What are Some of the First Steps to Start Selling Online?

Are you interested in selling items online?

Maybe you want to fulfill your passion and dream of being an online entrepreneur. Or you probably got tired of working and answering to someone else, and you would like to be your own boss. Perhaps you want your financial independence and extra bucks in your pocket.

Whichever your reasons for starting an online business, you’ll definitely have to follow a guide of steps to start selling online. And since the online business niche offers a variety of opportunities to choose from, you have the power to shape whatever business you decide to conduct, provided you have the needed resources.

However, for those getting started on online business, figuring out the process of creating an eCommerce business can be a daunting process if you’re not prepared.

Thankfully, we are here to help you cut through the steps and become an online seller. That said, we have provided you with a checklist of what you need to do to be a successful online seller.

But first, let’s find out some of the online businesses you can venture into.

Online businesses to try out

With many business opportunities out there, it can be hard for you to decide what kind of business to pursue, even the online best practices to follow in selling. Besides, you won’t want to start a company that is already flooded, or that would reduce your chances of making profits.

Lucky for you, our research bore fruits; here are some business ideas to choose from:

Ecommerce stores

I believe you’ve had businesses that sell products online. Such companies are what we call ecommerce stores. So by a simple definition, ecommerce is businesses that involve online/electronic transactions. In other words, businesses that operate over the internet.

Examples of such business are amazon which is the most popular business store in the world. Others include:

So you can always start your ecommerce store so long as you have identified what you need to sell and have the required resources.

Dive into drop shipping business

This is an online retailer fulfillment method where you can sell goods and services without keeping the sales inventory. In other words, as a retailer store, you don’t own the product you sell in stock. And you don’t have to handle the products you sell directly.

Here is an extended explanation of how drop shipping works:

  • Customers’ order product on your online website
  • Then you forward the preferred manufacture
  • The manufacturer would then ship the items directly to the customer

This business idea is attractive to most people without assuming any financial risks with an inventory. However, you’ll have no control over the supply chain of products and experience slow shipping with a low-profit margin, among other disadvantages of drop shipping.

Invest in affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is the process through which you earn commission from marketing other persons’ products or services. It’s a simple business for those who want to add a few bucks or make money any time anywhere without having to go through the stupor and monotony of the rat race for them to earn a living.

You only need to search for specific products that need marketing, promote or help advertise the product, and earn your profit from the sales.

Get into blogging business

For those who have a knack for writing, blogging would be a good online business to consider. While there are people who argue that having a blog is not a business model, it allows you to build your audience, especially when you create a note-worthy blog.

So how does creating a blog become a business opportunity?

Once you have your blog with a great audience, you can always sell your own products and services and market affiliate products to get your profits.

Now that you have some great ideas of what kind of businesses to choose from, let’s discuss some of the best step-by-step guides to selling online.

Steps to start selling online

To successfully launch an online business, you need to consider the following guidelines:

Determine your niche and the business idea

I believe you have probably thought of what you want to sell or what business to invest in. If you haven’t, then you must be lucky, for we had also given you some business ideas to choose from, and so you have no hassle.

There no doubt most people would start by deciding on what they can sell. And choosing what to sell is the essential part of any business idea.

And how’s that? The product or service you are to offer would determine what profit you’re to get, your marketing or sales criteria to deploy, and what level of competition you expect in the market. This can sometimes be the hardest decision you have to make.

So, here is what you can do to ensure you make the right product/service decision:

Find a need to fill– you should ask yourself the kind of problem you want to solve. Therefore, in choosing what to sell, you’ll first have to conduct market research on areas and needs that are not fully catered for.

In other words, start with market research and find out the target audience you’ll be selling to, among other reasons for why you need market research.

In a nutshell, market research would help you manage the following:

  • Know what best suit the market
  • Define your target audience
  • Identify who offers the same products/services so that you can carry out competitor analysis.

So, how can you choose the best niche?

Easy, find out a problem no one is solving right or that product/service in demand, but few providers.

Put together your marketing plan

Once you have identified the need to fill, you can now lay down your marketing plans on how you will get the products and how they will reach your target audience. This is where you describe how you plan to get your products until they reach your target audience.

Therefore, you have to develop a plan that brings out the market, your brand’s value proposition, suppliers, and the campaign methods to use for the product to reach your intended audience.

For you to develop the best marketing plan, you need to consider the following 5-P:

Product– You should ensure you validate your product viability. In other words, make it a habit of looking at your product if it’s the right business at any particular time.

Prices -You must continually examine and reexamine the prices of products or services you want to sell and compare with other competitors so that you’re able to set realistic prices.

Promotion- This includes how you plan to let your customers know of your products and services. Effective upgrades would result in high sales and set you apart from your competitors.

Place– of course, your home is on the online platforms. However, it would be better to review and reflect on the location your customers would meet you. And how they can quickly get your products/services.

Position– it would be better if you continually think about how your business is positioned in your customers’ hearts and minds.

Packaging– you must have in mind how you’re going to package your products. Remember, most customers form their first impression about your products on seeing your packaging elements. Therefore, ensure you devise the best packaging for your products.

Choose you domain name and identifications

With every detail of what to expect-products, market, audience, and marketing plan, you are now set to define your brand. In defining your brand, you make your customers understand who you are. Your brand entails your

  • Name
  • Logo and color scheme
  • Typography and graphics

Your business image should be all the above elements working together. Therefore, decide on the name you opt to use for your business, plus all the colors and logos you would want for your identification.

Create your website and select the ecommerce platform

With your anticipated brand image and identification, it’s now time to create your website and select your preferred ecommerce platform.

In setting a website, you have to decide on the best hosting method you need. You can either choose a third-party ecommerce marketplace or even build your own ecommerce site.

Whichever decision you make, you must remember that your website is your most significant representation of your entire business. Therefore, it must accurately mirror your products and services. Also, you must find out ways to help bolster your website conversation for adequate customer satisfaction.

So, what are some of the ecommerce platforms?

First, let’s define an ecommerce platform? This is software that allows online businesses to control or manage their business operations and website activities. It’s the technical backbone of online selling procedures.

There are three main ecommerce platform options to consider:

  • Open-source
  • Headless commerce
  • Saas (software-as-a-service)

The following are the commonly used example of platforms for ecommerce stores include:

  • BigCommerce
  • WooCommerce
  • Shopify

Therefore, all you need s to select a platform with all the properties you need, and you can afford a price tag.

Lastly, you’ll have to put your great business and marketing into the plan as you measure your results.

Conclusion

For you to effectively manage an ecommerce store, you need to have practical guidelines at hand. The steps include determining the niche and business idea to explore, putting together your business marketing plan, and choosing your domain name for identification. Then you have to create your website and select your preferred ecommerce platform to help you manage your website.