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E-Commerce in 2021: Guide to selling products online

When we talk about Global e-commerce, it includes several categories such as borderless business, cross-border business, international online retail, and some other relevant aspects. Ecommerce is no more a business strategy, it is no more a luxury for buyers sitting at home and not needing to go out of their houses to buy stuff, it is no more an option for businesses to include e-commerce in their strategies. Ecommerce in 2021 and the future to come is a ‘global necessity’. 

For small start-ups and for big enterprises, e-commerce is the present and will be the future in selling products and generating revenue. Online competition grows tougher by the day and if you are someone who is invested in manufacturing unique products that you believe will bring value to people’s lives, you should begin with selling your products online and grow your business. 

There are multiple aspects to selling products online and if you are a beginner, you should know where to begin. 

How to sell products online? 

  1. Choose your products to sell online.
  2. Establish your personal brand.
  3. Create an online store.
  4. Market your online store.
  5. Establish a financial system to accept your payments.
  6. Set up shipping.
  7. Grow your business. 

These are the seven basic steps on how to sell your products online in 2021.

 However, assuming that you are a small business, operating one is a process that requires a lot of dedication, market research, tools, and processes. Agreeing on the fact that you must have a brilliant business idea and an excellent product, there are still a variety of things that play a key role in building your brand and growing your business. For instance, POS. 

What is POS? 

POS or Point of Sale is one of the most significant aspects of running your own business. Keeping your quality product and your dedication towards your business aside, you are definitely going to need a platform to carry out all your tasks, a platform that can handle all your financial transactions, and a platform that can track your shipments and orders. Without an efficiently built system that handles all of these business aspects, there is a fair chance that your business is going to be a wreck. 

This is where a point of sale system comes in. It is a platform where small businesses can handle all of their administrative and financial operations without having to track separate systems to know the status. A POS system enhances a business’s efficiency and productivity by a significant margin as compared to those who don’t operate with the necessary tools. 

Having an effective system for handling inventory for your customers, payments processing and multiple other administrative tasks goes a long way in making sure that your business continues to grow and succeed in the market. 

  • Find products to sell online:

Obviously, this is the key to starting your own brand and business. What is it that you are going to sell online? What are you good at? What do you enjoy making? These are some of the basic questions that you, as a start-up should ask yourself. Let me make this clear, you can sell whatever you like, and there is nothing that can stop you, except the police and the government if it is something illegal. Look for products or create products that solve problems. Notice an active problem in society and focus on a product that can solve that problem. If there is a demand in the market, be the supplier. 

Other than that, find products that you are passionate about. Doesn’t matter if your category of product is being sold by hundreds of other people, if you are passionate about your product, make it your own and give it your own personal touch with a story. The aesthetics and quality of your product will rank it in the market and give you profits.

Think of something that is trending or some product that has a branding potential. You can get through this first step, then focus on setting up your brand to sell your product online. 

As a business, selling your products online means that you have taken your time to do market research. If you don’t know the market or the people that you are selling to, then it is not the right way to go about a business. 

Do thorough market research, understand the mindset of the people that you are selling your products to, and then start looking for e-commerce marketplaces like Amazon and eBay to help you in the next step. 

  • Establish your personal brand:

Your brand encapsulates what you stand for and what you do. Your brand is supposed to be your identity, it reflects certain values and emotions. A personal brand must be unique, trustworthy, and authentic.

Establishing your personal brand is just as important as any other thing in the process of selling your products online or offline. Your personal brand will help you build a robust reputation in the market, both personally and professionally. 

In order to begin establishing your own personal brand, ask yourself questions like:

What drives me in life? 

What work fuels me?

What is it that I excel in?

What industries/careers/products do I find interesting?

What value will my work impart to the community?

Questions like this will give you an honest answer most of the time and then you can begin to carve out your own personal brand that will help you create a successful business. 

  • Create an online store:

Creating an online store is the first step in the process of selling products online. In order to enter into the world of e-commerce, you need to have an online store, to begin with. For instance, if you are already running a successful brick-and-mortar store, and want to expand your business online, the first thing that you need to do is create an online store. 

In 2021, creating an online store for e-commerce has never been easier. You can use an e-commerce website builder like Wix or Shopify that can help you build your own website or online store without too much hassle. 

  1. Start by selecting the perfect e-commerce website builder for your online store that lets you build your very own e-commerce site, without the need for advanced coding knowledge or web design skills. All you need to create an online store is an active internet connection, your business idea, and an e-commerce website builder. 
  2. Buy a domain name for your online store. A good domain name plays an important role in launching a successful online business. A good name will create trust with your customers and establish your brand. For instance, www.apple.com
  3. Pick your e-commerce template. No worries if you don’t know how to code and build a perfect website. E-commerce website builders make that process extremely simple and with just your vision, you can choose the perfect theme or e-commerce template for your website that will make your online store/website look good, clean, and perfect. 

