More and more businesses these days are choosing to operate solely online in favor of having a physical premises. The high street is declining and online shopping is taking over. So, whether you are considering a switch from shopfront to online, or you are starting a new business, there are a few things to consider when starting an online business.
Is online right for you?
You might think that whatever business you are starting, online is best. It is true that online businesses are starting to take over, but selling on the web is not the best option for everybody. If you are selling products that customers tend to want to see first, then ecommerce might not work for you.
If customers are unsure of a product they will not buy it online. If this applies to you, then you may want to explore the idea of a physical shop.
Choose your niche
It might seem like a silly question, but when you are starting a new online business you need to ask yourself, why would somebody choose me over the competition. The online marketplace has made starting a business much more accessible.
As a result of this, the amount of competition out there has increased tenfold. You need to be confident that your product is offering something that nobody else can.
Where to sell your products
If you have decided that the online marketplace is right for you, and you have a unique product to sell, the next step is to decide how you are going to do it.
There are ready made marketplaces that you can use, Amazon and Ebay being the primary ones. While you can make money selling on these platforms, if you are serious about starting a business, it is best to use your own website.
Set up your own domain name and invest in ecommerce software like magneto, it will make you look much more professional and in turn, you will get more traffic on your website and increase sales.
You’ve got your product, you’ve decided to sell it online, and you’ve decided how you are going to do it. The next step is to decide how much to sell it for. If you have been operating offline previously, you may have some idea of pricing, however online prices will usually be cheaper.
The best thing to do is to compare the prices of your competitors and then decide whether to raise, match, or undercut them. You should only raise their prices if you are confident you have something unique. You can use price matching websites to get a wide range of prices from competitors.
If you get all of this right, you’ll get some sales. The last step is to decide how you are going to collect on your profits. This one is a bit more straightforward.
There are other options out there, but Paypal has such strong brand recognition, that customers are sceptical about any other form of online payment service, so it’s best that you use this.