Are you looking for ways to sell your products online?
Perhaps you’re an individual who wants to start a side hustle as a backup plan during these uncertain times.
Maybe, you’ve owned a brick and mortar business and would like to set up an eCommerce store since footfalls are down during the pandemic.
Whatever the reason, selling your products and services online can bring you in touch with more people and skyrocket your income.
In this post, we’ll look at ways you can sell online. Some of these methods will be more practical and appealing than others. The platform and method you use to sell items online will depend on your goals and situation.
Here are some things to take into account:
- Do you have a single product or an entire range of items to sell?
- Are the services you offer unique and likely to draw customers if you set up your own business?
- Are you tech-savvy? That is, you need to have some working knowledge of creating and managing websites. If not, you should opt for a hosted platform where most of the set-up is done for you
- What’s your budget? The amount of money you can put into growing your business will play a critical role in the kind of platform you use to sell your products
Let’s now dive into different ways you can sell products and even your services online. Here we go.
Create a WordPress site
My best recommendation for selling your products online is to create a WordPress site. WordPress is a Content Management System that anyone can use. You won’t need to know how to code and many hosting platforms have an easy WordPress setup that will help you launch a live website in minutes.
The main reason why a WordPress site is your best option is that you can create virtually any kind of website you want. Here are some ideas:
- You can build an online course if you’re a teacher, a coach, or a business that needs to educate its customers
- You can create an eCommerce site with the help of a plugin
- Your own WordPress site will give you full control over branding
- There are plugins for every essential marketing and growth activity. Use an email deliverability tool like WP Mail SMTP to support your email marketing. Get plugins for simplifying analytics, CRM, optin forms, customer support, and lots more
You can scale your website or add only the exact features you need. By building a WordPress site, you have more control. And anyone on your team can use it to add and edit content.
Hosted eCommerce site
If you don’t want to build your own eCommerce website, then a hosted eCommerce platform may be right for you.
Hosted eCommerce platforms offer you an end-to-end setup. Depending on the subscription you sign up for, you’ll get an eCommerce site and a blog, shipping calculation tools, team accounts, advanced reporting features, and more.
Using a hosted eCommerce platform is great for people looking for an easy and quick way to launch their online store.
However, the limitations are that you won’t have fine control over every feature. You’ll find it difficult to transfer your content if you decide to move to another platform. And you’ll have to pay transaction fees if you don’t use the hosting platform’s preferred payment method.
Sell on social media
Social media isn’t just a place to connect with friends and family. Many people use it to research businesses and to find products.
And social networks like Facebook know this. You can create an online store right on Facebook using the Facebook Shops feature.
Instagram, which belongs to Facebook, also has options where users can buy from the platform or look up catalog items with links to your site.
Facebook Marketplace is another feature where people buy and sell items locally. And Pinterest allows you to create business profiles and link to your website from their platform.
Seeing as there are billions of people using social media every single day, selling your products on social media is a good idea. You can connect with your audience directly and build a following.
One of the issues with relying on social media is that you can get in trouble if you don’t have a backup plan. A social network can close your account if there are reports made against your brand. Or a change in the social media algorithm can prevent your audience from seeing your content.
If you’re starting a social media store, make sure that you’re also building your email list and promoting your blog or website – so that you always have a way to reach your customers.
Marketplaces are platforms like Amazon, Etsy, and Ali Baba. These websites bring together hundreds and thousands of buyers and sellers.
The upside of selling on marketplaces is that you only have to apply, get approved, and start uploading your product details and pictures.
The downside is that you have very little control over branding your page. And you also need to compete with a large number of sellers in the same place.
However, if you have a unique product and only want to focus on creating things to sell and not on managing payment gateways and other elements, then this can be a good choice for you.
There you go. We’ve covered the top ways you can sell products and services online.
Have a few brainstorming sessions and look at what’s practical for your business. Things like your budget, the time you can spare, and your level of expertise in marketing and creating a website will help you figure out which option is right for you.
Whatever you choose, focus on building an awesome product and developing a relationship with your customers, and you’re certain to grow your business through any platform.