The number of people purchasing products online is on a continuous rise. In 2021, retail e-commerce sales were an estimated $4.9 trillion worldwide.
However, the growth is not looking to slow down any time soon. It is predicted that over the next four years, this number will reach approximately $7.4 trillion, almost doubling in value!
There are no signs of online shopping slowing down shortly. So, it is time that you make the most of it and learn how to sell products online successfully.
Don’t worry, you have reached the right place. In this article, we will talk about how to sell products online successfully. Follow this guide and take your sales through the roof!
Find your products
One of the first challenges you are bound to face is being able to find products that are profitable and in demand. It can be a single product or even a product line that can ensure the success of your online presence.
Thinking of such a product can be easier said than done. It is a common feeling for an individual in this part of the process that everything that could be sold is already being sold. This can cause head-scratching to increase substantially. As it is very difficult to find an industry that already does not have cutthroat competition.
You need to think we are trying to get your hopes down. Instead, we are here to tell you that there are still endless amounts of products that you can sell, provided you can find them. We are here to help you find the next product that you can sell.
Here are a few tips that can help you:
Find a problem that needs to be solved
Finding a problem that consumers are facing and solving it is one of the most effective ways to find your product. We agree that the market is overflowing with products that make everyone’s lives easier. But, think about any of the revolutionary products you purchased a few years ago. Haven’t you already replaced it with something else or a better version of it? That is proof that even if there are many products in the market, consumers still face some problems that can be solved with your product.
You must pay extra attention to any common frustrations or problems that exist in any particular market. This would ensure that you are aware of the pain points and the small issues that come across in daily life that can be solved with a product that you come up with.
Identify products people are passionate about
Recognising and capitalisation on products that people are passionate about can be the spark your business needs. If you act early on this, it can even give you the advantage of being able to stay ahead of your competition and establish yourself as a market leader.
Find products with branding potential
Having a great product in your hands and not being able to market it can be something that pulls your sales from reaching the top. You need to find and select products that have a certain branding potential, as without being able to brand a product, you will not be able to sell it, irrespective of the quality of the product.
Safe in transportation
Shipping orders to your customers domestically, even sometimes internationally can be a daily task that you need to master. Damages caused during transportation not only incur losses but also negatively impacts your reputation among customers. So, choose products that you can safely transport to your customers, both domestically and internationally.
There are different types of products that you can consider selling on your online store. They are classified as:
Do-it-yourself, popularly known as DIY products are the types of products that you can make yourself. By creating something unique from your hobby, you can attract a lot of customers who are looking for such out-of-the-box products. Some of the popular DIY products found online are, bath bombs, scented candles, pet toys, handmade soap, etc.
One of the oldest and most traditional forms of retail selling is buying products in bulk, storing them, and selling them individually over time. There are many places where you can get wholesale products from. One of the most famous websites is Alibaba.
If you can find the right product, purchase it at the wholesale price and sell it at an increased retail price.
Drop shipped products
Dropshipping is another great model that can help you drive your sales up high. You market the products you want and obtain as many orders of them as possible. But, in this model, you don’t have to deal with fulfilling that order as that is being taken care of by the supplier. There are many famous drop-shipping suppliers such as Megagoods and Wholesale2B.
Once you have decided on the products you want to sell, it is time to make the next big decision: choosing the right name.
Name your business and pick the right domain name
The name of your business and its domain name are the two most important things when it comes to setting up your online business. These are the first two things users will see when they come in contact with your business.
You need to choose a name that is not complicated, but at the same time is catchy and tells the users about your business. If you pick a name that is difficult to pronounce or has no meaning with the type of business you are in, you are more likely to drive your customers away.
Identify your niche market
After you are done choosing a name for your business, you would realise that the marketplace is a highly competitive environment. So, it is not feasible to be a jack of all trades, especially if you are just starting. So, find a niche market that you are comfortable and confident operating. Here are some things to keep in mind while you identify your niche:
Narrow it down
Let’s take the example of shoes. If you wanted to sell shoes, you would find that numerous brands have already made their name in the industry. It will be tough to compete with them. However, if you decided to sell customised shoes, you would find that you can target a specific audience. Despite the rise in manufacturing costs, you would still have a higher chance of being successful.
Also, you can think about your niche
One of the best things to take advantage of is working in the field that you already have a presence in, or are passionate about. With that being said, you may be already involved in your niche market.
Check whether it is viable or not
Irrespective of the fact that you have a passion for your niche, or you found a niche that could work for it, it is vital that you are fully informed about the market you are about to enter. There are many ways you can do so, such as using Google Trends to see what’s trending, joining relevant social media groups, monitoring the hot topics, and most importantly, keeping an eye on your competitors.
