Tips on How to Start an Online Selling Business

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Having an online shopping business is more popular than ever. Selling your products online is more than just uploading images and videos or setting up a mere website; it also involves basic marketing knowledge, expertise, and of course, passion.

Perhaps, while reading this, you want to jump to your computer and launch your own online business, but you’re baffled where to start. Well, there are things that you should consider first in order to come up with your very first online business. Knowing what to sell and how to sell can somewhat give you confidence especially when you’re drowned seeing competitions. Moreover, you need to know the needs of the people in the online marketplace. Further, you should know the capital that you need for the kickoff of your business online. Not just that, you also need to broaden your knowledge about online marketing. Most of all, the last requirement will be your effort and passion to sustain your business in the online marketplace.

What are the best products to sell?

Now that you’ve decided that you’re entering an online business, then the first step you need to take is to choose the perfect product for your online store. Well, it’s not easy to generate product ideas but when you look clearly and set your goals beforehand, you will be able to unravel your entrepreneurial powers.

The very first step is to know the perfect product to sell. Online selling is tough because of its landscape where competition is intense, consumers call for more convenience than ever before, and most of all, products are kind of saturated.

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There are actually two kinds of products to sell online. The first one is commoditized products. These products are essential, high demand, or popular goods or services that can be physical or digital. Classic examples are food, clothes, toys, etc. These are products that everyone needs. Furthermore, Commoditized products make up the majority of online sales. The second one is niche products. These products serve a specific customer base and product category. Moreover, these are the items that are popular online like a handmade product, or maybe a rare item. Some classic examples are personalized necklace, leather iPhone case, and handmade vases. And to gain more profit margin, some would eventually sell both kinds of products online making their online shop a convenient choice for consumers just looking for a single store who sell commoditized and niche products.

The question still lingers, how do you choose the best products to sell? Here are the basic tips to generate your ideas. First, you need to search or create products that fills the need of consumers. Be it a pet bed, or a mesh mask since it’s pandemic. You also need to search for products that you are passionate about. Think of building a coffee shop but in a smaller scale, you can sell local coffee for an affordable price to engage consumers. If you can’t think of anything just yet, the third tip would be to hop on trends. Since there’s an increase of online shopping frequency in the past few months due to the pandemic, there’s a great chance that trendy products are the popular ones in the online marketplace. So, why not try to sell products with a touch of Korean like soaps, shirts, food, K-pop merchandise, and what not. There you go, you can now finalize the product that you’ve thought about while reading these tips and do your market research.

How much capital is needed for an online selling business?

There is no exact amount on how much capital you need for your product. The first thing that you need to do is to find or to search the perfect supplier where you can get affordable products with high quality at the same time. Or you might also prefer to create your own product and with that, you can just identify the materials required or even the ingredients needed for your niche product.

It can be tough when you don’t have enough money, but you can always start small. Being a reseller could also be a thing this 2021, by buying products from a brand and resell them with a comfortable price. You can start with your own products for just P500, and then sooner or later, once you have the profit from online reselling, you can start your own brand. Most of all, together with the capital that you need for your online business are effort and patience. Once you have those attributes, your online shop will go far.

Where to sell your product?

Now that you have your product in mind and the capital that you needed, the next thing that you need to consider is the platform. So where do you sell your product now?

There are different platforms online that you could choose from. Online selling has clearly shifted the way we start our business. Yes, we all know that the main purpose of starting an online business is to generate profit, or whatever objective you have out there, there’s always a sales platform that is suited perfectly for you. Well, there’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Lazada, Shopee, Carousell Philippines, and a lot more. You just need to choose which sales channel is the best for your products.

For most people, Lazada and Shopee are the best sales platforms out there since they cater all kinds of products from food to clothing to even electronic products. These two sales channels are the leading marketplace eCommerce sites in the Southeast Asia. Moreover, they are widely used sales platform today since Filipinos are confined at home due to the pandemic. What I recommend is to use both channels instead of just choosing one. Well, the more, the merrier, the greater the profit.

By the way, creating your brand with these platforms is just a few clicks away. But first, you need to take pictures of your product/s so you can upload them there. You can normally upload at least 8 pictures on the page. You can also do live selling. How’s that? After that, you’re good to go and wait for your first sale.

Another sales channel where you can sell your products is Facebook. Facebook is known for its Marketplace. Here, you can sell items, vehicles, homes for sale or rent, or even jobs. Further, you can also sell your products by just chatting with your friends since Facebook is an open place for conversation. Additionally, you can create your Facebook Page where you can upload photos and videos of your products and also create an online shop there. That way, when you post your product, you can share it to your News Feed and your friends can easily engage in the comment section or even share your post as well. Don’t forget that you also have Facebook Stories. Live selling is also a hot trend on Facebook. You can try it. Now, you’re finally ready to begin your journey as an online seller on Facebook.

