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Iceni Magazine | February 22, 2019

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Small businesses like yours can conquer the world through the power of e-commerce: Here’s how!

Small businesses like yours can conquer the world through the power of e-commerce: Here's how!

Why sell online? A fairly obvious question here, with a simple answer, to bring customers to you leaving you free of the expensive, time-consuming task of running a physical store.

But is it really that simple? Like anything in life the short answer is no, but with some helpful advice and tips it the stress can be minimized. This guide will walk you through the various options of how to sell online and the advantages and drawbacks of each method.

Start Your Own Online E-Commerce Shop 

This is the most obvious choice and traditionally used method of selling your wares online. But is it the best for you and, if so, what’s the best way of setting one up? Firstly, do you have a customer base or are you trying to attract customers from scratch? If you have an established business with customers who would love to have the convenience of ordering your products or services online from their own home then an e-commerce store would be perfect. If you are starting from scratch then an online store is still not a bad idea, however you would need to be able to drive traffic to the new site, so be sure you get a reputable company to optimize your site for search engines such as SEO by Unity Online as this way you will get seen in search engines such as Google.

Use A Pre-Established Platform Such As eBay or Amazon Marketplace 

There are many pros and cons to using these internationally recognised selling platforms. Pros include getting your products to a huge amount of people, expanding your reach digitally and geographically, you can find buyers from all over the world. You also give people the peace of mind of buying from a brand-known website or app as they can shop in confidence their payments are safe. Cons include these sites will charge you a fee for every single transaction meaning you need to be very careful to check that these fees are workable in your profit margins, it could be useful to check these fees on both Amazon and eBay. Another drawback is that for certain items and industries the competition can be intense and if something that was your niche becomes popular you could very quickly find your sales plummeting.

Sell On a Specialist Selling Platform

If your business sells items very specific to one area then there are often sites which sell only one type of product but from many different independent sellers. Often these are for artistic or creative professionals such as musicians selling downloads or CDs through an online promoter or artists, it’s possible for artists to sell their work printed as posters from seller sites, which take care of the printing, order taking and delivery of the product. This type of set-up is great for the small independent creative person as they have very little to do other than make their art.

Use Offline Methods To Drive Online Traffic

If you have a thriving business already then get your current customers to go to your online store by adding an email list, online-only offers or simply including your web address on receipts and other printed materials. Check out some other businesses that already are having success online.

Most businesses use a variety of the above methods but have a good think about the options outlined here and you’ll find which methods work best for your business.


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