Conduct extensive market research
By now you must’ve figured out what you want to sell, now comes the time to decide who are people that could be willing to purchase what you have to offer, and what are their purchasing powers. So, while conducting market research, you need to ensure you get the right answers to these questions:
- What’s trending in your industry?
- The challenges present in your industry?
- Which of your competitors does your target audience interact with?
- What influences your target audience to make purchases?
- Where does your target audience conduct their purchase research?
- What is your consumers’ attitude towards your product or service?
- Is your product’s market growing or shrinking?
- What needs are not being met?
List out your competitors both online and offline
Knowing your competition, both online and offline is the key to being successful. There is a lot of competition in ranking in Google’s organic result pages. Listing out your competition is an important step in the right direction. Knowing who you are up against is going to help you strategize a way to stay ahead of them.
Study your competitors
Once you have listed down your competition, it is important that you study and analyse them in-depth. By doing so, you would have a better understanding of the demand present in the industry, and whether or not your product or service will be able to tackle the demand at the price set by you.
Ask your audience
The most important element of any successful business is its audience. So, it is only fair that you conduct surveys, both formally and informally to determine what people are saying about your product or service.
Social media is a platform that has made it easier for businesses to interact with a large audience, irrespective of their geographical location. So, you can post about your product or service idea on relevant groups and get their reaction.
Another effective way to interact with your audience is to conduct in-person interviews with the people in your niche and ask about what they need, their preferences, the products or services they already use, and their reactions to your ideas.
Price it right
When it comes to pricing your products or services, always remember that setting a price lower than your competition is not the only way to ensure that people are making purchases from you. There are customers out there that are willing to pay a premium price if the quality is unmatched. So, value your product/service right, and then set a price for it.
Create buyer persona
When you visualise your target market as a specific person, it is referred to as buyer persona. It is a way to refine your thinking regarding how you can see a product online and personalise your marketing efforts.
Target each persona differently
Due to many reasons, you would need to have more than one buyer persona, and it is important to target each one of them differently. However, you mustn’t have too many of them as it could not help you narrow down your focus and give attention to them equally.
The phrase ‘quality over quantity’ fits right here. You need to have 2-3 targets that you can absolutely master, rather than having 5-6 that you are not able to manage.
Brand your business
Your logo, marketing efforts, website, and customer experience, all make up your brand identity. If all your actions are directed towards a single goal, you will automatically build a brand identity, which will help consumers all over the world instantly recognise your brand.
Try to capture the essence of your brand in just a few words. Decide what you want your brand to be identified as. Is your brand funky and casual, or is it serious and informative? It can be anything you want it to be. Just ensure that it is relatable and adds value to the lives of your customers.
One effective way to give your brand identity is to give it a persona. Always think of your brand as a person: What does it look like? How old is it? What gender is it? How should it dress? What should it sound like? What does it do? What is it like? The more details you add to your brand, the stronger its identity will be.
Your actual brand identity will be defined by your logo, the visuals you choose to show, the colour scheme you apply, the way you use words, and much more. Make sure all the choices you make align with each other, as this will make it easier for anyone to identify your brand.
Let’s take the example of Nike. The simple, yet remarkable ‘tick’ sign is something that is recognised by everyone, worldwide. All their products, advertisement campaigns, logos, and much more revolve around that one visual.
So. every brand, including yours, should have a recognisable and consistent look. Choose a single primary colour and 2-3 secondary colours that will be present in all your efforts, and will be used to express your brand identity.
In doing so, don’t make your logo complicated to understand. It should be simple and interpreted by the masses. Because a logo that is complicated and can’t be interpreted drives away its traffic.
The words that you choose to use act as your brand voice. So, you should be very careful when choosing the words as they should project your brand’s identity.
Content is one of the most important elements when it comes to marketing. So, when you are writing any copy, you should always ask yourself a few questions: Who are you talking to? How are you talking to them? What kind of approach do you want to take? What kind of language would your target audience respond to?
Answering all these questions will ensure that you can keep your brand identity consistent across various channels, such as email, social media, advertising, etc.
Decide where to sell: Marketplace/ Your own ecommerce store/ social commerce
Another key decision that you need to take is deciding where you want to sell your product or service. On a marketplace, your own ecommerce store, or social commerce. Let’s have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of them all.
