Not long ago, the majority of shoppers preferred to comparison shop online and then make their actual purchases in person.
In recent years, though, completing a purchase online has become an expected option for many types of goods and services.
So, how do you enable that for your business?
First of all, you need to define your plan. The big 5 questions to answer (there are many more, but these are the big ones) are:
- Who are your customers?
- How will you deliver your products?
- How will you collect payment?
- How will you handle shipping costs?
- How will you calculate taxes?
- How will you advertise your products?
The answers to those questions will help determine your best option for selling online.
Let’s look at a few options
This is far from a complete list, but rather an idea of different business models to help you think through your options.
It’s a process to set up, and they’ll keep some of your profits, but being part of this gargantuan marketplace has advantages. Mainly, they can put your products in front of a massive audience. This is the online equivalent of a big box store. They have many options, including warehousing and shipping your products for you, so all you have to do is ship to them.
If you sell customized or handmade items, a store in this marketplace is easy to set up, easy to use, and they handle the backend stuff for you. You just have to handle the actual shipping. Etsy is the current go-to marketplace for these types of items.
Many industries offer marketplaces where you can set up a store for a specific category of products.
There are numerous ways to enable e-commerce on your site – too many to list here. The advantage to all of them, though, is that you have complete control over everything. Generally, for a small number of items, digital products with instant delivery, or a relatively low volume of sales, this might be your best option.
What to do next
Sit down and do some real thinking about your business, your products, and how you want your business to grow.
Do some research on different ways you can use e-commerce to help you achieve your goals.
Consult with someone you trust to help you sort through the business options.
Then send us a note… we’ll be happy to help.