In recent years, we have been talking more and more about online sales. You will have heard a lot about this already. For example, you should know that the area is highly competitive, because it is open and accessible to everyone. But also that there are many "success stories" from entrepreneurs. This process allows you to extend the visibility of your products beyond your city, your country or even your continent, all from the comfort of your own home. Opening doors internationally in this way has allowed many businesses to grow quickly.
But to get started, you first have to sell a product. And you have to know which one. It is the first essential step in any business venture.
It can be a physical item but it can also be an intellectual or cultural creation, or a service.
Once you have found your product, it is necessary to establish the profile of customers likely to be interested in it.
Understand what their needs and expectations are. This will allow you to adapt your communication with your customers.
Finally, you need to decide where to sell your products online.
There are generally two answers to this question: on your own website or on an existing e-commerce site. Both options have their advantages and their disadvantages, and they can even be combined.
Having your own website allows you to have complete autonomy and freedom to make decisions on your sales space. However, you have to develop it yourself or have it developed. Then, you have to attract traffic. That is where search engine optimisation and social media marketing comes into play. This is often expensive and time-consuming work. Finally, if you sell physical products, you need to set up a payment system and manage all of the delivery logistics.
Selling on an existing business site offers numerous advantages.
For starters, you can take advantage of existing traffic. Therefore, you don't need to worry about SEO work.
Also, the payment system and the organisation of product deliveries and returns are generally taken care of.
Finally, to make yourself stand out, these sites often provide access to internal advertising tools that are easy to use. This is the case with Amazon, for example.
These advantages can save you a lot of time and effort when starting your business.
However, a bit of preparation is needed before getting started. You must fully understand and learn how the site where you want to sell your products works.
Each site has its own requirements, costs and deadlines. Ignoring them means you run the risk of your store being blocked because of rules that you might have overlooked. Once well informed, selling products online on a reputable site can be an excellent option for growing your business. For example, Amazon has enabled many brands to grow quickly.
This is the case with NutraVita
, a dietary supplement distributor that launched entirely on Amazon. They brought in a designated Amazon consultant, who helped them with their decision-making. Every year since 2014, Nutravita has expanded its product portfolio by 50%.
This is also the case with Arcade Retail
, which launched on Amazon in 2016 to sell sports products, jewellery, household appliances and cosmetics. The Fulfilment by Amazon programme, which takes care of delivering and storing their products, has been a big part of the brand's success.