Selling online is not an easy task if you do not know how. If it is already difficult to sell things with a physical business, let’s not even talk about online business.
Let them tell giants like Amazon, right?
It is clear that large companies are already established and have it much easier in the world of online shopping. But, what if we talk about selling online with a small online business with which to start or simply to earn extra money?
What is clear is that internet sales are a booming business and that, although you have to work hard to achieve results, you should not miss the occasion.
Obviously, in this article I do not come to tell you how to be rich taking advantage of something that is booming.
But I am going to tell you different methods and tips to start selling online with an online store, with a professional blog or taking advantage of some platforms designed for this purpose.
- How to sell online step by step
- 1. Do a market study
- 2. Use the most appropriate platform to reach your audience
- 3. Differentiate yourself from the competition
- 4. Build trust and create authority
- 5. Simplify your offer and make it irresistible
- 6. Automate internet sales to make it more scalable
- What to sell online
- Final tips for selling online
How to sell online step by step
The 85% of novice entrepreneurs fail in the world of online sales for not knowing to catch the right business model or do not know the basics of online sales.
These questions are: «How to sell online?» and of course “what to sell online?”.
Don’t miss these 6 steps to sell online. Later we will see what to sell online. To the mess!
1. Do a market study
Before getting started you have to do an analysis to see if there is a real market for what you want to sell.
All large companies do their market research before launching something new to sell. In this way they ensure that there will be online sales even before investing in the manufacture of the product.
If there is no demand or competition, it is because there is no market there.
Doing a market study is not complicated. You just have to search, ask or do surveys to see if your product or service is in sufficient demand.
Another good option is to see if someone is already on the market offering your idea.
On the other hand, you must be attentive to how the market moves to know what to sell online, what is the competition, its authority, etc.
Surf the waves, don’t go against the current. Look for those trends like a surfer who stays in the sea waiting for the wave to arrive to get on it and reach the shore.
Be very attentive to new trends to choose the market niche . Especially nowadays that everything changes at a frenetic pace.
When you see something become fashionable and sell more online, take advantage of it, and get on that wave before most do.
Pay special attention to social networks, that’s where you can see the trends of the moment and practically in real time.
Do not forget to use Google Trends to detect market trends based on the words you put.
Take advantage of the moment. It is always easier to follow the trend of something that is already working than to start something from scratch.
2. Use the most appropriate platform to reach your audience
Online you can find many ways to make yourself known to your target audience .
Using a platform or another where to sell online will depend on your niche and what type of products you offer or recommend.
In general, the most widely used platforms for selling online are:
- Online stores. Ecommerce has become very fashionable. Whether with own products, from suppliers, with dropshipping or affiliation.
- A YouTube channel. If you get to have a considerable audience it is one of the best ways to sell online. But this does not mean that you should have a platform of your own.
- A professional blog. Using a blog with hosting and domain as a platform to reach your audience is the most recommended and most used method.
- A landing page. Combining it with advertising such as Google Adwords or Facebook Ads is the best way to generate online sales with this type of page.
- Social networks. If you only want to sell using social networks, you must first focus on having a considerable number of followers and that they are of quality.
3. Differentiate yourself from the competition
You have already analyzed the market and you have the right platform to incorporate your ideas for selling online.
Therefore, the next step is to be different. Because if; If you want to know how to sell online, you will have to be different from the rest of your sector.
Many people search for profitable businesses online, copy an idea, and stay there. They do not give that extra, so their product or service is the same as that of the competition.
And if we add to this not having the brand image that the competition has, the result will be an absolute disaster.
Innovate, do things differently so you stand out from your competition.
If you set up an online store, think about leaving free shipping. Create irresistible offers, make the best quality product or service, or include some extras.
4. Build trust and create authority
If you want to know how to sell online you have to be clear about this point. Whether you have a professional blog, an online store, or want to start a company, you will have to build trust so that your potential customers take the step of counting on you.
There are many factors that influence user confidence but from my point of view these are the most important:
1. Create useful content
Add value to your community without expecting anything in return. This is the way to build trust.
For this, it is vital to create a website with a blog and use content marketing to create a relationship of trust with your potential customers.
Write about what is really useful for your potential clients.
2. Demonstrate authority in your niche
To have authority and demonstrate it, there is no choice but to continue working and let time do its work.
If you want your website or blog to be a reference in the world of online shopping in your sector, you should see that it has been on the market for a while.
