How to sell Online
The complete guide
Start selling your products online in just 7 easy steps
We have put over 20 years of e-commerce experience into this simple guide just for entrepreneurs like you. We’ve condensed the entire process of starting your business and creating your online store into seven steps, plus guides and complementary resources. Remember, take one step at a time and don’t be afraid to go back and review your original plan as you learn more about the market you want to enter.
Then let’s get started!
Choose which products to sell
Just because you dream of an e-commerce business does not mean that you have completely decided what you want to sell. Maybe you have different interests, or maybe you are looking for an industry that offers a certain profit margin. In either case, deciding what to sell is the most crucial step in the process. The best way to make this decision is to start with something broad and then narrow it down to a niche. Choosing a smaller niche makes it easier to stand out in a particular area and reduces competition.
For example, a new kitchen supply store would begin to face strong competition from large, established brands that sell a full selection of kitchen supplies, and the business owner would need expertise in a wide variety of products for the new brand to stand out as an authority. “Reducing” to a single type of product, such as coffee machines, would allow investing time, energy and money in a much narrower field, which produces better results. It is much easier to position your brand as the world expert in coffee machines than in kitchen products in general.
When choosing your niche, think about the types of products you are interested in. Starting your business and building your brand will be much easier and more rewarding if you choose an industry you are passionate about. Consider your potential suppliers for these items as well. Are you going to make a product yourself or buy inventory from a wholesaler? Are you going to start with dropshipping? These are important questions for creating a viable business plan.
Choose a correct domain name
Your domain name or URL is the web address that a customer would type into their browser to find your website. It is a good idea to name your business and choose your domain name at the same time. That way, you can choose a domain name that reflects your business while avoiding problems like choosing a business name that doesn’t work as a domain name or one that is already in use.
It is very important to choose the right domain name. Domain names should be short, memorable and clear. If your business name does not include keywords related to the products you sell, you should add your most important keyword to your domain name for SEO (search engine optimization) purposes.
Your domain name should also be easy to say out loud. When talking about your business, you don’t want to have to go into detail to explain how to spell your domain name. Stay away from words that sound too similar to other words, digits mixed with written numbers, and anything else that sounds awkward or ambiguous out loud, including hyphens. People today are used to domain names being written as “one word,” so hyphens hurt clarity more than they help.
A final obstacle to avoid is the accidental creation of other brands or words when you combine words to create your domain name. For example, bobscameras.com has the word “scam” right in the middle, even though it is meant to say “Bob’s Cameras”. Choose your trade name and domain name carefully to avoid this.
Build your online store
Many new business owners are afraid to start creating a website because they worry about their own lack of technical knowledge, but today you can create a beautiful and effective online store without writing a single line of code. The key is to find an e-commerce solution that has all the tools you need to build your online store, add products, create a box and other essentials.
It’s important to choose the right platform so you don’t end up paying more for the features you need and so your business can grow without being limited by the limitations of the software. PagoYa is an example of a powerful online store builder that provides a quick and easy way to design a website, add products and manage all your sales from one convenient dashboard. You don’t have to install anything on your computer either; just create an account, choose a plan and start creating. You can even get a free 15-day trial to familiarize yourself with the PayNow software without having to enter your credit card information.
You can choose your theme first or start by adding products and categories. You will also need to add some additional pages for your company information, including an “About Us” page and pages for your store policies. PagoYa allows you to create these pages with a few clicks.
If you already have a website, don’t worry, you can still build your online store with shopping cart software like PagoYa and connect it to your existing site by using a subdomain, such as “store.yourwebsite.com”.
Get payments in your bank account
There are a few ways you can start accepting payments online, and some are faster and easier than others. You can either follow the traditional route and open a merchant account, or you can skip that step and use a payment processor that doesn’t have those requirements, such as PayPal , Square or Stripe . These are all excellent options, as they are easy to set up and are already integrated into most e-commerce software.
