A beginner's guide to selling online
Looking to sell some items online but don't know where to start? Our handy guide will give you some tips to where, and how, you can start.
It’s easy to find products to sell online – these days, you can buy just about anything online. What can be tricky, though, is knowing how to sell online. When it comes down to it, there are two main ways to start selling online: on a marketplace, or on your very own website. But which marketplace do you choose, and how do you even get a website?
Selling through an established site
Sometimes, you don’t want the hassle of setting up a full-on eCommerce business or creating an account with a specialist marketplace. For once-off sales, it can be best to go with an established site with its own online sales platform.
Selling on social media is nothing new – businesses can use Facebook or Instagram Shop to promote their products, and Facebook Marketplace is a great resource for second-hand goods. Although you can use this platform as an add-on to your Facebook business page, the site’s Marketplace feature is an online garage sale at heart.
Reasons to use Facebook Marketplace
1. You get to interact with buyers which means customer service is in your hands.
2. Filters enable you to keep your customer base local and save on shipping costs.
3. It has partnered with online selling platforms like Shopify to help full-time merchants.
Once a bookseller, Amazon is now one of the biggest online selling platforms in the world. Hosting local marketplaces in dozens of countries, it’s a giant online business. Amazon is hugely popular in the US, where it has around 95 million active users, as well as the UK and Germany – have you got products to sell to a global audience?
If you’re itching to sell products online, Amazon is a great place to start. With a vast customer base browsing the eCommerce site at all times, you can sell pretty much anything. As one of the world’s major online marketplaces, Amazon has a thorough way of onboarding new sellers. Here’s why you might like it:
Reasons to use Amazon
1. You can use Fulfillment by Amazon to hand over logistics to the platform.
2. It’s possible to track your online sales performance using the Amazon Seller app.
3. Sellers are verified so that online shoppers feel safe to spend.
Like Amazon, eBay has been around for a long time, and it has serious staying power: around 183 million people used this online marketplace last year. A global phenomenon with buyers and sellers making eBay their full-time or part-time hobby, it’s most popular in the UK, the US, and China.
Known as an auction site where second-hand goods find new homes, eBay is just as good for selling products that are brand new, too. With nearly 3 decades of experience in eCommerce selling, eBay has a lot to offer people who’d love to get into online selling. Here are the key advantages:
Reasons to use eBay
1. There is a huge, ready-made customer base at your fingertips on this platform.
2. You can sell products at fixed prices or switch on the auction format.
3. Seller protection is paramount, and you’re given inventory management tools.
Build your own website
If you are looking to set up your own online store, then you may want to start by building your own site. Here are two options that offer simple and easy to build website options suitable for any business need.
Another super simple option for eCommerce beginners, Wix can help you to get online and sell online with ease, thanks to its user-friendly interface. This website builder even provides an artificial design intelligence (ADI) tool which can generate a site layout for you – perfect if customizing online platforms sends you to sleep.
Reasons to use Wix
Although it can do all the hard work for you when it comes to design, Wix also has a full-fledged editor and plenty of other features:
1. There’s a lot of flexibility and you can customize your chosen template as much as you want, giving you a truly unique online store.
2. Wix offers a comprehensive knowledge base that allows users to learn as they go and optimize for online sales.
3. You can upload unlimited products and, unlike Shopify, there are no added fees on transactions to worry about.
Coming in with a slightly more complicated interface Squarespace is still one of the most accessible and feature-rich website builders out there.
Geared towards helping users sell online with ease, the learning curve that comes with setting up an online business with Squarespace has a clear payoff.
Reasons to use Squarespace
As one of the biggest names in website building platforms, Squarespace is guaranteed to have tons of advantages for eCommerce sites. Here are some of them:
1. Plenty of integrations are available to help you build an engaging layout – beyond social media channels, you can add things like SoundCloud and Flickr.
2. Business-building tools are widely available on the platform, including online courses, a forum, and Squarespace’s own Enterprise solution.
3. You can edit your site and access tools on a dedicated mobile app – Squarespace offers five apps in total, meaning you can work on the go.
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