Tired of your hectic hours at work, you decide to venture out of the mundane life. There are a plethora of options in front of you. You can be a consultant, freelancer writer, or just laze around till you find a new job. But, there is something else that’s been ticking at the back of your head- to start a business on your own. Since e-commerce is the new buzzword, you decide to give it a shot. However, before following the path to ‘online’ selling, have you weighed its pros and cons?
It isn’t business as usual like you may have thought. Any business requires a consistent amount of time, hard-work and patience. And, to learn ‘how to sell online successfully’ is an arduous task. With a little knowledge and proper planning, you can ensure that you learn the art of selling online well enough to impart others the learnings.
Before we tell you the pros and cons of selling online, let us show you how and why technology can help in selling your business online.
Reach out to millions throughout the day
While an offline store will have to have a closing time, an online platform helps you reach out to your customers any time of the day. So, technically, your store is open 24*7. This helps in building your presence online by selling your products to the consumers right away.
That there are sites such as Flipkart, Amazon, Ebay, Snapdeal, Paytm etc where you can sell your products; it makes more sense to have your own ecommerce site to stand apart from the crowd.
Building your own ecommerce platform
As said earlier, having your website helps you stand clear of the crowd. Most e-commerce platforms will have several sellers like you, and to ensure your product is visible to your customers daily on those sites can be cumbersome.
Your own website can help you dissociate from the competitors in a well-balanced way. You will have your brand that will speak volumes about your products. Your website will be designed as per your requirements and all you will need to do is, to sell your products.
Here are the five things you should keep in mind before you plan to sell online:
1. What do you want to sell online?
There are millions of online sellers. If you try to sell the same t-shirts, pants, or any other product that is being sold by the same million sellers, you are likely to drop dead. Thus, it becomes essential for you to do a thorough product search and pick the most niche and unique product, whose potential might not have been tapped well.
2. Who do you want to sell your products to?
Based on the product you decide to sell, you will have to choose a business model that would augur well with the line of product. Whether it will be a B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to consumer) selling, it needs to be decided factoring all the possibilities and constraints that may arise in the business. You can even try going the unconventional route and sell to lesser known mediums directly such as the government.
3. Where do you want to sell?
This is one choice that needs proper evaluation. You have three mediums to choose from- host your own website, sell on an e-commerce site such as amazon, flipkart or seize from online models and run your brick and mortar store. As mentioned in the post earlier, having your own website not only builds your brand presence but also reaches out to maximum people on all times of the day.
4. How do you trump the competitors?
That there are high chances of sellers offering a better price than you on a product, there are ways in which you can decide on the key factors basis which you would want to differentiate from those sellers. While it could be pricing on one end, the quality of your products, the range of selections that you have, some additional value to your products in the form of quirky product descriptions, and, having an efficient and dedicated customer service experience can put your business in a win-win situation.
5. How do you source products?
Having decided on all the parameters of your online product, the final nail in the coffin lies in sourcing of your products. Whether you want to make your own product – that will require manpower, raw materials, additional production costs – or you want to buy from other producers and sell on your platform or you want to merely be a platform wherein you connect the seller to the consumer, depends on you. Weighing the logistics and production expenditure, you can decide on any one model and sell the products accordingly.
The five questions and the benefits of technology should be more than enough to make you plan your business model accordingly. For an effective, and consumer specific business model, you will have to invest time and energy. That all the business models require brainstorming, there isn’t an iota of doubt that once successful, you can enhance your business model in line with your results and thus, build a brand around your own business.