So if you have retailed in Markets, maybe your own shop and now want to brave the world of Online retailing then you need to learn some basics before you jump in. eBay is often the preferred option for starting out however since 2009 the fees have sky rocketed and many large corporations have tapped into it to make it impossible to compete on price.
Did you know in the UK the website music magpie buys old CDs off people then uses their eBay power seller account to flog them to others at huge profit? All they do is have an algorithm that tracks prices of each item and determines a mark-up for themselves before offering you pennies for your old music collection.
The biggest issue with eBay is the fees and whilst you may traditionally double your money on your items you are lucky to break even, so only ever use it to be rid of clearance stock or to promote special offers or unique products not already listed. By far the best way to make money from online retailing is to have your own ecommerce website. You can get a hosting package with built in shop builder for less than £2.99 per year and it can be up and running within hours. Some basic info you need to know before you start:
Your payment gateway:
– By far the most trusted online payment gateway is Paypal and it would be worth using them to begin with to build up your customer trust.
– Most packages have unlimited number of products meaning you can enjoy listing all your items.
– Ensure the images are well taken in good light and represent the product fairly. Also before uploading ensure you name your image correctly using descriptive words e.g. Ipad-Nano-Blue
– Keywords are important for people to find products they want online so ensure your keywords are relevant to the item and they cover the typical search terms used.
– Ensure also that each category of items has keywords associated with it.
– Traffic won’t just come by itself so you need to build links; try Googling blogs in your chosen field and write them some product reviews in exchange for backlinks, Try asking other shops which compliment yours to link exchange, start a blog.
– Your blog should be relevant and not overly spam like. Whilst linking to products is fine you do not need to repeat yourself over again.
– Get guest posts for your blog. There is a world of communities of people wishing to give you content in any chosen field for free.
– Use social media – Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are all good places for business to keep up to date with their customers and also inform. Facebook are more difficult due to their cap on reached customers to encourage paid advertising so Twitter and Google+ are better ways to communicate but often more difficult to retain customers on.
– Put flyers in with the purchases to build brand loyalty. Advertise to those who have bought from you to ensure they come back, after all if they are happy you have successfully managed to build a relationship.
Things not to do:
– Buy adwords from Google, they don’t convert to sales only traffic.
– Buy adverts from Facebook, the conversion rate on Facebook is less than 1%
– Don’t think you won’t get returns, be prepared for returns and write them off as a loss and never argue with customers.
Finally once you have established ensure your product turnover is good to keep customers coming back and enjoy sales, competitions and promotions to loyal customers.