Advantages of marketplace or social commerce
- It gives an extra channel to market and sells your items
- The stage offers reduced marketing costs compared to other sales channels
- It permits new open doors for abroad deals – there has been noted web-based commercial centre development in the categories of homeware, pets, style, and outdoor supplies
- They are famous with clients and deal with a helpful method for looking at costs and items from a single source
- Being part of a laid-out web-based commercial centre gives a degree of trust between you and the purchaser
- Impartial reviews of your items and administration might give new clients the certainty to purchase
- They offer chances to lay out new exchange associations with merchants and providers, either inside your production network or across supply chains
- They give more room for transparency- accessibility, costs and stock levels are available in an open climate
- It is feasible to work 24/7 – time imperatives and issues with shifting worldwide exchanging hours are taken out
Disadvantages of selling on marketplace
- Marketplaces can charge commission on every sale and fees can vary from site to site
- Marketplaces may even impose restrictions on how you can communicate with your customers
- There could be limitations on marketplaces when it comes to branding your online presence
Advantages of selling on own ecommerce store
- By selling on your ecommerce store, you can turn your products into a brand. You will have a website that is designed in accordance with your brand identity, and persona. You will be able to publish the content solely to promote your brand and its vision
- You will have the flexibility to create marketing strategies that suit your business needs. You can offer your customers personalised content and even add special benefits
- You can also target your customers in numerous ways. You can have your marketing plans on Google Ads, LinkedIn targeting, Facebook Ads, and much more
Disadvantages of selling on own ecommerce store
- The cost of developing, designing, and marketing your own ecommerce store is very high
- Selling on your ecommerce store will leave you no option but to undertake all the necessary marketing strategies, and perform them yourself
- Generating traffic to your ecommerce store can be a tedious task. However, selling products on a marketplace, you don’t have to worry about driving traffic as they have a significant amount of traffic on their website
Advantages and disadvantages of social commerce
- Direct contact between sellers and consumers
- Helps build brand and being interactive
- Trustworthy reviews
- Low organic reach
- Reach in social media platforms only
- Social commerce is shopper centric, and not seller centric
Build your ecommerce website
Building your ecommerce website is not a task that would require you to have knowledge or experience in coding. You can create your ecommerce website with ease using mywindo.shop.
When you are creating your ecommerce website, always ensure that you are revolving all the elements around your brand identity. Your logo, photos, colours, and any other elements on your website should be uniform and should point toward what your brand is.
The design of your website should be in such a manner that your customers can easily find your products. Mention everything a customer would need to know before making a purchase, such as product specifications, details regarding shopping, price, and multiple pictures of the product.
Choose the platform as per your business needs and marketing strategies
In the past few years, the internet has proved to be a great tool to fulfil your business needs and marketing strategies. It has given businesses the liberty to choose amongst the most popular online marketing platforms, such as:
- social media marketing
- email marketing
- video marketing
- SEO/content marketing
Choose good hosting, CDN
It is essential to choose the right CDN provider for you, but for that, you should know what a good CDN provider should offer. Let’s find out:
- Be faster than your origin
- Be good at delivering small files (e.g., 5KB)
- Be able to deliver large payloads
- Minimise latency caused by geographical distance
Create essential pages
When people are about to spend their hard-earned money on your website, they tend to look for specific information before making the purchase, So, you include certain essential pages on your website, such as product, category, contact us, about, and FAQ.
Optimise the checkout process
Everyone abandons their online cart for some or the other reason. You should find out the most common reasons why your customers do so, and provide them with a solution via checkout optimization.
Set up payment processing
One of the most important elements to look into before starting to sell products online is to have a system in place for collecting payment and shipping the products.
Having a seamless payment processing system is very important, as it won’t cause any delay in ensuring you receive the payment and also ensure that orders are shipped out timely.
There are many ways through which customers make their payments, and you should aim to include as many as you can on your website. Some of them are credit/debit cards, UPI, digital wallets, cash of delivery, and buy now, pay later facility.
Choose your shipping methods
If you will be handling your shipping, you need accurate numbers to set up your domestic and international shipping options on your website. Many companies can help you with shipping, such as DHL, Blue Dart, etc.
Omnichannel fulfilment is a material handling fulfilment strategy and process that treats inventory as fully available to all channels from one location. You can choose to manage fulfilment in-house, hire a third-party logistics partner, or partner with a dropshipping supplier.
Always remember, customers, love free shipping. However, if you are planning to offer that, you need to ensure that those costs are covered in the actual price of your product. Shipping rates contain the cost of boxes and the packaging material. So, don’t forget to include those as well.
Get ready with the content
Bill Gates once said, ‘content is king’, and he couldn’t have been more right. Your website should have a team of highly competent copywriters, photographers, and marketing professionals working on it.
However, if you are a small business and doing it yourself, we have some tips for you that will ensure you produce top-quality content.
