Selling online can be daunting for many people because you have to figure out what products to sell and where to source them from. But know that a successful online selling business will bring in higher profits than ever before.
New research predicts that global e-commerce sales will reach new highs, growing from $1.3 trillion in 2014 to $4.9 trillion in 2021, and that the future e-commerce market shows no signs of decline, but rather a steady rise.
With online sales at record levels, don't you want a piece of the action? In this article, I will tell you.
- How to develop an online sales strategy
- How to sell through self-built stores, Amazon, social media and other platforms
- How to find the products you want to sell
- How to attract customers and convert visitors into buyers
- So, if you want to know how to sell something online, then you have come to the right place. Worried about the technology being too complicated, time-consuming and costly? Rest assured that we will walk you through the steps step by step.
- Sound good?
- We have to thank some of the best website building tools (more on that later) for making online sales easier than ever.
- You don't have to rent a storefront and warehouse, or hire employees. There are many different ways to sell online nowadays, but we suggest it's best to use an online store builder, which is cheaper than you think, at less than RMB 100 per month. Here are the top three e-commerce platforms we recommend.
- Shopify - Free Trial
- Wix - Free Trial
- BigCommerce - Free Trial
- We will show you how to sell online and point out useful additional resources. After reading this article, you'll be ready to take the first step in your e-commerce journey! Here is a short article table of contents.
- 1. Selecting a channel for online sales
- 2. Develop sales strategy
- 3. Which products to sell
- 4. List of key issues
- 5. Attract customers and convert
- Choose the channel of online sales
Figuring out how to sell online can be overwhelming, but we'll help you figure out the most popular options and find the best way to sell online for you. First, we'll discuss the key points of selling online.
- Your own e-commerce site, such as Shopify
- Online sales platforms, such as Amazon, Etsy, eBay
- Social media sites, such as Facebook
- Remember: you don't have to choose between them because you can sell online through a variety of channels without hiring a lot of employees, giving up time and sleep, or adding another set of equipment.
- In short, the eCommerce builder provides applications that allow you to integrate your online sales with Amazon, Facebook, and more -- linking your store to social media and third-party platforms with the click of a button.
- This means that your products are synced with your Facebook page, so when customers visit your Facebook page, they will also see the products you have listed in the store. When you update the products in your store, the Facebook page will be updated accordingly. You can sell online through multiple channels, but manage your business from just one place! Next, let's dive into the details of selling online.
- With a dedicated e-commerce platform like Shopify, you can set up your own online store at will and sell any profitable product
- Sell on self-built websites
Running a self-built website is the best way to sell online because you have full control over all aspects, including the design look of your store and how your products are presented. You won't be influenced by external factors (such as algorithm updates on third-party platforms) and you won't have to compete with other sellers in a crowded platform. If you want to change something, then you can ignore Amazon and Facebook for now.
With eCommerce website builder, you will be able to display and sell your products in a way that you never have before. Many of the tedious processes will be automated and you will have more time to focus on other parts of your business. In addition, your eCommerce site will be available 24 hours a day.
Emerging e-commerce platforms like these include.
- Shopify (the best e-commerce platform)
- Wix (best for small businesses)
- BigCommerce (best for large enterprises)
- After a lot of time researching and operating, we ranked the three platforms and compared some important indicators, and the following table shows the results of our tests.
- Ease of use
- Value for money
- Template Design
- Functions and Features
- Ease of use
- Value for money
- Template Design
- Functions and Features
- Ease of use
- Value for money
- Template Design
- Functions and Features
For a detailed comparison of these three platforms, check out this article of ours.
When selling something online, having your own website can increase credibility. The online shopping community is a cynical category, and the more factors you can offer about yourself that are trustworthy, the more likely they are to buy from you. In addition to this, there are two other two proven sales strategies to get your website to increase sales: abandoned checkout and mobile response.
