If you’re used to the in-person retail environment, the prospect of setting up a store online may be a little daunting. There’s plenty of profit-making potential on the world wide web though, so you should certainly explore this option!
About online shopping
When selling to an audience online, the priorities are slightly different because of the very different circumstances. Usually, a customer can see a product in person and evaluate whether it will serve their needs or not. Online, they’re dependant on product descriptions, photographs, and reviews.
That’s why it’s important to get these factors right! Your product description should be accurate; it should contain all relevant information, and it should clearly explain the benefits that it would bring to a buyer. Customers are more convinced when they can easily understand the ways that a product will enhance their life.
Photographs should be of a professional standard. A blurry cellphone photo isn’t enough for most people to consider parting with their hard cash. Good lighting is essential, and you should be able to observe the main features of the product by scrolling through the photos.
Customer reviews are crucial. Just one bad review could deter a customer from taking the risk and making a purchase at your store. Ideally, your first few sales will generate positive reviews. This reassures prospective buyers that your store can be trusted.
Remember, in the world of eCommerce, your products can be compared directly against your competitors. You can gain an advantage over them by offering convenient shipping options or attractively low prices.
The world’s biggest online platforms
Where do you shop online? Some companies sell products through their own dedicated sites. Others choose to sell through established platforms. Here are some of the world’s biggest online retail platforms
It doesn’t get any bigger than Amazon! Amazon sells its products through its platform, but it also allows third-party sellers to make sales this way. It’s estimated that Amazon ships around 1.6 million packages a day. Amazon has an express delivery subscription service called Prime, and there are around 200 million Amazon Prime members around the world.
eBay was a pioneer in the world of online shopping, and it has continued to enjoy success since its launch in 1995. Its model allows private sellers to auction off items or sell them at a fixed price. The most items listed on the site at one time was 800 million.
This may not be as internationally recognized as the other names mentioned, but Aliexpress deserves some attention! It was founded in China in 2010, and it’s owned by Alibaba: a multinational company. Aliexpress is known for selling cheap products which can be sent all over the world. However, parcels may take longer to arrive, depending on where you live!
Advantages and disadvantages of your own online store
Since you have to pay a fee to use a platform like Amazon, you might consider opening your own online store instead. There are advantages and disadvantages to this decision that you should evaluate first.
One advantage is that you’re not subject to the rules of Amazon. You can describe and portray your items however you want within the confines of the law. Amazon has strict standards when it comes to product listings, and you can avoid them by opening an independent store instead.
Another advantage is that you don’t have to pay Amazon fees. However, designing and developing a website requires investment. This isn’t just a financial investment; it also takes up a lot of time! Often, sellers prefer to take advantage of Amazon’s pre-existing infrastructure so they don’t need to start from scratch.
When you sell through Amazon, you enjoy a greater level of customer trust. Amazon is a brand that’s recognized internationally. Customer service and payment protection are available through the platform. For a nervous online shopper, this can be very reassuring.
The final advantage is that Amazon offers international reach. Incredible numbers of people access the site every day and search for products. If they’re looking for what you’re selling, then the platform is an excellent way to reach them. They may otherwise struggle to find your business’ website.
All about Amazon
Think you know Amazon? Here are some incredible facts you may not have heard before about the eCommerce giant.
Last year, Amazon reached 1,298,000 employees. It is expected to make over $26 billion from advertising alone in the year 2021. In the first three months of 2021, Amazon generated $8.1 billion in net sales.
In May 2021, its net worth was over $1.636.53 billion, and Jeff Bezos, the CEO, has a net worth of $188.9 billion. He is predicted to become the world’s first trillionaire.
If you do decide to sell on Amazon, you’ll join approximately 1.6 million others who are currently active on the platform.