How to sell online: what you need to start and what you shouldn't do
More and more people are considering starting a business, since the conditions of the labor market are not exactly ideal in general. And the truth is that the digital scenario has become an excellent option to do so, since selling online has a series of important advantages, such as cost reduction.
For all this, if you want to know how to sell online , take a look at the tips and ideas that we are going to give you below.
electronic commerceOnline stores are a good option both to start from scratch to sell a product online, and to give a digital extension to a conventional business that is already in operation. The good thing is that creating an ecommerce is not expensive at all . The bad thing is that unless you have a lot of knowledge about it, you are going to need help at first. But afterwards, it is almost certain that you can carry it without problems.
In addition, today there is dropshipping , which consists of selling a certain product without previously buying it and, therefore, without storing it, thus saving even more. In this case, what is done is to reach an agreement with one or several wholesalers to sell their items , and once an order is placed, pass it on to them to prepare and ship (always on behalf of the online store that has acted as intermediary).
MarketplacesThe difference between a Marketplace and an online store is that in the former you don't sell your own products, but rather you become a kind of "market" in which others put their items up for sale , thus gaining more visibility. Of course, every time someone sells something through you, you will earn a commission.
Some examples of marketplaces are: the giant Amazon, Aliexpress or eBay .
AdvertisingAdvertising is one of the most basic methods to sell online. However, it is more appropriate for companies that have the potential to scale in size. In fact, if you think about it, big companies like Google actually make a living from advertising.
It is true that there are people who have a large number of followers and earn very high income through advertising on their channel. But let's not fool ourselves, this is not easy nor is it usual.
affiliate marketingAffiliate marketing consists of promoting a third-party product through your own channel, and earning a commission each time someone buys the product through the link that you provide for it.
It has nothing to do with the Marketplace , where third parties sell their products on your site. Here, to begin with, there are no "sales" per se, but rather a job recommending a product. And also, the person who sells it is nowhere to be found.
Actually, it is a job that influencers usually do , who advise a certain product and get commissions for the sales they generate.
sell servicesOn the Internet, not only physical items can be sold, since services such as online classes, coaching sessions, advice on financial products, etc. can also be offered.
What you have to keep in mind is that for the sale of online services you have to spend a lot of time and effort . I mean, it's probably not an easy livelihood. But if it's what you really like, with work you can get it. We recommend you take a look at the best jobs to do online .
InfoproductsWe call infoproducts digital products such as ebooks, online courses, photographs, podcasts, etc. In this case we are talking about a passive earnings system, since you create the product only once, but you earn a profit each time you manage to sell a unit of it. So if you manage to create an info product and it is successful, it will become an excellent business.
subscriptionsConstant access to information is sold through subscriptions . In other words, the client pays a fee to become a member of a community, and in this way, be able to access certain online content, such as digital courses. It is a way of selling online that has gained a lot of ground in recent years.
What should you keep in mind when selling online?If you want to sell online, it is important that you do so in compliance with the law. And not only because otherwise your prestige will be at stake, but for a more material issue: the significant fines that you can take. For this reason, we are going to summarize the main legal aspects that you must take into consideration if you want to sell online:
Legal textsBefore finalizing your purchase, the customer must have all the information required by law . For this reason, the following legal texts must appear on your site:
- Legal warning.
- Cookies policy.
- Terms of the contract.
Consent for data processingYou must also be very careful with the permissions to process the data. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been tightened, and tacit consent is no longer valid , but informed, specific, unequivocal consent, which is obtained through an affirmative act and which can be demonstrated. Therefore, you must adapt all your forms to the GDPR.
Security measuresIt is also essential that you implement security measures appropriate to the level of risk of data processing.
Mistakes that you should not make if you want to sell online
There are not only things that you have to keep in mind when selling online, but there are also a series of typical mistakes to avoid . Mainly, the ones that we are going to see below:
Not investing enoughIf you want to undertake, you have to be very clear that this is not like working for someone else, that you finish your job for the month and have the money insured (half, as long as they pay you, of course). Here you have to make a significant investment first , to earn later.
The good thing is that selling online is cheaper than doing it on the street, so if you have a budget for it, you can invest in improving your online store, for example, and make it not look like one more.
Do not try to position the siteWe are talking about selling online, not on the street, and here SEO is essential, or what is the same, positioning in search engines . Your goal is to be as visible as possible on Google, where a good part of your potential customers are, and for this you have to invest in the techniques with which you work to get to the top of the search engine.
Not analyzing the dataThe first thing you have to measure is what your competitors are already doing, to find out what you need to know about the market you have to enter. And once you "launch", you will have to monitor each stage in sales , to know what you are doing well, and improve what you are doing wrong.
Programs like Google Analytics are very helpful in this regard, as they can inform you about which product pages are receiving the most visits. In addition, it is interesting to know the visits that a competitor's website has , in order to study in detail where it receives users from.
not inspire confidenceTo begin with you have to assume that trust is largely earned over time , and this is something you can't do much about. What is in your power is to put all your effort into doing the best possible job from day one, since buyers tend to be clever (it is not in vain that their money is at stake), and they usually realize if they are in front of them to an honest seller, even if they have only known him for a short time.
It is also important that you use content marketing , especially blogs, to offer useful information that helps establish trust with the public.
Not conveying why they should buy your productAs much as you have a wonderful ecommerce on an aesthetic level, it will be of little use to you if you do not know how to demonstrate why they have to buy the product from you . You have to show what your added value is, and that they have what you sell that do not have similar items.
not make a differenceIf you are looking for an online business based on a product that has proven to be profitable , you may think that you are “playing it safe”, but have you thought about the competition you will have? If you aspire to a very modest business, it may be enough for you to choose a good or service that has been shown to work, and add value to it.
But they say that "who does not risk, does not win". And if what you really want is to “win”, that is, for your product to be a huge success, you must strive to have a truly original idea .
Not giving customers the attention they deserveIncredible as it may seem, a lot of customer service culture is missing . Precisely if so many people value good treatment by a business, it is because it is missing more often than one might think. So here you already have an aspect in which you can make a difference with respect to your competitors.
Do not allow reviewsIf you don't let your customers comment on their opinions on your product pages, you can awaken the trust of consumers more used to buying online, who will miss the reviews . And of course, you can arouse their distrust. Be careful with inventing the reviews, as it is most likely that some people will notice, no matter how much you think not.
Let your public express their opinion freely . If your product is good, you have nothing to fear. There are always those who can leave a negative comment, but if the majority are good, you can rest assured that people know that there are always more "picky" people.
We have already explained everything we think you should know about the options to sell online , and what you have to take into account in this type of business. So for our part, we can only wish you luck in your entrepreneurship project.