E-commerce for Dummies: A Complete Guide to Selling Online as a Beginner
So here’s the thing: you’re ready to start selling online. Or are you? The world of e-commerce is a really tricky one. To survive, you’d need to be armed with a couple of tricks and tips. As such, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to start selling online from scratch. Call it E-commerce 101 if you want but if you know absolutely nothing about selling online, this article will serve as your go-to guide.
So let’s get started. How exactly do you build an online store and start selling online from scratch? Here’s how to:
STAGE 1: Handling the Product
a. Choose a Product
This is probably a no-brainer but before you start selling online, you have to figure out what exactly you want to sell. This may be the first step to starting an online business but it’s also one of the toughest. What if you don’t know what to sell? Well, your concerns are very much valid. Coming up with ideas for a new product isn’t exactly a piece of cake and even the most knowledgeable sellers get stuck at this point. Here’s how to get past this “seller’s block”:
· Solve the needs of consumers.
· Go for a product you’d love selling.
· Consider your past selling experience (if any).
· Look out for product trends and capitalize on them.
· Start your search with products related to selling trends.
· Always look out for new opportunities.
b. Get your product ready
Once you’ve figured out what you want to sell, the next step is to figure out how you’d get the products. If you’d be selling homemade products, you have to figure out how to mass produce to ensure that you’d be able to supply to all your customers. On the other hand, if you’d be selling regular products like say vintage shirts, you have to draft out a supply strategy. Would you prefer to buy wholesale or dropship? Pick out a strategy that works best for you and find a manufacturer or supplier for your product.
STAGE 2: Research
Now, you’ve probably already done a huge amount of research before this stage but you’d need to do a little more. For starters, you’d need to research your competition thoroughly. What are their strengths and weaknesses? This would help you to understand what exactly you’re up against and how to beat the competition.
Secondly, you’d need to write a business plan. Now, you don’t necessarily have to type out a 50-page business plan with charts and illustrations. However, you do want a detailed documentation or sketch of what your plans are.
STAGE 3: The Set Up
a. Choose your brand name
What do you want your brand to be called? We’re pretty sure you’ve already drawn up a list of possible names but if you haven’t, here are a few tips.
For starters, you’d need to research already existing business names. You definitely don’t want to share a business name with an already existing brand. It could be disastrous for your business.
When picking out a business idea, get as creative as possible. Think outside the box. You can even get your friends and family to pitch in during the brainstorming process. This way, you’d have a wider range of ideas to choose from.
Organize your ideas and settle on the one that appeals the most to you. Test your brand name to see if people like it.
b. Create a logo
Your online business definitely needs a logo that’d definitely make it stand out. Your logo doesn’t necessarily have to be elaborate or grand. A simple logo would do. You can wither design it yourself or get a professional to do it for you.
c. Set up your online store
In today’s world, setting up an online store isn’t exactly a task strictly for design experts. With so many e-commerce platforms out there, you can easily build your online store in no time at all. You definitely want a store that’d help you automate payment and make selling easy for you. Many sellers recommend setting up your online store on ListBuy –an e-commerce platform. Click here to get started.
Once you’ve set up your online store, you can then go on to get your first customer and of course, market your business. Remember: your customers need to constantly hear about your product so you’d need to market like crazy. Good luck!