Amazon is a little trickier but also more rewarding as they handle more of the backend admin for you, including client support and returns. After choosing your seller plan, you’ll need to create a seller account in the backend before adding your products.
This process is simple and only involves adding information about inventory, condition, and shipping if your products already exist. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to create an SKU, list all of the product attributes, and wait for Amazon to approve its sale.
Another benefit of selling on Amazon is that you can use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), which stores your products in their fulfillment centers and ships them for you.
Other options include Etsy, which is great for sellers of niche products, and Alibaba, which makes Amazon look small thanks to the number of products it moves every year.
2. Social Media
Source: Facebook Shops
Selling on social media is unique in that, unlike the traditional model, which relies on cold calling, this method uses social networks to engage and educate potential customers. While there are many different types of social media platforms with their unique audiences, only Facebook and Instagram directly facilitate selling through their platforms without a separate online store.
Facebook has a couple of different options for selling your products. Facebook Marketplace is a similar offering to the other online marketplaces mentioned above, allowing anyone to list products for sale. Facebook also offers Facebook Shops and Facebook Page Shops, depending on your region, allowing businesses to create a free online store link to their business profile. Once set up, you’ll be able to decide which items you want to feature and connect with consumers directly through WhatsApp, Messenger, or Instagram Direct Messaging.
As Facebook owns it, selling on Instagram requires a Facebook page linked to your Instagram business profile. Once set up, you’ll have access to Instagram Shopping which allows you to create a custom storefront. It also allows you to share your products through organic and promoted posts and stories and allows your posts to be found through Instagram’s Search & Explore feature.
Of course, with a bit of strategic thinking, you can also easily sell on other social networks such as Twitter. Here you can use ads and promoted tweets to drive traffic to a landing page with your product. This brings us to our final point.
3. Landing Pages
Unlike your website, landing pages are designed with one business objective in mind. This objective can be lead generation by offering email-gated content, free trials, promotions, and VIP demos. Another great option is to make your landing page shoppable. By allowing consumers to purchase your product directly from the landing page rather than having to go through an entire online store process, you’ll increase your conversion rate.
With a landing page payments tool, you can create a landing page that accepts payments for products, content, and services, either once-off or monthly, while letting you review your sales, subscriptions, and sign-ups in real-time. These features give you many of the benefits of an e-commerce shop without the cost and hassle of running one.
There are many ways to drive traffic to your landing page. Ads and sponsored content on social networks, such as the previously mentioned Twitter, are a great way to target a specific demographic or region. If you have a blog, another option is to link to your landing page in your content. Others include search engine optimization, influencer marketing, and using contests. Whichever method you choose, a shoppable landing page at the other end of the funnel is sure to drive your sales.
I hope this post has shown you how easy it is to get started with online sales and that you don’t need your e-commerce store to do so. Be it using online marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon, or Etsy, social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, or using shoppable landing pages, you don’t need the expense and complications that go with setting up and running an online store to tap into the global online marketplace.
The great thing about these methods is that they’re not exclusive, and because they’re simple and relatively inexpensive, it’s easy for you to try them all out and find out which works best for you. Did I miss any ways to sell online without your own e-commerce store? Let me know in the comments.