Abandoned checkout mobile response
After adding products to the cart, some people don't complete their order, either because they left at a moment's notice or because the network suddenly disconnected. Either way, you can remind them to go ahead and complete the order without having to fill in all the details again.
You can think of online sales as an act of fishing, with the shopping cart abandonment checkout acting like a special fishing net to retrieve the fish that escaped from the net the first time!
More and more consumers are placing orders through their cell phones. In order to build a successful online sales business, your store must be properly accessible on mobile devices.
This is where eCommerce platforms come in handy: your store will automatically adopt responsive design, so browsing and buying your products will go very smoothly, regardless of the size of your customers' screens.
- Sell on third-party platforms: Amazon, Etsy and eBay
Third-party platforms like Amazon, Etsy, and eBay are so popular that, according to statistics, Amazon now has over 2 million sellers! The main reason so many people sell on it is that the platform has a very low barrier to entry, and simply put, all you need to do is.
- Create an account
- Upload product images and set descriptions and prices
- Setting up the fulfillment method (how to deliver the product)
- Receive payments from customers
- Prepare items for shipment
- It's really simple. platforms like Amazon and Etsy showcase your products to a large number of potential customers so you can sell quickly. But the question is, how do you stand out from so many sellers?
- If your store looks almost identical to your competitors, then why should consumers order from you? While it's much easier to sell directly on Amazon or eBay, relying on them exclusively can be a huge mistake. For example, Amazon's search algorithm is always changing and your product may appear on the first page today and on page 20 tomorrow, and there will always be a new competitor that comes along and wins customers with a lower price. While price wars are not good for anyone, there will always be people who like to win customers by lowering their prices. After all, it's not easy to build a brand in marketplaces like Facebook, Amazon, eBay, etc. For many consumers, you're just another merchant with the same product, and they always like to find the cheapest one.
- Creating a brand helps give you a valuable long-term asset. A good brand gives consumers enough trust, and trust is a crucial factor when learning how to sell successfully online. If you don't trust a brand, you certainly won't buy from them, right?
- Third-party platforms may work when you only want to sell a small number of products. That's because you can get things online immediately without having to invest excessive upfront costs and without requiring too much specialized background knowledge. However, such platforms charge hefty fees, for example, for each order, eBay charges 10% of the sale -- more than any ecommerce builder we recommend!
- The following are brief tips for selling through Amazon, Etsy, and eBay.
- Selling on Amazon
- Amazon is a reputable online shopping mall, and even as a third-party seller, you can stick a little light. The most popular product categories are 3C electronics, books and DVDs, but you're probably up against some of the world's largest retailers on this highly competitive platform.
- You can take your place with affordable prices and easy logistics, and if you're willing to pay extra, you can give your goods to Amazon for storage and delivery -- making it an attractive one-stop entry platform for sellers just starting out.
- The handling fee depends on your sales volume and amount, so check Amazon's fee breakdown before you start.
- Sell on Etsy
- Etsy is primarily an online marketplace for selling artistic ideas and crafts, similar to a subcategory in Amazon that allows vendors to sell products to like-minded entrepreneurs. As a result, the customer demographic is more segmented.
- Consumers on this platform are willing to pay higher costs and get more personalized designs, which means Etsy is a great place to build a brand.
- Sell on eBay
- One caveat: eBay is like an old-school marketplace, a world of bidding. Consumers are not obligated to pay you cash immediately, which can waste a lot of your time and make it difficult to meet your short-term business strategy.
- eBay doesn't focus on one product category, you can sell almost anything you like, which makes it very approachable, but at the same time, it's hard for your personal brand to stand out from the crowd of competitors.
- Sell on Facebook
Like third-party platforms, social media is a popular way to sell products. To start selling on Facebook, you need to create a business page and then add a buy button. Here are some useful tips.
- Entertainment: Don't just post a product and wait for a response; Facebook is a fast-paced venue and customers' attention spans are usually short. Try videos, riddles, questions, or even jokes to get people's attention.
