Selling products online
Do you want your own online business that sells products online? You can start an online ecommerce store, but nowadays you don’t necessarily have to. Whether you are selling through Instagram, eBay or Depop, there is an endless amount of online selling platforms available to start retailing today.
Sell products through online marketplaces
Selling online is easier now than it has ever been. You do not need a physical store or big stockroom full of inventory. You do not even need an online shop in order to sell products anymore, if that is not your ambition. Second-hand items such as clothes, toys and furniture can easily be sold through online auctions or marketplaces.
You do not need a physical store. You don’t even need an online store to sell products online.
Not having your own website relieves you of the many laws surrounding ecommerce. You probably do not have a strict price for your product either, which is why you can let buyers outbid each other. Moreover, online marketplaces and selling platforms reach millions of people fast. So you do not need to mull over marketing strategies when selling on eBay or Facebook Marketplace.
Selling in your online store
You do not need an online store, but maybe you want one anyway.
Even though a shop of your own is more work, it can be more profitable once you gain loyal customers and build up your brand. You also do not need to worry about Amazon or Depop asking for a percentage of the profits.
Starting your own online shop may sound difficult, but it does not have to be. For instance, you do not even need to build your own inventory. If you find a dropshipping supplier, they will ship orders straight from their warehouse to your customers.
Building the website for your online store is also much easier than you might think. Of course, you can let a web designer build it for you. But if you do not want to spend a lot of money, there are multiple web designing platforms that are extremely user-friendly and do not require any coding. With good software you can make an online store all by yourself.
Online store building software
Here are three popular ecommerce software providers:
Lightspeed eCommerce is a cloud-based solution that is extra convenient for omnichannel retailers. It enables them to manage in-store and online inventory, view all customer information and analyze multi-channel sales data, all from one system.
Shopify is also a cloud-based ecommerce platform, powering over 1 million businesses worldwide. Shopify can be used to sell products online and in person. It offers built-in tools to help you create and analyze digital marketing campaigns, and offers a single dashboard to manage orders, shipping and payments.
With no technical knowledge required, Webador‘s user-friendly drag-and-drop website builder is ideal for launching a webshop. Normally a steal at just €9 per month, users can now get started for a promotional price of €1 per month.
What products can you sell online?
What kind of products you want to sell is entirely up to you. Anything is possible, really. Just take a look around your house. Do you have old furniture or other household items sitting in your garage or attic? Or maybe your friends and family have a lot of hand-me-downs that they do not want to sell themselves. Selling them can be a perfect way to earn some pocket money.
You can pretty much sell anything online.
If you really want to earn a living with your own business selling products online, you will need more than just some old stuff from your attic.
So ask yourself: is there something that you are an expert in or are passionate about? Perhaps you know a lot about drones, or people always ask you about makeup. If you know what products you want to sell, it is time to find a wholesale supplier that you can buy your stock from. There are a ton of wholesale platforms online, such as BigBuy, Orderchamp and AliExpress. But you can also go the traditional route and start chatting up wholesale suppliers at trade shows.
Third party platform aside from your own shop
If you are an entrepreneur at heart, you probably want an ecommerce store of your own. And if you want to earn more than a few extra bucks, this is definitely the way to go. But have you considered selling in your store as well as on third party platforms?
Online marketplaces are not just filled with people that do not want the hassle of running their own online store. In fact, most of the sellers on these platforms already have their own brand. Why, you may ask? Because selling platforms get millions of visitors. It is next to impossible to get this type of reach in your own online shop. You would need to spend nearly all of your funds on marketing. And even then, it may never happen.
While your own shop is meant for loyal customers, selling platforms are the perfect place to find new audiences. Because online marketplaces have a wide reach, you will cast a bigger net. Potential customers can find your products easier on a platform like eBay. And if you use your own packaging or put a discount flyer in your parcel, they may come to your own shop next time. In this way, online marketplaces can attract new customers to your store.
Platforms like Facebook and Instagram
Third party selling platforms like Instagram Shopping or Facebook often work with commission. The transaction fees are usually somewhere between 1 and 15 percent of the purchase price, depending on the platform.
Keep in mind that these selling fees can take a big chunk off your profit. But in exchange, you have a bigger chance the item will actually sell.
Difficult to get visibility for your products
Even so, getting online sales through online platforms can be harder than you think. Facebook Marketplace and eBay, for example, have a huge range of products. You can really find anything on these websites, from second hand clothing to furniture and household appliances. Therefore your item can be lost in the sea of products that these platforms have to offer.
In addition, customers love to browse on online marketplaces. In real life you probably don’t visit ten different stores for one product. But online, this can easily be the case. Customers can go to tons of different stores without buying anything. Even though thousands of customers see your product every day, this may not be reflected in the amount of orders. So when selling on Facebook and Instagram, you will still need to invest a lot of time in marketing.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Some frequenstly asked questions about selling products online:
Are you allowed to sell anything online?
Online you may sell anything that you can also sell on the street. It is therefore not a good idea to start an online store selling weapons or endangered animals. Also, there are some laws and requirements for online stores in particular. For example: the customer has the right to cancel their order in 14 days.
Can I sell second hand products?
Of course, millions of people sell second hand items online. Second hand clothes are very popular and furniture can also easily find a new owner. As long as the customer knows what they are buying is second hand and you are honest about any defects, there is no problem.
Can I make a lot of money selling products online?
It is possible, but starting an online shop is harder than it looks. Therefore it is not the fastest or easiest way to earn money online. Selling on online marketplaces can be easier, but this has its own unique challenges.