An attractive and well designed banner can help you attract a significant amount of customers. If you are able to make your banner visible to the right audience, they are bound to click on it and check out your products or services.
Your product images are vital, as, in the online world, customers can not touch and feel the products you have to offer. Their purchase decision highly depends upon the type of product pictures they can see.
So, your product pictures should make the product look desirable and should also be aligned with your brand image.
If you are clicking the pictures yourself, no need to purchase expensive equipment. Pull that smartphone out of your pocket.
Titles, Features/ Highlights & Descriptions
Your product descriptions, titles, and highlights should be clear and thorough, but also easy to understand. Use descriptive product names that tell your customers and search engines exactly what the product is.
Convey as much information as you with fewer words. People are always busy and do not prefer reading long pieces of content.
When you are providing product details, use bullets or paragraphs so it is easier for your consumers to read and understand the text.
The only thing better than quality written content is well-designed videos. Videos offer an interactive way to reach your customers, and many people prefer videos over having to read content about the product or service they want to purchase.
Packing is the first thing that your customers see when they come in actual contact with your products. Attractive packaging can make customers come back for more. It is a common misconception that packing boxes are not worth investing in. However, the contrary is true. A well-designed and sturdy packaging box that will protect the product from damage while transportation and storing is an investment every ecommerce website should make.
Inventory management will help your ecommerce website to identify which and how much stock you have to order, and at what time. It enables you to track inventory from purchase to sale of products. This will ensure that you always have enough stock to fulfil customer orders, and never worry about shortage.
Inventory management is important for selling products online as it helps to ensure there is never too much or too little stock on your hand.
Promote your products
As you are ready to sell products online through your ecommerce store, you need to promote and market them to potential customers. Here are some of the ways you can do so:
- Social media: Use hashtags to reach to a wider audience
- Paid advertising campaigns: This will enable you to showcase your products to people all over the internet
- Partner with influencers: Send free samples to celebrities or people with high followers to promote your product
- Invest in SEO: SEO is the best way to show up higher in the search engine result pages when someone is searching for relevant keywords
- Email marketing: Everyday, people all over the world are looking in their inboxes to find products and services that might attract them
Reduce your Ad cost
Running and maintaining a campaign of paid advertisement can be both time-consuming and costly. You should work on reducing your advertising cost as much as possible. Use the power of organic results to your benefit.
If you follow the Google guidelines and create a full-proof SEO strategy, you can ensure that every time someone is searching for relevant keywords, your website would show up in the top rankings of the search engine result pages.
To top it all off, this is free of cost and would reduce your advertisement cost significantly.
Customer engagement & retention
Customer retention is one of the most important facets when it comes to return on investment (ROI) as it costs 5 times more money to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones.
Customer retention and customer engagement go hand in hand. Customer engagement is nothing but interacting with your customers in a manner that creates a relationship of trust and loyalty.
Engaged customers drive more repeat business. Once a customer forms a relationship with your business, they are more likely to become a repeat or a regular customer. It is worth noting that every customer is not created equally, so you must retain your best customers. I.e., the person who spends the most time and money on your website.
You can use numerous tools and tactics that enhance customer engagement and retention, such as responding to feedback, sending personalised offers, and much more.
Prepare to handle returns effectively
The bad news about selling products online is that 30% of all products ordered online are returned. But that doesn’t mean you should make your return process difficult for your customers, or even start selling products without a return policy.
Another survey showed that 92% of customers said that they will buy again if they found that the return policy of any website is easy. So, for your customers to keep coming back, you need to allow returns. So, you need to have a strong online returns management system.
Here are 7 ways in which you can improve your returns management system:
- Understand controllable and uncontrollable returns
- Understand the cost of returns
- Have a clear return policy
- Analyse your returns
- Process returns quickly
- Provide visibility of returns through tracking
- Use a fulfilment centre for returns management
Handle customer complaints the right way
It is only natural that your business receives a customer complaint. However, you should always deal with it positively and constructively. This will ensure that despite the complaints, you can keep your customers.
There is one problem here, and that is generally customers who are unhappy with your product or service, will not complain directly to you. They tend to complain to others and simply take their business elsewhere. So, you need a system that enables you to manage customer complaints and resolve them as quickly as possible, to repeat business.
Here is a procedure that you should follow when dealing with customer complaints:
- Listen to the complaint
- Record the details of the complaint
- Get all the facts
- Discuss how to fix the problem
- Act quickly
- Keep your word/promises
- Follow up
Continuously improve your services
Even when your online store is a big success, you should always be on the lookout for ways in which you can improve your business. To do that, you would need to divert your attention from the small, everyday tasks to the big and more complicated ones.
