Figure out what you want to sell

What products will sell best online? What niches could be most profitable for you? To determine what online business ideas are right for you, explore your interests and zero in on your strengths.

2. Source products

Once you’ve zeroed in on products you might want to sell, the next step is to figure out how you’ll procure them.

You might build or craft products from scratch, or work with a manufacturer to design items according to your specifications. Some sourcing methods, such as wholesale, might require you to keep track of inventory, while others, like dropshipping and print on demand, can allow you to operate without a dedicated space for storage.

If you want to work with a supplier, here are a few things to consider:

  • Quality: Make sure the supplier you choose is reliable and provides quality products.
  • Price: Compare prices between different suppliers to get the best deal. Don’t forget to factor in shipping costs, as well.
  • Delivery times: Find out how long it takes for the supplier to deliver orders. This will help you set realistic expectations for customers.
  • Customer service: Check to see if the supplier offers customer service and how responsive they are to inquiries.
  • Returns policy: Ask if they accept returns or if you have to handle this on your end. If they do, determine if there’s a restocking fee.
  • Inventory: Can the supplier handle large inventory loads? Ensure they can scale with you.
  • Shipping: Find out what shipping methods they offer and how much it will cost you to ship orders to customers.
  • Bulk discounts: Ask if the supplier offers any bulk discounts for larger orders.

Choose your sales channels!

What are you trying to sell? Who are you trying to reach? Your answers can help determine which channels to use to best reach customers.

You can design and build an ecommerce store from scratch, or use a tool like the Stores builder to create a custom, immersive ecommerce website experience. storefront comes along with built-in infrastructure for processing payments, managing customer reviews, and more. It also gives you an analytics dashboard so you can track sales, reviews, prices, and other key performance metrics.

Social media can also be a great sales channel, if your audience spends a lot of time on sites like Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest can even allow you to engage with shoppers in real-time.

Check listing and selling fees

The cost to sell online will vary with different sales channels. Be sure to pay attention to fees and other charges as you decide on options for your business.

Some stores will charge a small fee to list products, while others offer free listings. Here’s a quick breakdown of the different fees you’ll come across:

  • Listing fee: typically, a flat fee to list on the site, either per item or a monthly charge
  • Selling fee: a percentage of the selling price (may include shipping and handling)

Decide how you will handle shipping

Shipping time can make or break a sale.

  • Free delivery is the most important factor for 83% of shoppers when ordering online
  • More than half (54%) have abandoned online shopping baskets because of delivery costs

Take good photos

Good visuals help customers see the product in detail before they buy. To create excellent visuals for products:

  • Take photos in a well-lit area
  • Choose a plain background
  • Avoid photo filters
  • Include multiple photos showing different angles of each product
  • Avoid picturing other products not included in the order

Be descriptive

Think of product listings as virtual salespeople who work around the clock for your online business. So be sure to include helpful and accurate information to help shoppers make sound decisions.

This includes adding quality images and listing details about features and benefits. The goal is to help customers understand what they’re buying and show why they should buy it from you, instead of a competitor.

Here are some tips to make product listings more descriptive:

  • Use clear, concise language
  • Avoid using jargon or technical terms that may confuse potential customers
  • Use SEO best practices to help product listings rank in search results

Focus on delighting customers

The golden rule of selling online? Take a customer-centric approach.

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