- Promotion: offering exclusive deals in exchange for a large number of likes, which is a great way to build an audience.
- Use high definition images: do not upload poor quality blurry images, which will drive customers away from you.
- Post regularly: but don't overdo it, 1 to 2 times a day is a good frequency. Experiment at different times of the day to see which works best.
- The problem with selling exclusively through Facebook is that you have to manage orders manually, which can be very time consuming. On the other hand, if you link to a Facebook page through another e-commerce platform, then you can manage the inventory and updates of all your products in one place. For example, Shopify's integration with Facebook is great:.
- Facebook Store
- Wix can also be integrated with Facebook at
- Develop sales strategy
After considering the channels for online sales, the next step is to develop a sales strategy. You don't have to be Warren Buffett, but it's still necessary to do some prep.
You will feel the long and painful process from store launch to selling your first product. But don't panic, we are here to help you, and one of the steps is to develop a business strategy. Although there is no definitive list, it is a good starting point and will also help you choose the best e-commerce platform for you to understand exactly what you need for your store.
- What do you hope to achieve
- How many products do you hope to sell in the first 6 months? Research and test this against ecommerce success stories in your industry. Not having broad financial goals is like driving down the highway blindfolded -- you'll soon get lost and find yourself in trouble!
- How much profit do you want
- Anyone can sell something online, but pricing is a learning curve. You need to know the purchase price and logistics costs, as well as the fees you want to charge your customers. The difference between them is basically your profit. If you're not sure how much to sell for, then do some research and see what other sellers are charging.
- What are the competitors
- When it comes to selling online, you can see further by standing on the shoulders of giants. Search Amazon, Google, Facebook for the products you want to sell and see which sellers are ranking high, check out their product titles, image descriptions, page layouts, and other things they're doing well. Signing up for email newsletters helps give you an idea of how your competitors are promoting and pricing their products, and think about how you can do better -- after all, do you want to stand out?
- How people spend their money online
- The better you know your customers, the better you can meet their needs and the more money you can make. A big part of this is getting your customers to spend their money in the way they like.
- How people find your products
- Many e-commerce entrepreneurs forget this when selling online. You can write blogs about your products, or send email ads to attract customers (we'll cover these techniques in more detail later).
- Answering the above questions is a key step to successful online sales, which will give you a detailed understanding of what you hope to achieve and how to achieve it.
- Which products to sell
Don't find customers for your products, find products for your customers.
Don't find customers for your products, find products for your customers.
Seth W. Godin
Think about it: Would people go to a restaurant with fancy tables and elegant waiters, but the food doesn't taste good? Likewise, even if your store looks gorgeous and has great customer service, it's hard to grow revenue if the product is very anemic.
The good news is that we will show you what kind of product market demand exists and how to create the best opportunity to sell it to consumers. This can be broken down into 3 key questions.
- How do I know which products to sell?
- How do I purchase products?
- How to display products?
- Your products don't have to be physical. With a site builder like Shopify, you can easily sell digital products like software, eBooks, online services and more. The following questions will help you make an informed decision.
- How do I know which products to sell?
Almost all entrepreneurs dream of accurately predicting the next historical event, and when you think about it, what will be the best-selling product next year? If only there was an easy way to do this, then we could all be millionaires!
How should I achieve this goal? Here are some known tips.
Using Google Trends
A great tool for determining which products are gaining popularity and which ones are not. The predicted results are based on the popularity of your chosen keywords in Google. Let's say you want to sell clothes online, but aren't sure whether to sell floral shirts (Floral Shirts), Hawaiian shorts (Hawaiian Shorts), or vintage sweatshirts (Retro Sweatshirts). You can enter all three keywords and see which is becoming more popular:.
Google Trends shows us that floral shirts are the most popular product, while vintage sweatshirts are declining in popularity.
