Your plan is to sell on the internet but you can’t decide where to start – To launch your own Ecommerce site, or simply sell through one of the existing Ecommerce platforms.
Setup your online store.
It is easy to create an online store or virtual shop and start selling digital information products or physical items through one of the website builders including Shopify, Weebly, Wix, or WordPress with some Ecommerce plugins.
To get you started with creating first Ecommerce site, go through all the steps in this Shopify setup checklist.
Find a niche of products.
Decide on a product or the type of products that you’re going to be selling as your main products. You can launch an online store that sells many products all of different categories, but you don’t want to do that. These days it is better and simpler to focus on selling within a single niche.
You want to sell products that you can understand well of their benefits, and you like. That will simply give you an edge when you’re selling the products. You also need products that are highly profitable and have relatively low competition. To make the niche search easier, use this list of more than 2000 niches with profitable and low competition.
Source the products.
You first need to buy the products before you can sell them on your store. You want to buy the goods from one or a few low cost suppliers or manufacturers. Some of the platforms are China’s Aliexpress, Lightinthebox, or Dinodirect.
The traditional way is you buy the products in bulk, maybe 1000 items each product, and have their store in a local warehouse that you pay rent every month. The inventory sometimes causes you to pay a large upfront cost. But there is a way to avoid that.
No inventory. No handling the fulfillment or shipping of your products to customers. That’s dropshipping and the way to go. When you’re using Shopify as your store, you can import your Aliexpress supplier’s products in bulk quickly simply with clicks of a few buttons.
Find the channels that would maximize your marketing campaigns.
When you launch your own website to sell products, you can have full control over the prices of your products. But no one will immediately come to your website just because you’ve launched it. But you will have to do marketing and promotion for your online store.
The common methods that you can build up your marketing channels and bring visitors (and/or potential customers) to your online store is through social media sites such as Facebook, search engines such as Google, Yahoo, classifieds sites, online forums in your niche, partner sites, and more.
In the beginning, it would be very difficult and it will take some time for you to find out which channel works the best in terms of sales.
Sell on other platforms.
Amazon, eBay. Craigslist, or Etsy are platforms that you can sign up. You can quickly put the information of your physical products on these platforms and start selling to millions of potential consumers right away.
The one major upside to sell through an existing and popular platform is you won’t have to concern about getting people to visit your online store. The platforms already have their own loyal customers when you first start, which is unlike your own online store.
When you main products are digital products where you won’t have to ship them to your customers’ physical locations, Etsy is usually a great platform. There are lots of people or artists selling their own digital design products.