How to start an online selling business?
Would you like to know how to start online selling business? Nowadays there are enough possibilities to do it. But firstly you need to realize some details of online-business activity. You must be ready to invest time & money. Also you should be ready to create internet-marketing strategies and become a nice seller. It is not that easy, but it is possible to do.
More other articles contain instructions on what you need to do step by step. But also it is important to think about your readiness to become an entrepreneur. Also, you should know what happens after the store opens.
How do beginner's online selling business?
If you have never been a seller and didn't have any business, you should know not only how to set up an online store (technical aspect), but also you should think about business organization and about profitability.
A lot of instructions are concentrated about site creation. But it is only a way to sell online.
There are many marketplaces and bulletin boards on the Internet where you can start to sell your product. Actually, you can sell directly on Facebook and Instagram. Basically, I want to say that it is not required to launch your own online store. How to start selling on the Internet? - this is the main question.
There are many steps that are easy to list in the instructions, but much more difficult to do. For example, it is necessary to look for your niche, to pick up products to sell and it may stop you for days or weeks. It seems to you that you have made a decision, but after a few days you see that there is something else interesting… And it can happen again and again.
Also you need to learn technical aspects of some internet platforms such as Google AdWords, Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel. Finally you need to learn your shop admin dashboard or marketplace account panel.
Don't believe any website builders that it is enough to create an account on their site! They lie!
It is known that the brain does not work well with new information. Your own online store is a new activity in which there is some theory and also you need your own practice to realize how it works in reality. Launching a profitable store in a short time is unlikely to succeed. It’s a long game. It should become part of your lifestyle.
I’m not dissuading you from creating an online shop. I’m just asking you to take it with due attention.
Starting a web shop - it is an investment!
Any business is an investment. If you want to start a web shop, you must be ready for some risk. The risk does not mean “bad”. Risk means the need to weigh the pros and cons and set the limits of possible losses.
Of course, online stores are very different. And they will require different financial investments. But your time you will have to invest anyway. You should be ready to spend +2-3 hours (or more) a day at your computer!
Firstly, about money. It has long been known that people will not feel losses if they set aside 10% of their monthly income. If someday you want to start your own business, you must save money for investment. Any investor should be prepared to invest money regularly, not just once. And of course, you must be ready for losses. If losing money hurts your heart, it’s better not to start. Or perhaps you should invest the amount of money you won't be sorry for losing. But in any case, you shouldn’t invest the money required to secure the basic necessities of life.
Secondly, you should answer the question: what will I learn as a result of launching my online store? What will stay with me even if the money doesn’t return? What experience am I ready to buy like it is done in college or on any training?
If, in case of failure, you won’t try again, if you won’t become an online store manager and you won’t be a seller or internet-marketolog, then you shouldn’t start an online shop! But if you work in trade now or you want to do it in the future, then it’s good for you to try.
How much money can you really make on online selling business?
As it is mentioned in a video on Valuetainment If you are an entrepreneur, the likelihood of becoming a millionaire increases. But this doesn’t guarantee anything. Not all entrepreneurs become wealthy. Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle.
Finance has its own rules. It is believed that a person can not sharply start earning 10 or 100 times more. You should expect an increase in income in 1.5 - 2 times compared to the current.
Of course, in the future, income will grow again and again on average twice. But in the near future, growth will not be significant. Now think again: are you ready to engage in sales if the initial income growth is not too great? Are you ready to treat this as a job to be done despite the mood or the presence of inspiration?
Dropshipping or how to start with a small budget?
Nowadays dropshipping is very common. Many people say that in such a scheme there is little income and still there are some financial risks. In my opinion, for beginners it is important to get practice in Internet commerce. If you learn to attract customers online, to create successful advertising and to serve customers, then you can easily go to a new level and buy a batch of goods.
Without dropshipping, you must invest a lot of money in the product, and then you will have a limited assortment and little money for experiments with advertising.
Dropshipping is similar if you still work for the company. However, in such a scheme a lot depends on your efforts. You’re also looking into all the details of online commerce. Remember that Robert Kiyosaki was a sales agent in the Xerox company before starting his own business. Many years later he appreciates the experience gained there.
How to find a niche? No need for a theory, you should test it!
Many instructions on opening an online store talk about how to find a niche. This step is described as one of the key stages. Nowhere is it described that in practice this can suspend you for a few days or even weeks. When you have broad opportunities to choose what product to sell, you have a so-called The Paradox of Choice.
Some people advise to focus on those products that are associated with your favorite occupation or are related with your work. Perhaps, it is good advice. Although, even in this case, there is one thing: The comfort zone can play tricks on you when you do not take attention to other profitable possibilities.
If you don't have a priority niche that is closely related to your current activities, experts recommend testing 5 different products one at a time. It is necessary to post them on the bulletin boards. Also you should create advertising campaigns on Facebook for them. Fortunately, you don't need to create 5 online stores for this. Facebook has a form for collecting contacts or you can create simple landings.