Conduct keyword research
Once you have obtained a product idea, enter it into Google's keyword analysis tool. You will see the number of searches per month and the level of competition for your keywords. As a general rule, please avoid selling products with less than 300 searches per month, as such unpopular products will hardly make you any money.
Read the online forum
Forums and review sites give you direct insight into the problems consumers face. It's like sitting in a room with millions of customers, asking them what they think of certain products, picking out their complaints and gripes, and using that to develop your own business strategy.
Learn from the big stores
Large stores collect a lot of data every day, so they know what products are hotter than anyone else. Check out the product pages of well-known brands in your industry to see what they're promoting (and coming soon). Amazon, Etsy, and eBay are all worth studying.
Sell what you like
Your hobbies may have an impact on the products you sell, and if you are confident, it may become easier to write product descriptions, launch marketing campaigns, and promote product sales. But that doesn't mean you should try to sell any product related to a hobby without considering whether it has a market. Do your research first, and if the product you like proves to be very promising, then that's the best option!
But beyond that, you need to consider practical issues. Larger sizes, fragile (e.g., lighting), and perishable (e.g., food) products often require more expensive inventory and logistics, and consider this carefully when deciding what to sell, as they can have a significant impact on your business strategy.
- How to purchase and sell products?
Typically, there are three most popular ways to purchase and sell online.
- Purchase from wholesaler/manufacturer: Before adding your own brand, you can purchase the required products from the wholesaler/manufacturer. Costs include purchase, storage, maintenance and delivery.
- Make your own products: This route is more attractive and is often taken by sellers involved in arts, jewelry and crafts. It is ideal for developing personalized brands and can provide you with great freedom to control your inventory and pricing. The main costs are raw materials and production cycles.
- Transit Delivery: An increasingly popular way to sell online that allows sellers to fulfill customer orders without inventory and logistics. Here's how it basically works: you list the products offered by the supplier on your website, the customer places an order with you, and then you give the order to the supplier to fulfill.
- How to display products in the store?
Now, you should start thinking about how to sell selected products. After all, even if the food in a restaurant is delicious, you're unlikely to patronize it if the menu is poorly written and the pictures on the billboard look offensive, right?
So when you decide to sell your products online, how do you display them to increase conversions? Two of the main components are.
- Product Images
- Product Description
- Creating an online store is very easy with the builder, here is a product page built with Shopify
- How to add product images?
Your product is probably great, so the quality of the images should match it. The good news is that you don't have to be a professional photographer to deliver great product images, just follow these general guidelines.
- Always use HD images
- Use the same image size every time
- Provide as many product perspectives as possible
- Ensure that each product model (e.g. various color T-shirts) has its own image
- Show images of the product being used in context whenever possible
- For all the above rules, e-commerce platforms are a great choice because they offer great flexibility. For example, with the Shopify editor, you can crop and enhance images, resize them, and add text to them.
- Ethnotek website powered by Shopify.
- E-commerce site builders can also add alternative text to images - a huge advantage for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The text tells Google what each image represents and helps your product pages rank in search results.
- How to write product descriptions
Product descriptions are one of the most effective ways to attract customers, and the biggest reason for this is SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEO should be one of the most important considerations when writing a product description that has never been written before, as this can drive huge amounts of free traffic to your product page. To rank for keywords related to your product, the product description needs to contain a variety of keywords - that is, common phrases that customers like to search for.
Here are some key practices and considerations.
- Do not copy and paste the manufacturer's instructions, as they look amateurish and may also suffer Google penalties due to duplicate content.
- Don't just highlight the features of the product, but explain the benefits to the customer. For example, instead of just describing the workmanship and details of the pink shirt, explain how it will help the customer get more attention at the party.
- Do not use clichés such as game-changing or must-have; the more original and less machine-descriptive, the more likely it is to win customers over.
- Don't just write for the customer, speak in their language and think about their motivations for buying.
