Key Ingredients to Successful Online Selling
Technological advancements have given our society many benefits and advantages. Numerous opportunities have opened up for consumers and business providers. Consumers now have a variety of products and services within easy reach and businesses are now able to connect with customers easily and quickly through various online means – website, social networks, etc.
With online selling, businesses are no longer restricted locality limitations. Online sales have been on a steady rise for the past couple of years; and this is a worldwide trend. More and more people are now opting out of real brick-and-mortar store visits by choosing to do their shopping from the comfort of their own home.
By the end of 2013, the UK reported an all-time record of over £10 billion, based on IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, according to “The Guardian”. North America and Asia-Pacific are also experiencing this upward trend.
With these thoughts in mind, starting an online business is a very wise move. In considering how to sell online, note the following key ingredients to successful online selling.
Product and Service Offerings
Maximize earnings by offering multiple products and services. Customers often visit sites that are able to offer options on sizing, color, and quantity purchases. List multiple related products on sale and broaden the scope of your services as much as your resources can supply. Customers want the power to choose so give them that power as much as possible.
Consider your targeted buyers. Unless your business is strictly a specialty store, go for products and services that more people actually need. Research on prevailing market rates; keep prices competitive without causing profit loss. Stay competitive by matching deals and promotions offered by other companies. Offer discounts for bulk orders because this can allow faster movement of your inventory.
Product or Service Costs
Offer products or services that give higher profit yields, lose the lower ones, unless demand is steady. Initially, you may opt for longer-lasting products since quick-perishing products lower profits. Confine initial services offered to those that are short-term as long-term projects may incur higher labor costs.
Storage and Shipment
Earn customer loyalty and referral by planning your logistics well. People speak highly of companies that deliver satisfactory products within a good time frame, and that same idea also applies for service oriented companies. Think of ways to cut down delivery or completion time without sacrificing quality and excellence.
Storage and shipment can take a big bite out of your finances. With low demand products, you may be able to handle the storage and shipment yourself. High demand items (and large, bulky ones) may need outside handling. Explore low-cost sourcing and shipping options and check insurance features and costs.
As for digital products, they need good storage and download features. Speeds must be optimum, or else, you’ll be receiving a lot of customer complaints about download problems. Once a customer has a bad experience with downloading a product, they may not return for another purchase or download.
Print advertisements have been the norm for many years and you can continue marketing your business that way. But, online marketing should be increased because your customers will be online when looking for your product or service.
Establish presence through various social networking sites. Arrange for targeted ads to drive traffic to your website and have a website design that appeals to visitors. The site must be uncluttered and easy to view, while navigation must be easy. The site must also be equipped to handle heavy numbers of online visitors, especially during peak times such as holidays.
Of course, the best marketer would be a satisfied customer. Put high efforts into customer service features. Make sure product and service inquiries are promptly answered and resolved. Maintain sufficient customer service staff availability as often as possible because being online is a 24/7 business.
While it may be tempting to sell your product and services in as many places as you can, you must be careful in doing so. One paid e-commerce website is enough as long as you use a good company to set your online business up. Choose a provider with good reputation and which offers the best package at the best price.
Designs must be creative but highly useful. Online companies fail to make a sale if visitors are unable to navigate the site with ease and simplicity. Choose a provider that can effectively organize your products according to description, category, quantity, and other details.
Various payment methods must be accepted as well and order tracking must be efficient. For example, while PayPal is probably one of the most popular and easiest methods of accepting payments, many visitors may not like using PayPal and may prefer another option – such as a direct credit card payment.
The security feature of protecting customer data is crucial. Customers must be assured that pertinent account and payment details are secure. Security breaches will surely damage your reputation, as emphasized by “The Houston Chronicle.” While a large corporation’s reputation can survive a data breach, a small business can go out of business because a data breach.
In addition to having an e-commerce website, you may select established and known venues for listing and selling your products and services.
- eBay is known and used worldwide. Establishing a good reputation on the site is key. Handle every sale well and you’ll be getting good feedback from buyers.
- Etsy is one good place to sell online, according to Randi Zuckerberg of DotComplicated. It was launched in 2005, catering to specialty items. It is a known marketplace where artists and art lovers transact, where handmade and collectible products are sold. It’s different from other common selling sites in that it also empowers visitors through helpful and relevant articles and discussions made available on the site.
- Bonanza is gaining more and more visitors. It’s coming to be a much better venue than eBay, according to ECommerce-Guide.com. All listings are free and very simple to undertake with sale fees being low. Items listed are also given exposure on both Bing and Google. Checkout options are more varied and stores are featured with built-in real-time chat Both inquiries and transactions are handled quicker than on eBay.