There are a number of strategies you can use to start selling online. To be successful you need to really understand what you plan to sell online and what your goals are out of the adventure. To sell online, you need to look at your budget and understand how much money are you planning to invest into your business or do you want a lower cost entry point to start making money selling online. Ecommerce allows anyone to make money online in a wide variety of ways but to be successful you need to know where to get started.
Let’s start with your own website. If you are brand new to selling online and making money with ecommerce, starting your own website to do this, is the hardest and longest path to success possible. Here is why… First, you need to setup your shopping cart platform to launch your website. Once launched you need to be found. How do potential customers find you? Well, this is a tricky question…
Customers can find you by searching on google for a product that you may be selling in what is called Organic traffic. To get organic traffic you need really invest time and effort into content creation for your website to get ranked for your products. In addition, you need to add backlinks, work on the technical setup of your website, write on a normal basis to keep your site active and eventually you will get ranked on search engines and found. The reality is that building your own website to start can take you 6 months to be found by your first customer as it can take a while to rank up as a website.
Alternatively, you can spend money on what is called paid per click advertising to drive traffic to your site by placing paid ads on search engines and social media platforms. Again you need to invest a good amount of capital to drive that traffic and hope that the purchase the customer does once they land on your site offsets the cost of the paid click to really make money online with your new ecommerce website.
Going the shopping cart route typically only works for someone who is planning to establish a real brand and has some path to become an influencer in the niche they plan to sell products in. Also, a shopping cart requires patience and a longer runway for initial capital investment as it can take longer to make money online with your ecommerce website going this route.
I do not want to make the shopping cart path sound doom and gloom as you stand to make more money long term with your website than in other avenues hopefully for someone picking a path to get started with ecommerce, this path can be a little harder and require more capital and effort.
The alternative path that I recommend for just getting started online with ecommerce is to look to marketplaces. There are a number of popular marketplaces like Amazon or eBay where those sites already have good traffic, good returning customers and all you need to do is list an item at a competitive price to make a sale. In these sites, the problem with traffic is resolved for you however you have competition that you need to solve for. This is done by improving your seller rating on those sites, being at a competitive price and ensuring your listing has quality images and descriptions to ensure you rank up within the marketplace platforms as people search for products.
The main draw back on a marketplace is that you do pay marketplace fees to list items, you pay payment transaction fees and need to work within the marketplace customer return and refund policies. However marketplace selling can give a new ecommerce seller early wins in trying to get their business off of the ground. They can ensure the products they sell, have a customer base to sell to and focus on selling more at a lower profit margin instead of working driving traffic to a website for a future potential sale.