Selling goods and services on the internet is the twenty-first century way the go! The online marketplace is rich with opportunities – and eager clients. Also, it has never been easier to set up shop on the world wide web.
The benefits of this type of trading are vast: selling to customers across the globe, far fever startup and overhead costs, making money while you sleep, the luxury of working remotely – to name a few.
Although launching a shop into the cyber universe might not entail rocket science, there is a “science” behind it, nevertheless.
Here’s what you’ll need to do for a successful cyberspace mission:
The obvious first step is finding something to sell. Perhaps you already know what that is – your passion might have brought you to this blog to begin with. Or maybe you don’t yet have any idea beyond the wish to make money online.
Whichever way, you will need to find or refine an idea, research the feasibility of this product (hint: look at what the competition is doing), get in the loop with e-commerce trends, and so forth. There are great online resources that can help you choose the perfect product.
Okay, so now you know what you want to sell. But how exactly do you plan to do it? This is where the development of a comprehensive business plan comes into play. This document will, among other things, outline a vision and mission statement, a marketing strategy as well as knowledge of your target market and how to reach them. Again, you can find help through internet resources or by meeting up with a business strategist.
To build a strong brand, you must give your business a distinctive and attractive look and feel. This includes a striking name (also, checking the availability and feasibility of a domain name), a memorable logo, a fitting voice and much more. Branding experts can help you with this. (We at Pathfind Media humbly consider ourselves to fall into this category. Hint, hint…)
Understanding SEO is vital for any entrepreneur who wishes to succeed online. You need to set up your shop in such a way that Google and other search engines (and, therefore, customers!) can easily find your marvellous merchandise. Read our blog if you wish to up your understanding of SEO.
Another consideration is the right mix of sales channels to reach your target audience. For instance, a Takealot or Amazon channel could be integrated into your Shopify platform.
If you are selling physical products, shipping is a significant part of your e-commerce business, and more research will be required in this regard. We know, we know – research could be boring. But it remains your business’s foundation. As you develop your shipping strategy, issues to consider will include product packaging, couriers, tracking and insurance, reducing shipping costs, return policies, etc.
When the planning phase is done, the fun part of building your brand-new store begins!
It is not advisable to try and do this yourself if you are not a professional web designer. E-commerce sites are complex platforms and, if poorly stitched together, will certainly put customers off. Or worse – make it impossible for them to buy from you. There are many nuts and bolts that need to be in place, e.g. a pleasant checkout experience, various functional payment options, billing information sheets, an easy contact option, the instalment of vital apps, etc.
This is where agencies such as Pathfind Media get to rise to the occasion. Allow us to build a beautiful and well-functioning site that will do your products justice!
Now, the most exciting step ensues: cashing in after all your hard work! However, this is not as easy as one would wish it to be. Ongoing post-launch work entails marketing, regularly updating your products and software, etc. This is another chore that you could outsource to your web agency.
Launching an e-commerce site is an exciting endeavour and a great way to earn extra money from the internet. Pathfind Media is by your side to help with your mission to reach the stars.
Three, two, one… Blast off!