There are lots of ways to sell online. You can run your own website and payment gateway, or choose a managed solution. Install WordPress and WooCommerce, or pay for all-inclusive hosting which handles the technical parts of running an online store.
You can even completely skip this route and go for software as a service model platform like Shopify. Some prefer the simplicity of auctions and classified ad listings. Here we'll be showing you all of the ways that you can start an online store. Select the method which suits your style, products, demographic and budget.
Decide on Your Model
The two basic ways to start selling online involves either having your own website or simply selling via a third-party portal or service. Ultimately, everyone will end up needing a website and brand name of their own. Decide on what your business will be called and get your software to manage your email campaigns and marketing.
Free tools can be used but you’ll find far better value from a platform like Systeme.io. Incorporating a drag-and-drop page builder, email autoresponders, and more, it's an investment which will serve you at every step of the way.
Register a Domain Name
Open up your favorite registrar and start brainstorming for available domain names. Be sure to look for any specials which may be running and consider purchasing multiple similar domain names bundled together.
They come in very handy for marketing funnel creation and you won't get them cheaper later. If you're going to the be entering a competitive market or simply prefer your details hidden, the buy a domain with WHOIS protection. The longer you pay in advance the greater the savings so consider long-term registration.
New customers can normally get away with the price of a month's hosting for the domain name registration and basic annual hosting package. Domain name registration is normally discounted with coupon codes so do your due diligence and Google a promotion before buying.
Find a Host
If you are going to be working without a site, or even a basic landing page, then skip over this section and start populating your third-party online store. Cheap, unknown or little-known web hosts are not worth all the trouble and downtime they typically come with. You want 24/7 customer support and service that you can trust. Stick to a host which is established and reputable.
You don't necessarily need a managed package but if you're starting from scratch and won't be using a SaaS solution then consider hosting which offers total site management. Managed WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla hosting is far easier and better suited to those with a focus on marketing and not design.
All technical management and troubleshooting is taken over. Make sure that your host is scalable with no downtime. When the day comes that a product or post goes viral or you start ranking well, you want to have an instant, seamless transition to a VPS or other form of dedicated server.
Select Your Products
Before shaping the rest of your store or site, first determine the products you'll be selling. Correlate your products according to as many factors as you see to be important. Comparative metrics let you sort and group your products according to your marketing strategy, and the correct relative categorization for customers. In addition, set out lists grouping related products also. Establish core categories, related products, and potential other upsell.
Create Your Listings
Don't "keyword stuff" your tags and titles. Try to make each ad as striking as possible but be direct and stay away from flowery, ambiguous language and information in the wrong places. Never convolute the sales process with unnecessary data and too many cluttered pages or sections., You want each listing to carry over to a sale as easy as possible with one-page focus only – selling the product.
Create a Landing Page
Landing page design is very important. In the early stages of selling online, you may get away with a single landing page or perhaps none at all. For example, classifieds and auctions don't normally have a lander in between. While this may be true, if they did have a lander the ad would definitely do better. A landing page should be created for your site, product categories, product promotions, and single products themselves.
Marketing guru Neil Patel has a great guide to landing pages to get you up to speed with working design trends. Consider where you'll be sharing the link you to the lander and create a page which will appeal to the audience at hand. Split testing landing pages is near essential so be sure to keep optimizing your designs.
All on-page SEO needs to be done properly to guarantee the best chances of gaining steady organic traffic. SEO is also essential to be discovered on online marketplaces. Meta descriptions, tags, titles, internal and external links, the structure of your site, product placement, captions, and semantically correct content is all critical to success. You can't just have an array of products on offer. You need curated content, related products, and information that appeals to prospective and existing customers.
Even hosted eCommerce and SaaS providers leave provision for you to blog and optimize your SEO. Use every facility at your disposal to enrich your site with good SEO-friendly content carrying complete originality. There is nothing wrong with content curation but please come up with fresh, relevant ideas for the best chance of getting noticed in the right way.
Market, Market, Market
The success of your online store all depends on how much exposure you can raise. Market on social networks, blogging communities, and image boards but don't arrive and pitch your product. Sales speak will get your ignored and disliked faster than you can imagine so post things of actual value. Make sure its related to your brand and its products but don't post articles selling things.
The better your content the faster and more frequently customers will come looking for your goods and services based on the excellent impression of the value received. As your content grows so will the number of sales funnels you manage. Get yourself the support of an all-inclusive marketing platform like Systeme.io from the start to make sure that everything is streamlined, optimized, and running at peak profitability.