Another good platform for marketing is Instagram. Instagram might have been created for photo sharing, but did you know that you can also start out your business there? There are more than 1 billion monthly active users on Instagram and it’s currently growing. That information alone is enough to kick off your online business on that platform. Photos are powerful. You should upload photos that can stop consumers from scrolling. It’s also a perfect fit for paid advertisements if you need one.

So currently, these four sales platforms could make your online business run smoothly as long as you’re passionate enough to create a marketing strategy that could entice consumers.

How to Promote Products Online

Before even thinking about designing your own logo for your online business, you need a solid marketing strategy that could easily attract online consumers. You need to know the basics of digital marketing. Learning the perfect strategy to sell your products online can help you grow your online shop’s sales quickly. What you need to do is to experiment with different marketing ideas to cater the needs of your target audience so you can effortlessly promote your product to them. 

Here are the tips on how to promote your products online:

First, you need to know your audience or what we call target market. There’s a great deal in understanding your audience’ needs before you start your online business. This way, you can also check possible audiences who buy similar products from different competitors, and you can likewise study how the competitors market their products, and check if the market is already saturated. After a thorough research, you can now recognize how you will be able to create your competitive edge and promote your products differently.

Since you already knew your audience, you can now check for possible eye-catching pictures or designs for your products. As I said, pictures are powerful. You can hire a great graphic designer to design for your posts, or you can study on your own by just watching videos online. Once you have learned on how to design ads, then now you can capture the attention of your target audience. Just make sure that you know the perfect time for posting because it’s really important.

In line with those tips, there are certain digital marketing methods that are efficient when you really want to promote your products online via a digital platform. First, you can use Facebook ads, because why not? Facebook has more than 2 billion active users per month. You know now that Facebook is great platform to promote your products because of its staggering number of users. You can now sell your products with Facebook ads. Second, you can promote your products using Google Ads, Google Ads is a type of pay-per-click (PPC) advertisement and it could surely help consumers to click on your ads. Third is Search Engine Optimization or SEO. SEO is a great method where potential customers can find your products quickly. The fourth method is Social Media Posting, where you can post your products as freely as you can. The next one is Content Marketing where you can inform your target audience via blogs, images, social media posts, infographics, podcasts, or even videos. Another method is Email Marketing. Although it may be a cliché one, email marketing has proved its efficiency towards digital marketing. The last method is Website Design. Well, for this method, visuals are your best friends. You can engage people with the best visuals that you can offer from the website that you will create for your online business.

Knowing all of these, you now have the idea on how to really promote your products online. A few clicks here, and a few clicks there, and tap here, and a boost there, you will be able to conquer the online marketplace.

The Feasibility of Online Selling Business

There’s always a doubt when starting an online business. You’ll question yourself if it’s feasible or even ask if this will work out. Well, to keep out of that gray zone, you must know the crucial parameters to really understand your products’ marketability.

One of the parameters will be the people, your target audience. You need to narrow down your prospects, like if it’s fashion store, then probably, your target audience will be the young and middle-aged women. You need to analyze their needs and expectations. You need to have the vision on how they will stay with you for over a period of time.

Moreover, the next parameter will be your product. Your knowledge on the product could make you successful. The reason behind this is to be able to improve the customer experience and might as well expand to other product category.

The last parameter will be sustainability. Although you have the right product, you need to judge whether your online business will last in the digital industry. You need to be passionate enough to maintain your online shop. It’s your will to keep your business up and running.

Once you’ve learned about these parameters, you can now truly start your online business because that makes it feasible enough for you to do so.

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Given all these points, starting an online selling business is quite risky but satisfying at the same time. You’ll be excited at the very first time that you do it, and though you may have worries in the process, you just need to gamble, for what matters most is your instinct and your will. You need to consider things.

You need to study as well for you to expand your knowledge in the digital world. It’s only about time that you will learn all about online business and its paradigm.

Therefore, no matter what you’re selling, or how do you plan to sell your product, there is a great opportunity for you out there in the online marketplace. You just need to believe in yourself. 

Sources:

Why Use Instagram to Promote Your Small Business? – Digital Marketing Blog (lyfemarketing.com)

Why Should You Use Both Lazada And Shopee For Online Selling? (splitdragon.com)

7 Ways to Find Niche Products and Start Selling Online (2021) (bigcommerce.com)

How to Start an Online Store That Drives Sales in 2021 (quicksprout.com)

10 Parameters to Evaluate Feasibility of Your Ecommerce Business Idea – Yo!Kart Blog (yo-kart.com)

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