So important is the time that an online business has been running that even Google gives more importance to blogs and websites with more years behind them .
3. Show security and transparency
Being sociable and communicating with security and transparency will help grow your network and that area of influence that you will have around you.
4. Incorporate reviews, opinions or testimonials
That your own customers can leave their opinion on what they buy is something that is already used by the greats of the world of online sales and a point in your favor if you incorporate it.
You will have two advantages if you incorporate this into your online sales strategy: being much more reliable in the face of your potential customers, and having feedback to improve what you offer.
5. Use images or videos
I know, it is very obvious but still there are people who do not use them.
If something differentiates a physical business from one in the network, it is that the customer can touch and see the products.
In the case of online businesses, all information must be provided to the user so that they can get used to the idea of what the product or service they want to buy is like .
You have free image sites to include in your internet sales strategy is essential.
5. Simplify your offer and make it irresistible
Once we have authority and have built trust, it’s time to put all the meat on the grill.
Although my advice is to start offering your products or services from the beginning, when you really start selling things online is when you start to generate the necessary trust and authority.
At this point is when it is necessary to give more importance to what to sell on the internet.
If you have a company or an online store with which to sell physical or digital products, you will have no problem.
However, it is common to find many bloggers who have absolutely nothing to sell to make money. And the funniest thing is that they still wonder how to make money on the internet or if living from a blog is really possible.
But I don’t want to focus now on the typical question of what can I sell online with a blog. This you will see it later.
As this point says, we have to simplify our offer and make it irresistible .
The priority is to increase conversions ; make it easy for the customer to decide. To do this, one of the things you should do is simplify your offer.
Eliminate what does not serve you. Focus on the most profitable items to sell. Those products or services that people really demand and that have to do with your niche.
There has already been a lot of talk about Pareto law where it comes to say that 20% of what you sell or offer implies 80% of your profits.
A very common mistake in internet business is believing that having a wide range of products or services to offer the customer is the best option.
However, sometimes it reaches the point of saturating the customer with so much offer that he does not know what to do and ends up deciding not to buy on our site.
Of course, this is very relative and depends on the type of online business.
It is not the same to have an online store where you can offer a large number of products even if you have to give much more importance to that 20% of the Pareto law; to have a blog where probably more than 5 courses or infoproducts can already distract the reader.
6. Automate internet sales to make it more scalable
Scalability is one of the main advantages of having an online business. If you can automate the process to sell things without being in front, why not do it?
Setting up a system where you can sell your services, products or even third party services will save you a lot of time that you would lose if you were looking for those sales personally.
This is where the following factors come into play:
- Automate the way to get subscribers.
- Create sales funnels to sell online to your mailing list through email marketing.
- Set up a landing page with the offer of your star product or service.
- Use marketing and advertising campaigns to increase your visibility.
What to sell online
Another key point to succeed with online sales is knowing what to sell online. If you have already done your market research to choose your niche, the range of products or services that you can sell will be much more limited.
At this point, I am not going to tell you, if you chose to sell clothes online, what pants to sell or if you have a blog, what service is the most suitable for you.
What I do intend is that you know all the options to start selling online.
What things can be sold online? Here you have it:
1. Physical products
We start with the most classic.
How to sell products online?
The truth is that selling physical products does not differ much from selling them through a physical business.
Depending on the number of products, you can manage their sale in a different way (by email, through forms, by phone, with a virtual store …).
As your objective should be to automate the process as much as possible, you will have to incorporate an online store to your website or blog where they will place orders and you will be in charge of sending them to their postal address.
Having an online store is very easy nowadays, just with a WordPress plugin like Woocommerce you will have it done.
The difference between a professional online store and a standard fight lies in the quality of the products, their photographs, and the presentation to the customer.
Any physical product that you can think of can be sold online. There are many profitable products for this, such as selling clothes online, books, second-hand objects, crafts, DVDs, …
In addition, for those who do not want to create a website or blog, you can also have an e-commerce platform in the cloud.
It is the cheapest option to have an online store without designing or developing a website or blog.
If you want to sell online without creating an online store or a blog, a platform like Shopify can be your solution.
Of course, you can also sell online for free using a free blog or online markets such as Amazon, eBay, Etsy, MercadoLibre, or even social networks.
Although buying and selling for free online may seem like the best option, you should see it as an option to test the market.
If you really want to be serious and sell big online you will have to incorporate a professional store or blog into your strategy.