- Do not change your style from product to product, as this will create confusion for your customers and make the store look very confusing.
- Don't add social proof; there is no better mark of approval than a customer who buys a product and is satisfied with it. It is very simple, for example, with the site builder tool, you can add customer reviews and media coverage to the product pages.
- Do not lie, it may sound obvious, but many new sellers make this mistake when presenting their products.
- Tell your story. If your business has a compelling backstory, don't be afraid to put it out there.
- List of key issues
Here's our list of key things to do to start attracting customers once you've completed them all.
- Shipping and delivery: you need to set up delivery methods for the products.
- Payment: you need to add a payment option for the store.
- Customer service: ensure that consumers have at least one way to get in touch with you.
- Licenses and taxes: double check that you have the correct business license.
- Security: Make sure your store has the right security in place to protect your customers' data.
- Attract customers and achieve conversion
We will introduce some of the most effective marketing methods that won't cost you a penny. We are not going to cover online advertising (such as Google Ads and Bing Ads) here, because if you are not familiar with how to sell something online, then you should try other free methods first. Of course, you don't have to be proficient in all of these techniques, so please experiment first and see which one works best for you.
- social media
Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools that can give you easy access to billions of potential customers worldwide. All you need to do is post product links, advertising promotions, brand messages and other content on a variety of different sites. We suggest you try Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest first, adding subject tags to your posts to keep up with the trends. Other than that, we recommend you to use Hootsuite - which allows you to manage content from all social platforms in one place.
Everything in your store, from product descriptions to blog posts, should help you rank better on Google. Site builders like Shopify and Wix offer excellent SEO (search engine optimization) support, and they can also easily integrate with Google Analytics, which shows you detailed data about your customers -- from location to age -- on which you can improve your store's information.
- writing blogs
Blog posts are a great way to improve your SEO and increase your brand reach.
Let's say you run a store that sells vintage sportswear and recently published an interesting blog post -- 80's Sportswear is still with us, generating lots of shares on social media, and customers searching for 80's sportswear quickly find it on Google, with some readers clicking on the product in the post -- you're in business!
You can publish these types of blog posts.
- Brand updates: sharing behind-the-scenes news helps to humanize your brand.
- Product updates: If you have a sleek new product, don't be shy about saying so! Use the length of the blog to detail why it is so great.
- Tutorials: Show how your product works with how-to guides, for example, a sportswear brand might publish an article like this: How to Find the Perfect Running Shoes.
- Email Marketing
We love email marketing, it's a true one-on-one connection with your customers. If run properly, it can also make you feel like you're chatting with the consumer.
Make sure your online store, social media, marketing pages, etc. have at least one email subscription box to collect the email addresses of your visitors. In addition, you should also collect emails from every customer who has placed an order. This is a great opportunity for you to launch offers or products that they may like to increase sales.
Important: If you are advertising a promotion or limited-time offer via email, try to keep it short, as too much text or images can distract from your core message and lead to lower conversion rates.
- The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing
Running promotions and offers helps to generate interest in your products. You can run promotions on Amazon and Facebook, but in our experience, they work best in your own store.
When you are planning to sell something online, it can be hard to know where to start. That's why we have written this article for some of the most popular and effective ways to get started.
You can sell on Amazon, Etsy, Facebook, etc., but with a self-built store like Shopify, you can sell across multiple channels while managing your business in just one place.
Don't just rely on setting up product pages on third-party platforms, because Amazon, eBay, and Facebook change daily and you never know where your products will appear tomorrow. The best way to launch a strong business is to build your own e-commerce website, which can help you better build your personal brand and customize a distinctive online store instead of a one-size-fits-all page like Amazon.
Now it is easier than ever to build a professional eCommerce website, with website builders that can do all the technical work without any knowledge of coding. In addition, they offer powerful marketing tools to help you increase sales. To review, our top three are.
The only question is, which side are you going to pick?
Let me know in the comments.