In my today’s post, I am going to help you answer the question how to sell products online successfully.
If you are in possession of items you having hard times to sell this post might help you.
Also when you are searching to make selling online your income, this post can help you. In either way, please do share it, as other people can benefit from it too -:)
Thank you and let us start.
1. Choose your Niche
The first and foremost is to find a niche.
This is valid for any kind of business. Online business is no different.
I think, that an Online Shop has the highest requirements for being ultra-specific. Undoubtedly, when it comes to niche and products.
What niches are there?
The 3 most popular are wealth, health, and relationships. It should be noted though, that there is also the highest competition.
So, if you are interested in starting your shop in one of these niches, it would be wise to break the main niche into sub-niche and be ultra-specific.
For instance, instead of selling healthy food, you could be selling protein-rich food for men above 40. That one sounds pretty specific, therefore you have a higher chance to be successful.
I hope you see the difference.
How you can find the right niche for you?
Clearly, the easiest way is to pick something you love.
But I know that not everyone can build up a successful online store based on passion.
Therefore, there is also a second option. You can think of something you have an affinity with and you will be intrigued enough to study his topic and become an expert.
Additionally, break that one niche down as little as possible and you are good to go.
2. Find the Right Platform
This one should be easier once you have your niche specified.
Except is not.
Without a doubt, because of the number of choices, you have nowadays. So, you want to be sure your choice is the most suitable one for you.
What options you have when you want to sell products online?
- E-commerce platform
- Your own website
- 3rd party marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, or Etsy
- Social networks, Facebook for instance
Using E-commerce site
Nowadays, the e-com business is really growing.
When some 10 years ago, you have 1 or 2 providers that could help you, now there are a lot more.
Some of the most popular ones are Wix.com, Shopify, and WooCommerce (as only one FOR FREE).
If you decide to go that way, you will have most of the time choice out of plenty of themes, easy-to-navigate menus, and more payment options.
Those platforms are built specifically to help you set up your online store.
Anything from 23$-100$/month, even WooCommerce which is offering the e-com site for free is not completely free, as you need to have a WordPress site and you’d need to pay for domain and hosting, plus any costs related to your WordPress website
Simple website building options, platforms specializing in e-commerce=extended customer support
could be costly, missing training how to drive traffic to your offers, oftentimes in need of 3rd party services
This is a great option for folks who have already their website or who are keen on building one.
In case you don’t have a website, note that it can be done in 30 seconds, literally.
There are several platforms that are offering you extended service next to website building. It could be anything from hosting, domain names, to extended training on how to drive the traffic to your offers for instance.
If you are lucky, the only thing you’d need to arrange outside of the platform packet would be adding the payment options. There are some providers with competitive pricing.
You can also go for purely using WordPress, in that case, you’ll have to arrange everything through a 3rd party.
Cost-effective, oftentimes training provided on how to drive traffic to your offers
3rd party services required
Using third parties
This option is considered one of the most traditional ways.
You have a product you put on Amazon or eBay and are awaiting the message that your product was sold. (Even though Amazon offers their FBA program that provides extended training)
While that can work on an irregular basis, I am not sure if that for create regular income for you.
I see it suitable for folks that have some items they want to get rid of it and don’t care too much about the outcome. However, if you are searching for opening your online store, unless you go with AMAZON FBA, I would search elsewhere.
Speaking about the witch (Amazon FBA program in this case) you want to read this story about a guy who lost everything due to the Amazon regulations.
0$ (if you don’t sell anything)-200+ (if you have a successful business, selling plenty of items)
AMAZON FBA costs 39.99$ +selling fees (usually 0.30$/product)
suitable for newbies for occasional sales, place and forget, reputable brand placing your products
fees can add up drastically, third party regulation (you are dependant on Amazon, eBay etc, will), many times no training provided
The newer version of marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.
Almost everyone is on Facebook nowadays, right? So why not use that for selling the products. With no FEES as an individual and just 5% as a merchant, they provide much better conditions than Amazon for instance.
This website is great when you are looking for local buyers.
In addition to this limit, you have to think about the fact, that you have no single piece of training coming from Facebook self on how to sell product online on their platform.
0$- 5% product price+payment support (Paypal for instance)
easy way of selling, place and forget, local-oriented, very low cost
no training provided no intentional support, low protection for the sellers from the platform
3. Drive Traffic to Your Website
When it comes to websites, the number 1 subject defining success, is TRAFFIC. In other words, visitors. It also makes sense, right?