Credit cards are the most popular method of paying online, but it’s also worth including alternative payment providers. Digital wallet solutions such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, Visa Checkout and Masterpass offer a quick alternative for customers who do not want to enter their credit card number while shopping. These services provide a method for storing payment information to be used on various websites. Other alternative payment types include crypto-currencies, customer financing and more.
If you already have a physical store, your current POS processor should be able to offer you an extension of its service so that you can use the same provider to make payment on your website. Conversely, if you’re starting with a website and may open a physical location in the future, your e-commerce software should include a POS system or compatibility with popular solutions such as Square POS. This will allow you to keep online sales and in-person sales synchronized to ensure a consistent inventory count.
Select your shipping methods
Shipping is at the heart of e-commerce, as your customers are ordering online, and you will need a way to get your products, unless you sell digital downloads such as e-books or music files. If you are selling physical products, you will need to decide which shipping carrier(s) you want to use and determine the appropriate rates to charge the customer. It is crucial that you understand e-commerce shipping so that you can make the right decisions.
While free shipping is incredibly popular for online stores, you will need to absorb the cost, so it is recommended that you start using real time rates as arranged by your carrier. The real-time rates are automatically calculated while the customer is placing their order, ensuring that you don’t overcharge or lose money by not charging enough.
To get these real-time rates on your website, you must use an e-commerce solution that offers a complete set of shipping tools for selling online, including integrations with your preferred provider to bring the rates to your online store while giving you the freedom to choose the exact shipping methods you want to offer. Depending on your country, you can use carriers such as USPS, FedEx , UPS, Canada Post, Royal Mail, AU Post or others.
Promote and market your online store
You should start marketing your online store immediately to ensure a steady flow of customers. The best form of marketing is a multi-faceted approach that includes social networking, email newsletters, search engine optimization and paid advertising. You can also run regular promotions and coupons, such as product discounts and even daily offers or group deals if your e-commerce software supports them.
Social networks like Facebook are a great way to get your name out there and interact with customers. You should create a Facebook business page and upload it with images and company information, of course, with a link to your website. Instagram and Pinterest are also popular means of interaction, and for an additional bonus, you can sell products from all of these platforms. More details about selling on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are included later in this guide.
Email newsletters should be sent regularly to inform your customers about upcoming sales, new products and other news. Your newsletters should be interesting and fun to read, rather than just blatant advertising, and you should not send them out too often. After all, you don’t want to spam your customers, so once a month is enough for almost all brands. You can also send an additional newsletter on rare, important occasions, such as a long-awaited product launch.
Grow your business
Once your business takes off and you have incoming orders, you need to process and fulfill them as quickly as possible. This can begin to become a challenge as your customer base grows, and you will need to balance the time you spend on different business tasks with the ability to provide excellent customer service. This is where new businesses often begin to struggle if they are not prepared, so it is important to have the tools you need to grow and maintain your business.
PagoYa is intended to be used by businesses of any size, and we maintain that statement by equipping our platform with the features you need to run your business in the most simplified way possible. Need to hire employees? Staff user management allows you to give different employees access to different parts of your PagoYa! control panel, so you can assign different roles to them. Do you have a problem with certain website visitors? PagoYa allows you to block unwanted traffic by IP address. Do you need to replenish a ton of inventory at a time? Pagoya’s purchase order system makes it simple.
You’ll also be fully supported by customer service tools, such as an RMA returns management system, waiting lists with stock return notifications, a full e-commerce customer relationship management (CRM) to help you track every issue and interaction with customers, and email autoresponders who follow up with every customer who places an order.
To help you understand your store’s trends, you can view detailed, real-time reports on all traffic and activity in your store. You can use this information to plan your inventory and create strategies for your promotions. You can also connect your store to Google Analytics to receive valuable information on how your customers are finding you. This knowledge will help you improve your marketing by showing you what drove visitors to your website. Our Customer Success Team is available 24/7, every day of the year, to answer your questions and help you get the most out of PagoYa!.
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