Automate time-consuming tasks
As you grow your ecommerce website, ensure that you automate the tasks that you used to spend most of your time doing, when you were working on a smaller scale. This will allow you to spend your free time on tasks that impact your business on a higher scale.
Experiment with in-person commerce
You need to remind your customers from time to time that you are not just a website on the internet. You need to take your business in person to add that extra personalised touch that will surely get your business going in the right direction. Attend local events, and host certain events by yourself. You can even give your customers the option to purchase online and pick their orders up at a store.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best way to sell my items online?
The best way to sell your items online is through your website. You can get started with your online store with the help of ecommerce platforms such as mywindo.shop. You can also sell products on various online marketplaces, such as Amazon, Flipkart, and many more depending on the type of product you are selling.
How can I sell my products online for free?
You can start your ecommerce store with mywindo.shop’s free plan. You can customise the way your website would look and feel, in accordance with your brand identity. You will be able to start selling, growing, and managing your platform in no time.
What is the cheapest way to sell products online?
One of the cheapest ways to sell your products online is by creating your ecommerce store through mywindo.shop. Its free plan offers you to add unlimited products, unlimited orders, online payments, and customer support for you. It also has a paid version, for $12/ month that gives you all the features of the free plan, alongside customer domain, 0% transaction fee, and priority customer support.
How can I start online sales?
You can start online sales by starting your own ecommerce store through mywindo.shop, or you can sell existing marketplaces such as Amazon, Flipkart, Paytm, and many more depending on the type of products you want to sell.
What is the safest place to sell online?
Here is a list of the safest places to sell online:
- Facebook Marketplace
Many other platforms prove to be safe places to sell online. You need to choose the platform that suits well with your niche.
How do I start an online business with no money?
Here is how you can start an online business with no money:
- Find a business idea that requires you to sell products or services online
- Create a business idea
- Choose your business name
- Create your ecommerce store (You can do this for free using mywindo.shop)
- Acquire preorders
- Source a funding to grow
How do I start an online business from home?
If you are looking to start on online business from home, this is how you can do it:
- Find a business idea
- Find what you can sell online
- Complete legal formalities, if any
- Conduct an online market research
- Define your target audience
- Define your product management strategy
- Evaluate product viability
- Define your brand identity
- Create a marketing strategy to grow
- Launch your online ecommerce store
You can create your ecommerce website with mywindo.shop’s free and paid version in easy steps.
Which app is best for selling products online?
The best place to sell products online is through your ecommerce store. However, if you are not looking to create one, you can sell your products in one of the many online marketplace, such as:
- Facebook Marketplace
Which website is best for selling products online?
If you find building your own ecommerce store challenging, you can make the best use out of these websites that can be a good alternative for selling your products online:
- Facebook Marketplace
- Ruby Lane
You should explore and get to know more about each website to determine which one suits best for your niche of products.
What is the best way to sell products online?
The best way to sell products online is by creating your own ecommerce store, which you can do for free using mywindo.shop. However, if you are looking to sell your products on other websites, here are some examples:
- Ruby Lane
There are many other options also available. You should explore them all and determine which website suits best for your product’s niche.
How to sell products online successfully?
If you are just starting your journey to sell products online, here are some of the tips you should keep in mind:
- Create an SEO strategy
- Choose the right ecommerce platform
- Don’t send customers away
- Invest in your own website
- Utilise the power of digital marketing
- Find your USP (unique selling proposition)
- Make your website secure, especially the payment gateway
- Put your customers’ needs and wants first
How can I legally sell products online?
If you are starting your journey of selling products online, you need to maintain a current account in the name of your business with a bank. You also need to ensure that your business is registered as a legal entity. In India, you need to have a GST registration for your business to do so. There could be further legal requirements you might need to fulfil depending on the type of products and services you are selling.
What is the best site for selling online?
When you are starting to sell products online, you need to ensure that you choose the right website. Here are some of the options you can consider:
- Your own website
- Ruby Lane
- Facebook Marketplace
Do I have to pay taxes on items I sell online?
When you sell any products or services online through any ecommerce portal, such as Amazon, they would deduct an amount from the payment it collects from the customers before making the payment to you. This amount is below 1% of the sales, and this tax is paid to the government. You can claim this tax as a deduction on your GST fillings within the same month of deduction.
What is the most profitable thing to sell online?
Here is the list of the most profitable things you can sell online, depending on the data collected throughout 2022:
- Beauty products
- Bamboo toothbrushes
- Women’s apparel
- Fitness equipment
- Yoga leggings
- Pet care
- Kids toys
- Scented candles
- Phone accessories