With more visitors and more sales, there is more revenue.
This is really crucial factor you have to keep in mind. In the offline world, the shops are fighting to be in the city center, rather than on the outskirts. Because of the visibility.
Their shops would be therefore more visible and being more visible, equals higher chances for sales.
The same is happening online. You want to make sure your store, is visible as much as possible. Definitely, the best way is to master the traffic.
Generally, there are two ways how to drive traffic to your website.
Firstly, there is an organic = FREE TRAFFIC.
Secondly, there are ads = PAID TRAFFIC.
It will depend most likely on your budget for which way will go.
There is nothing wrong to go with paid traffic. At the same time, I can imagine it can be harsh to invest a couple of thousands purely on traffic. Before even testing if the things are working it could be the road to hell.
I would definitely start out with free traffic you can find platforms teaching you FREE TRAFFIC methods) and later switch to paid traffic if things are working out well.
4. Create and Nurture the Relationship
I totally see you rolling your eyes in disbelief. Creating a relationship with a customer. But look at the questions below:
What is your favorite online store?
Why this particular became your favorite one?
Chances are high that besides the quality of their product, they were keen on keeping in touch with you.
I have a recent example from my own life. I bought a present for my girlfriend (it was some kitchenware). After I made the purchase I received a very nice and attentive email from the OWNER !! of the shop.
Honestly, it was not a big deal just an email, but anyway, it just felt that I am appreciated and valuable to them.
This one email has made me come and purchase from them again. Maybe my lack of knowledge about good kitchenware sites has also played the role -:)
But I hope, you got my point. Be creative, be thankful and be attentive to your customers, otherwise, they will move elsewhere.
Especially in the online world, the options your eventual buyer has are huge.
How to sell products online successfully?
While it might look pretty complex, selling online stuff is easier done when you have support behind your back. Also if you have your freedom, meaning you don’t depend on regulations from third parties.
(Therefore maybe Amazon won’t be the best choice, even though still one of the most popular ones. )
Depends on your demands, if you are an individual looking to sell 1-5 items monthly or a merchant with hundreds of sales a day, your requirements would differ.
Generally speaking the options 1and 2 (own website and e-com website) are bringing you the most control and in the end, are the most cost-efficient.
If you choose the e-com way, you have more customized and specialized options. But the training is oftentimes missing and your control(in many cases) is also limited.
On the other side, you can go with your website, and if you find the platform that offers you great extra services, including training, it can be for the long run better, as you will keep a bigger margin and you can enjoy bigger freedom.
However, either way, you go, you want to be sure that you chose the right provider when it comes to the services offered with the package. As well as, when it comes to extra services.
I hope this post helped you. If you have any comments, please leave them below, would be happy to help you out.
These are great suggestions, I will keep them in mind. I am just wondering about using Facebook for business. Although you’re very right when you say that everyone (or nearly everyone) is on Facebook nowadays (hey, I’ve been on Facebook since the first days, when no one knew about it 😉 ) it is not easy to get noticed using Facebook ads. there is a certain trick, people say, to make the FB ads work and reach a large audience. Do you have any tips for that?
Hey Cristine. Nice to hear that you were one of the pioneers of Facebook. I think it was developed somewhere in 2008, so you must like it hugely then I guess -:)
True, using Facebook ads can be convenient especially if you targeting a specific group of people, as the settings of the ads can be very targeted (not sure if you meant that trick ) However, be aware that it can be quite challenging for your ads to get approved, as Facebook is strict in that and is quite often changing that policies. As for now, for instance, you are not entitled to promote any kind of HOME BUSINESS, Digital Products or Making Money Online niche-related products or courses.
Thanks for showing us the 4 steps to sell products online. I am sure everyone could benefit from your article since you have included everything here. Although building one e-com shop is not as difficult as in the past, traffic generation and trust are two critical elements to every online business, which takes lots of time and effort to maintain.
If I go this route, I will choose to build my own site by WordPress with a powerful theme and some plugins to make it a professional-looking e-com store. By this method, my site will be fully under my control.
Hey Matt. Thank you for your comment. I agree with you that it is not so difficult as it could have been earlier, but still, I think before you want to invest in any e-com platform, you should be sure, you know what your target is. In terms of your niche and audience, as many of the e-com providers do not include training on that, you want to be sure you have knowledge about that, otherwise, your investment could be gone.