You can use Wix or Shopify as an e-commerce website builder and once you are through the initial steps, choose the right template for your business that matches with your niche and the products that you will be selling. 

Style and aesthetics are everything that people want in 2021. 

1. Customize your e-commerce template: Once you have selected your choice of template from whatever website builder you chose, go ahead and make it your own by customizing the text size and font, color scheme, features, images, positioning of products, embedding social media, and much more. 

You can make any number of changes to the template to make it match your own unique personal brand. This is like decorating your online store and making it more appealing for customers who visit your site. 

2. Add your products: After styling your online store, add your products. The key elements while adding your products require Name, Price, Category, Weight, and File (in case it is a downloadable product). 

Different plans from several e-commerce website builders determine aspects like the number of products that you can upload, size and color for each product, and the number of variants for the same product, among several other things. The more expensive plan you buy, the more customization options you unlock. 

There are three main elements of adding great products to your online store:

Product descriptions- Describe your product in the best way possible. Portray your products in the best light, beautify your words, keep it simple and write the honest truth (probably only the good things). Make sure to use keywords for better Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

3. Product images: You should always use high-quality images, never select blurry or low-quality pictures of your products. Make sure that there is symmetry in image sizing. You can use tools like Photoshop to resize your images to match the same dimensions. 

Other than that, you can always give 360 degree viewing options for customers to check out your product. Add product variations with complete color profiles of your images, add a zoom option and try to fit in every detail possible, so that the customers can trust the authenticity of what they are buying and that the product should look exactly the same as on the website when it gets delivered.  

4. Categories: The key things to consider while adding the Categories option to your product page are Price Range, Filtering Options, and Featured Products. Make sure to make this page clean, so that users don’t confuse themselves with these options. In order to do that, you can always give some extra product information as the customer navigates to a specific section of your store. 

  • Where else can you sell products online?

An online marketplace like Amazon, eBay, Instagram, Facebook, and many more, is where you can sell your products online. 

Facebook, the social media conglomerate is a platform where people spend most of their time when they are online. Facebook marketplace and Instagram are two platforms where you can easily set up your virtual shop, market your products and start to sell them to the world. 

Amazon is the largest online marketplace in the world with its founder being one of the richest people on the planet. Becoming a successful Amazon seller can really help you scale up your business. People love shopping online on Amazon and there is no chance that people can miss out on a good deal with a quality product. 

eBay is also one of the most trusted online marketplaces that offer great deals on products on daily basis. Enroll your small business to eBay and maintain a full inventory of your product, and the platform can also help you to scale up your business significantly. 

  • Set up Financial System/Payment Methods:

Payment methods play a key role when converting a casual browser into a customer. People always take a look at the company’s payment options, just to get a sense of authenticity and trust. E-commerce websites are aware of this fact and thus, make this process easy for you. E-commerce website builders optimize the payment processes so that customers can pay with whatever payment method they want by adding the most effective and popular payment options.

For instance, the key payment options available on all major e-commerce platforms are:

  1. PayPal
  2. Stripe
  3. Apple Pay
  4. Amazon Pay
  5. Square
  6. Other digital wallet payments

Security is a big concern, so secure payment methods are a must. Online Stores and e-commerce platforms provide SSL Certificates which stands for Secure Socket Layer. This technology encrypts all user data, making their browsing, payments, and overall shopping experience seamless and 100% secure. 

  •  Set-up Shipping:

Till now, you have successfully created your personal online store and set up your Payment options, and now the next step is to sort out your Shipping preferences to get those products delivered safely to your customers. 

  1. Set up your Shipping Origin Address.
  2. Research about the Shipping rates in different Shipping Zones.
  3. Understanding and employing various Shipping types including Free Shipping, Flat rate Shipping, Real-Time Quotes, Store or Local Pick-up, or Rate by Order Price. 
  4. Pick a courier to deliver your products safely to your customers. 

The most popular Shipping services available in the United States are USPS, FedEx, and Canada Post. However, most e-commerce website builders have partnerships with Shipping services that offer access to shipping discounts and discounts on real-time shipping rates as well. 

  • Grow your Business:

Your personal brand is a reflection of your tastes and passion in the industry that you are operating in and with time, as you gain experience, your preferences might change and with it, will your personal brand. 

Once your products start selling and you earn that reputation with your customers, then it’s time to grow and improve your business. Re-invest in your business, add in more product categories, dive into a completely new business, generate new revenue streams. Partner up with other brands, collaborate with popular influencers and celebrities who can endorse your business. 

This way, your business will grow into becoming a Successful brand. 

Whatever you do, wherever you start, eCommerce is going to boom for the next several years. Employing the right strategies to sell your products, using efficient tools like the Point-Of-Sale system to enhance the productivity of your business, choosing the right target market to sell your product, and most importantly, finding the right product will help you scale your business. Remember- with consistency, there is nothing that can stop your business from growing. 

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