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The 10 Essentials For Selling Goods Online

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

/ by Nurdin Budi Mustofa
Selling goods online is one of the most popular ways for entrepreneurs to start their business. You might have aspirations to become as big as Amazon. Or maybe you’re just looking to earn a few bucks from the comfort of your home office? No matter how big or small you want to be, everyone has to start at the very beginning. Here are the 10 essentials you need for selling goods online:

1. Stock Supplies

Start by determining what it is you intend to sell. If you don’t really mind, then look to market reports to get some ideas about which product sectors are performing well right now. Don’t forget to do some market research into how many retailers are operating in this sector though. You need to know how much competition is out there.

Now you know what you want to sell, it’s time to find suppliers that will provide the stock in the quantities you forecast will sell. You might start with some product samples so you can get a feel for the quality and appeal of each item. This helps with marketing later on. Choose a company that offers the flexible terms you need to get set up and started. You don’t want too much of your enterprise fund to be tied up in stock.

The 10 Essentials For Selling Goods Online

2. Stock Storage

Your next challenge is to store all the stock you order. Chances are you’re working with many different lines at once to give you the best chance at tapping into the market. The trouble is, startups rarely have the capital to invest in a storage option that can act as a warehouse for your stock. This is where drop shippers can help. If you use a drop shipper, you don’t need to personally handle the stock. It is ordered from, and delivered to, the drop shipper. They then handle the logistics to get it to your customers as required.

This hands-off approach suits many startups. It means you can enjoy your home office and not worry about finding premises. You don’t need to worry about any of the logistical side of things either. However, this system will eat into your profits. Effectively you are given a finders-fee for delivering customers to the drop shipper’s business.

3. Stock Tracking

If you use a drop shipper, then their white label solution for your website should keep stock details up to date. They should also offer a good tracking system, so you know when orders are processed, posted, and delivered. Are you managing your own stock in-house? You might need to set up a high-tech system that keeps your website up to date, so customers know when products are in stock.

Something as simple as a scanner might be tied into an app that can keep records and updates for your system. You might need to commission a bespoke app, or you might be able to order a turnkey solution. You’ll need to tie this to your customer service emails too.

4. A Website That Stands Out

Of course, a website that offers the customer everything they need is also essential when you’re selling goods online. Choose a template or bespoke order a site that works the way you want it to. The most important things to consider are the domain name and the ease of ordering for the customer. You might also choose to include a blog to help funnel sale into the site.

5. Secure Ordering Systems

The security of your website is essential. You should order SSL certificates and decide which secure payment service you wish to integrate with. There is usually a fee for each of these so consider your pricing strategy carefully to ensure you can still turn a profit.

6. Logistics That Customers Love

People love next day delivery, but that isn’t always practical when the customer is far away from the business. They also love the personal touch. A delivery expert with a great attitude toward customer service can certainly brighten anyone’s day. A local freight company can pick up your orders and then manage the logistics to get each item to the customer. This works across the country. You might be charged per item, or be able to set up a contract for an average cost or tariff per day.

7. Great Customer Service

Customer service goes far beyond the delivery. You need to answer inquiries, handle complaints and returns, and engage with customers current and new. You might have operatives online handling social media, and you might have a call center. Automated emails play a part in the customer service strategy too, so make sure your marketing team is on it.

The 10 Essentials For Selling Goods Online

8. A Fair Returns Policy

You must publish and implement a fair returns policy. Ensure it complies with your local and international trading agreements and regulations. You can usually find examples of these at your favorite stores.

9. A Marketing Plan That Works Better Than Your Competitors

Ultimately, your business needs an impressive marketing strategy. Introduce your brand, build it up, and take over your competitors’ market share. There is a lot to do, and a long way to go when you’re just starting. Digital media is just one part of your marketing strategy. Plan for campaigns offline too. You might use inserts in your packages, or send out catalogs.

10. Expertise And Knowledge Of Your Products And Sector

Don’t forget that knowledge is power! Make sure your website is full of useful information like specifications and full product details. A customer is less likely to go elsewhere for more. Build your website so you can become a voice of authority about that product or even the whole sector! Use your blog as well as your product pages. Show the products in action and suggest as many applications for each item as possible.

When you’re setting up an eStore, there are many things to consider. These are just ten of the essentials that you need. What’s the most important element of your online sales site?

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