It is not enough to wish to start an online store. As in traditional business, you should draw up a business plan or at least calculate the payback of goods. How to do this?
You can enter in the search query "products + from the manufacturer" or "factory of such products" or "trading firm + product name" and ask them the wholesale price. Personally, I was very surprised at how easy and simple I received prices. Some even without calling the phone.
When you have the wholesale price (or dropshipping price) and the results of testing advertising campaigns in your hands, you will be able to evaluate payback. Until then, all your calculations are just a hypothesis that has no evidence.
You have to understand Search Engine Relevance
It is very important to understand what "relevance" means. This is one of the key aspects of Internet commerce. If you don’t understand how the search engines work, then your chances to open an online store and get the benefit of it will tend to be zero.
Keep in mind that the seller (and especially the seller-manufacturer) can evaluate the products on completely different criteria than the buyers estimate. For example, people massively need "red dresses" or "shiny corporate dress", and in the online store there are only "evening dresses", "maxi sress" and "long sleeve dresses". And maybe somewhere in the filter the parameter "color = red" is available.
By the way, Google has official recommendations, where it is all described - https://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en//insidesearch/howsearchworks/assets/searchqualityevaluatorguidelines.pdf
By understanding what queries people enter in a search on the subject of your product, you will be able to better understand their needs. To do this, it is necessary to create a semantic kernel on a given topic.
Your Online Store Marketing
The entrepreneur’s resources are always limited. From a marketing point of view, you need to direct resources where you can get the best results.
To do this, it is very important to find the answer to three questions:
- Who buys such products?
- How to attract them on the site?
- What makes people buy?
Let’s look at a practical example. Suppose you have a sports store where you sell various products for sports and fitness.
Most of all you want to sell treadmills because selling such an expensive product gives you a good profit. You even advertise, but somehow do not get good sales. You notice that people buy balls from you almost every day, even though you don’t even really promote them. Your initial plan goes down the drain, and it’s very frustrating. What to do to save your online store?
If you dig a little deeper and try to think about the situation from the outside, you can see a slightly different perspective.
By and large, the balls are needed not only by sports people, but by anyone who likes to actively spend time. But treadmills - it is either the prerogative of the rich, or the equipment fitness club. Thus, you have already identified 3 segments of different target audience for your sports store. And each of them requires a different approach in sales. And you have to split your actions and resources into three parts to save the initial plan. It is better to focus on some particular group of clients.
Next, considering that the promo campaign of treadmills had no effect, you should change strategy. For example not send your message to sportsmen, but send it to managers of fitness clubs. Or maybe it will be better to just call every fitness club within a 1,000-mile radius, and it’s more effective than Facebook promo?
There is also another non-obvious option. And it is perhaps the most interesting.
Also you call those customers who have already bought balls and you may ask them what else they want in your store? As practice has shown, many buyers are very happy to participate in the telephone survey, although almost completely ignore such surveys in the e-mail. In general, you should not have any concerns, how it would disturb customers with their inquiries. Read a little bit about in-depth interviews to see how useful it is. Just call the customers and agree on a half-hour conversation (or meeting), which you write on the recorder, to then listen to and collect important comments.
It may well turn out that after the ball, they would like to buy clothes for the weekend, camping tents or barbecue. But there’s no way they’re gonna buy treadmills, dumbbells, table tennis, or sports food.
Anyway, obviously, the niche of your online store has to be changed a little. Now it will not be just a sports store about everything in the world (and for nobody in reality). It will either be an equipment store for fitness clubs, or it will be a store for families who like outdoor activities with sports elements. In any case, the initial assortment will have to adapt to the real demand of real buyers.
Is it possible to make such a marketing analysis in advance of the time of opening the online store? I highly doubt it. Anything that is not supported by real sales is always a hypothesis.
Before opening an online store, do an analysis of competitors!
All online shops are different. Some of them are like a site of hand-made postcards, others are bigger and are supported by trading business with their own warehouse. Accordingly, resources that you need correlate with your business situation.
To evaluate your competitors, type in the search "name of your product" and see how many sites are advertised. Advertising in the search works on the principle of auction - the more offers, the higher the price. And if these people are big market players, you won’t be able to compete with them.
If you are new to trading, you will not be able to compete with existing giants. In your case, it will be fatal to try to create an online store with a wide range of products. You will likely have enough money for one advertising campaign. And your store should be associated with a particular type of product. Concentrating on one thing and serving well even on weekends is the only chance to remember customers.
Also at the time of analysis, you can specify the search query by entering "the name of the product + the name of your city". This will greatly increase your relevance, and may eliminate some competitors that don't have retail outlets in your city.
It is also important to evaluate the sites of your competitors. See what categories of products they classified as popular.
As for the competitors, you should be alerted to the situation, if at all no one is advertised. In this day and age, it can mean that the niche is not attractive. However, if the semantic core has more than 500 queries per month and no advertisements, that would mean your "monopoly" for a while, it is good.