Thinking of selling products online but not sure where to start? Here’s a step-by-step guide on what you need to do to get your project up and running successfully.
- Get a domain, find a web host and create a website
The most basic requirement for selling products online is to have your own website. However, to do this, you’ll need to purchase a domain (e.g., yourstore.co.uk) and find a web host, like Webhosting UK, which will host your website online for you.At Webhosting UK, registering a domain and building a website is easy. Our hosting plans let you install user-friendly website builder tools, like WordPress, with a single click, so you can start creating your site straight away and without the need for coding.
- Decide which products you want to sell
While many businesses open up online stores to sell their own products, others are looking to buy and resell stock from other sources. If you belong to the latter group, then it is important to find the right products for your business. Not only will you need to source products that are right for your brand; you will need to research the market to see which items are in demand. Of course, you’ll also need to look at the profitability of selling those products to ensure you achieve a reasonable margin.
- Identify your target market
Once you’ve decided what you are going to sell, you’ll need to have a good understanding of the people who will want those products as they will be your target market. By knowing your audience, you’ll be able to find the most effective ways to market your products to them. Finding the right market niche is essential for success in online retail. Again, market research is important to establish the facts.
- Find the right suppliers
Whether you are buying manufactured goods to resell or the materials needed to make your own products, you’ll need to find the right suppliers. While cost is an obvious factor in which suppliers you choose, you also need to consider many other aspects, such as their reliability and speed of delivery. As a safety cushion, make sure you have a backup supplier that you can call on if your main dealer is out of stock or can’t get deliveries to you on time.
- Design your website to appeal to your audience
Once you know the products you are going to sell and the audience you are targeting, you’ll have a clearer idea of how to design the website so that it appeals to your customers. In today’s market, this means more than giving the website the right look. You also have to provide the right customer experience. The website needs to load quickly, be easy to navigate and have the right content. It should also make it quick and easy to check out, offer a range of payment options and, if possible, provide personalised shopping experiences.When all this is in place, you can then create different product categories and begin adding your products to the store.
- Set up your shipping
Delivery is a key part of selling online and for the customer, it can be a deal breaker. Shoppers generally want quick, flexible and trackable delivery options, including next-day delivery. They also want delivery to be inexpensive and, if possible, free.There are numerous options you can choose from today. Some businesses will take care of your entire fulfillment process, holding stock for you and shipping it once they get the order confirmation. Alternatively, you can simply post the products yourself or make use of one of the many delivery businesses on the market. What’s most important is that you choose the right solution for your customers and your budget.
- Start marketing your products
With all the steps above in place, you are then in a position to start marketing your products. There are many ways to do this, including online advertising, posting on social media, affiliate programmes, email marketing and traditional print marketing.
You should also optimise your website for search engines (SEO) so that it ranks highly in search results. This can help your website get noticed by those people who search for your products on Google, Bing and other search engines, increasing the number of people who visit your site and boosting sales. If you are new to SEO, you should consider using an all-in-one SEO tool, like marketgoo, that can simplify and speed up the process for you.
Selling online can be a highly profitable venture, however, to be successful, you need to approach it in the right way. In this post, we have covered the main steps you will need to take to get up and running and while there is a lot of work involved, it’s a methodology that has proved successful for many startups.
Webhosting UK provides a wide range of hosting and domain solutions for startup online sellers and provides 24/7 technical support for its customers. For more information, visit our homepage.