2. Infoproducts or digital products
Digital products are those that do not have a physical format as such: ebooks, courses, software, videos, templates …
As you can see there are many options.
The main advantages of selling infoproducts are:
- The client pays and receives them instantly .
- You will not have shipping costs or have to deal with all the typical logistics of shipments.
- They are highly scalable .
So if you decide on this option you will have to try to make sales automatically.
As in the previous case, you can sell info-products online with an online store or with a blog.
But don’t forget to implement email marketing sales funnels so that the info product sell themselves.
You can also sell your info products on other pages or even on dedicated platforms like Udemy to sell your own courses online.
3. Sell services online
This is the option that everyone starting an online business should implement.
Virtually everyone is very good at something.
It is simply about offering a service to your future clients in what you are so good at.
And how do I go about offering a product to my audience?
Luckily the process is very simple. Offer your service through a platform (usually a web page or a page on a blog) and put one or more contact methods .
In the case of blogs and web pages you just have to create a page with your service and put your phone number or a contact form.
You can see the example on my web design service page with WordPress or in the Audit for blogs page.
Advertising is the order of the day on the internet.
It is the best-known business model in the online world . Almost anywhere you can find people making a profit by advertising. However, not all advertising is profitable .
We must distinguish two types of internet advertising :
- Advertising programs. Like Adsense.
- Direct mail.
Adsense-type advertising is usually the option that most bloggers and vloggers choose. It consists of putting and publishing free ads on your videos or blogs in exchange for a few pennies for each click they get.
Who has not seen ads of this type in YouTube videos or on websites and blogs?
The problem with this type of advertising is that, despite being a good option to monetize your business online, it is hardly profitable until you have thousands of daily visits.
Therefore, if you are not an influencer that generates thousands of daily visits, basing your business on selling this advertising on the internet is quite inadvisable.
The direct mail if it is a far more convenient option in an online business.
Surely you have seen this type of advertising either on television, on blogs or on videos.
It consists of promoting third-party brands or products directly on your platform.
It can be through promoted articles or banners on blogs or direct recommendations in YouTube videos for example.
5. Sell third-party products or services online
The affiliate marketing pure and simple.
You can also use your blog, your website, or even your social networks to sell products online, info products, or services of other companies or people where you will get a commission for each sale you get.
Not all companies offer an affiliate program so before choosing what to sell online you will have to look for companies and products that offer this possibility.
Luckily, you have a multitude of companies that have an affiliate program. Among the best-known affiliate sites to sell online are Amazon, eBay, or Clickbank.
Final tips for selling online
Once clarified what and how to sell online, it remains to analyze the competition to see what mistakes you are making and how to fix them.
In my research phase to create this article, I have found many errors when undertaking so I have decided to collect a few tips to make selling on the internet much easier.
1. Diversify your sales
A good way to improve online sales in any electronic commerce is to diversify your offer.
Whatever business you have, you will agree with me that combining different methods to earn money online is a highly recommended option.
Not depending on a single source of income is essential and that is why I would recommend you to diversify your sales into several ideas to sell online such as:
- Sell info-products and services at the same time.
- Incorporate advertising on your platform.
- Expand the offer of your eCommerce or online store with affiliate products.
You have to invest first if you want to get results .
Later, with your first sales, the first joys come and you think that everything is already done. But the reality is quite different.
Always, and I repeat, ALWAYS , you must allocate a percentage of your income to invest in improving your business.
And it does not matter if you want to use a platform to sell online for free.
Either to improve your product or to reach more people you will have to invest money if you want to increase your sales.
Online business is still a business and, as such, you have to invest in it.
3. Be aware of SEO
I’ve already said it thousands of times: SEO is essential for an online business.
Having your online business well ranked in the search engines for keywords related to your theme guarantees visits and the success of your business. Never overlook it.
If you have no idea about this, I recommend reading my articles on SEO.
4. Create an affiliate program
We have already seen the advantages of using affiliate marketing. But what if you are the one offering this program to other sellers?
The answer, although simple, can mean a lot of extra internet sales.
With certain tools you can create an affiliate program where you can offer a commission for each sale made by other people.
In other words, you will effortlessly sell your products or services in exchange for paying a commission. Isn’t it a brilliant idea to increase your online sales effortlessly?
What is your strategy to sell online ?
Do you use any method to increase your online sales?
Leave me a comment and share on social networks if you liked it.