Online shopping is undoubtedly a rage these days and has opened a plethora of opportunities to earn money online. One of the best ways to make money is by selling your products online. With the advancements in technology, becoming an online seller is now smooth sailing.
Why should you Sell Online?
On this page:
- Why should you Sell Online?
- Steps to Become an Online Seller
- Which Platforms are Best for Selling Online?
- Things to Consider Before you Start Selling Online
According to Statista, the growth of the eCommerce industry in India and due to the coronavirus pandemic, there was a change in the shopping behaviour of the consumers, and the number of online shoppers is expected to increase by 190 million in 2021. This means that there is a lot of earning opportunity by becoming an online seller. Here are a few of the advantages:
1. Cost Efficient
Setting up an e-commerce website costs less than an offline business. As the sale system is automated online, you will save on staff, wages, and other business costs like electricity, rent and heating costs. You can use this saved money to further develop your e-commerce website and expand your product range.
Compared to office-based businesses, online businesses do not have any geographical limitations. You can manage your business from anywhere around the world. All you need to access to email, the internet and phones. Also, the customers can purchase from your website anytime they want, as there are no time restrictions as well.
E-commerce websites are quite useful for helping you identify which things are doing well so that you can raise the stock levels of those products. Another consideration is how these popular products might be expanded to create a wider selection of goods to sell on the internet. You’ll be able to expand your company’s sales, clientele, and earnings as a result.
4. More Measurability
Through systems like Google Analytics, you can easily measure and track how many orders are placed through your site, average cart value, abandoned cart rate and percentage of total revenue your website has attained at regular intervals.
You can even employ SEO strategies to increase your website page rankings in search engines like Google. Through SEO, you can further encourage customers to go on your website.
5. Better Cashflow & Higher Margins
An e-commerce website will let you sell at larger margins if your company participates in and sells to the trade industry sector. As a result, your product earnings will increase even further. These websites’ shopping carts and payment methods also ensure that you immediately receive full payment from the buyer. This will increase your cash flow, especially if your customers typically pay you in multiple instalments.
For your e-commerce website, you can also have several trustworthy payment processors, such as WorldPay, Sage Payment Solutions, PayPal, Google Checkout, and more. This will guarantee that all your payment transactions are completed successfully, allowing your company to receive payments efficiently.
Steps to Become an Online Seller
1. Choose a Product Line
As the first step, you need to consider the product you want to sell online. There is no restriction on the kind of product you choose as there is a platform for anything and everything these days. You may select something you are passionate about, like art or engage in a ‘buy and sell’ business. For instance, you can cater to the increased demand for personalized gifts by selling them online.
2. Find a Suitable Platform
While it is possible to start your own website to sell products online, you can always choose an online marketplace to reduce the effort and expense and earn BIG. The advantage of an already-established online platform is that you would not need to spend much on advertising. Simply look for a low-cost and credible platform such as Flipkart and Amazon, and you’ll be ready to sell your products to the customers.
3. Keep Your Legal Documents Ready
Online selling follows the same legal code as any other business form. You will be required to keep your GST number, PAN card, bank account details, and other key documents ready before you set up your business. All legal formalities must be appropriately completed to avoid the hindrances that may occur otherwise.
4. List Your Products
It might seem challenging to list your products online, but with the help of user-friendly apps, you can now easily catalogue your products. You may scan barcodes or use the product matching feature and custom templates to upload your product. Further, you’ll be required to enter the price, quantity, and other details of the product you wish to sell.
The delivery or shipping of the product is usually taken care of by the store itself. You can choose a suitable shipping method and strike a balance between the availability of the product and the requirements of the customers.
5. Link Your Bank Account
The last step of this process involves linking your bank account to the chosen online platform. This will ensure that you receive timely payments from customers and retailers without being wrongly charged. Once you achieve a successful sale, you will get the payment in your account after deducting a minimal fee by the store.
Which Platforms are Best for Selling Online?
Online sales include a wide range of options. You can use an e-commerce platform, join an online marketplace, or incorporate a shopping cart into your website. Your best decision may depend on how long you’ve been in business and your business goals.
If time is of the essence, an e-commerce platform will have you up and running more quickly. Established shops that already have websites can easily put up a web store on their site using a shopping cart. You might even pick two or more solutions, such as using an online marketplace and selling products on your own website.
Things to Consider Before you Start Selling Online
1. Evaluate the Costs Involved
Becoming an online seller involves various costs, and it is vital first to look out if you can make good profits after taking into consideration all these costs. Some of the important calls include shipping costs, packaging costs, payment gateway costs, storage costs and marketing costs.
2. Find out if Selling Online is Profitable
You can quickly calculate the profitability of your business venture now that you have a good understanding of the various costs associated with selling online. Here is an easy formula to help you out:
Profit Margin= Selling price – (Sourcing Cost + Packing & Shipping + Transaction Fees + Marketing Cost + Variable Costs)
You are good to start selling online if your profit margin is positive. Consider lowering the costs if it’s low or negative.
3. Create Digital Product Catalogue
Now that you have calculated your profit margins, the next step is to make a list of the products. This list should contain the following
- Product Code (or SKU)
- Product Name
- Selling Price
- Discount (if any)
- Brand colour
- And all other relevant aspects
After doing this, take three to four high-quality product pictures from various angles, preferably against a white background. To effectively sell products online, it is advised to seek professional assistance. In some cases, the manufacturer may also provide you with these images.
4. Setup End-to-End Process
Organizing yourself from the start is preferable. Describe the processes that must be taken from receiving an order to sending the items. It might be a simple checklist for quality assurance, packaging, billing, etc. When you are not present, your staff will also benefit from this.
5. Inventory Management Software
Managing inward and outward stock movement manually could become painful, given that you will be working with inventory daily. Start keeping track of your goods with a reliable inventory management system. Some software even allows linking your marketplace or shopping cart account with your inventory.
6. Be Discoverable Online
Before making a purchase, your customers will likely look up your company online. They could stop looking if consumers didn’t locate any information about your company, including product reviews. Therefore, having an online presence through a company website, a social media account, or another platform is crucial.