Sell Online 101 : What should I know about selling online?
Selling online can seem intimidating, especially so if you have no guide to prepare you for the challenges that lie ahead.
Want to get started, but don’t know how? Read our post to start selling in these 3 simple steps.
In our series, we’ve covered how Lisa managed to not only sell on her own web store, but also on multiple marketplaces.
Lisa’s story –
Lisa has a business selling women’s clothing. Year on year, her business grew to become profitable.
After a while, her sales stopped growing. She wanted to grow her profits, scale up her business, and reach more customers. She decided that the best thing she could do was sell online.
Since then, she has grown her business reach – and the profits have grown with it. This is a list of some common dos and don’ts for newbie sellers, selling on online stores:
- Know your market – Identify your customers, the hottest products, and understand what you want to sell. Most successful sellers sell a focused range of products that they can brand as their own – and build a marketing strategy around.
- Choose the right eCommerce platform – Make sure you use the right eCommerce platform, one that suits your business goals and budgets. Quite a few businesses start off with simple, off the shelf options like Shopify or Read our complete guide to choosing an eCommerce platform here.
- Build your brand – Your store is an extension of your products – a customer who trusts your brand/store identity, is more likely to buy from you. Be upfront about the items you are offering, and craft a distinctive brand image around your offerings. Your store should attract new customers, as well as retain old ones. Include the following sections on your website to ensure that customers stay:
- About Us – It gives your customers an insight into your business, and can be one of the many ways you can attract customers to your site.
- Shipping and Delivery – Clear and detailed information about the shipping/delivery charges and times should be present on your website so that the customers can make a fact driven purchase decision.
Policy –Highlight the policies regarding your returns, etc. clearly. Establish site-wide policies that apply to all of your merchandise. Display the policy prominently.
- Contact Us – Current and relevant information is vital to ensuring that leads come your way. If a customer wants to get in touch with you, this can be one of the fastest ways of ensuring that connection.
- Follow Us On – You can leverage your website to increase your reach and engagement with customers
Once you have your own unique brand identity, you can promote it via social media platforms, and offers/discount offered to customers via emails.
- Provide a fantastic browsing/ shopping experience – Your customers are everywhere – tablets, mobile, and laptop, desktop. Make sure that you are too! Provide your customers with a seamless shopping experience across channels and one that is consistent with your brand identity. All your touch points with the customers should deliver a smooth browsing experience for your customers.
- Automate Your Processes: In the long term, you cannot excel with excel! As a first initiative put in an order management software that manages your orders, inventory and returns seamlessly across your sales channels to facilitate the smooth shopping experience your customers.
- Give them excellent post-sale experience – Customer support is one of the important areas a lot of online retailers don’t give enough attention to. After you make the sale, make sure that your customers can reach out to you for any issues they have, via a responsive customer support service.
- Be focused on what you are selling – In a competitive market, more often than not, you will find specialized stores do better than a general store. Before you begin selling, it is important to decide which of the two you want to adopt as your business strategy. Marketing your products in a competitive space can be more difficult than marketing them in a niche market space.
- Forget to capture customer data – Gather information about the customers who are visiting your site – their browsing habits, their favored products, etc. This data can help you personalize your web store, by tailoring it to customers’ needs.
- Sell low-quality products – Word of Mouth can either make or break you – Selling low-quality merchandise turns off buyers faster than anything else, and they don’t waste any time telling other potential customers about their bad experiences.
These tips worked for Lisa – did they work for you? Let us know in the comments below.
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