The internet is where everything is happening now. It’s no wonder that many entrepreneurs are moving their business from brick-and-mortar stores to online shops. An online shop is cheaper to maintain, has a wider reach, and can be handled anywhere as long as you have a computer or smartphone and internet.
If you’re jumping onto the bandwagon, be sure to plan thoroughly so your business doesn’t get buried in the saturated online marketplace. Follow these tips for selling online.
Launch a Website
You need a venue to start selling your stuff online, and that place is your website. You may ask yourself, why launch a website when you can just sell on social media platforms? With the website, you have more functionality and freedom to do what you want with your business.
For example, when you sell clothes on a website, the e-commerce platform you choose will provide you with tools to help run your clothing business. These tools will let you organize your shop coherently, keep track of orders, process payments, and do an inventory of all your products.
Aim for a user-friendly website, not a perfect one. If you keep delaying because you’re not satisfied with the design or another aspect, you won’t be able to start. Your website, like your business, is a work in progress. You can make improvements as you go along.
Use Attractive Product Photos
Photos are the first things customers look for when they browse your shop. You need to create a good impression to increase their interest in your products. In other words, attractive photos are your baits to reel in customers.
As such, you need to learn how to take professional photos for your online shop. You don’t need expensive photography equipment as long as you have smartphone with a decent camera and use tricks and techniques to take good-quality photos. However, it will help you a lot if you learn how to edit professional-looking photos.
People are visual creatures, so they respond faster and better to photos and videos. You need to take advantage of this nature to appeal to your customers.
Write Convincing Descriptions
If photos are the bait, product descriptions are the pull. To convince the customer to buy your product, you have to write compelling product descriptions that will tell them how good the products are and how they will benefit from having them in their life.
But you have to be honest and not exaggerate too much. The higher the expectations, the greater the fall. If your customer is disappointed with your product, they may never purchase from your shop again. Worse, they may actively discourage others to avoid your business.
Write detailed descriptions that are honest and helpful. Consumers today are becoming more well-informed and more practical. They can easily dispute product claims and back their argument with legitimate scientific research, and you will be scrambling for damage repair.
Market Your Business
How will your target market find out that you’re selling what it needs? The answer is marketing.
Marketing involves promoting and selling your product through market research and advertising. Before you launch a marketing campaign, you must first find an audience for it. So if you’re selling clothes, who is going to buy it? That’s your target audience.
For your ads and promotional campaigns to be effective, they have to reach the right people. It’s hard to convince people to pay attention to something if they’re not interested. But if they already are, it won’t take too much to convince them to take a closer look at you.
As a start-up entrepreneur, it’s understandable that you don’t have a lot of resources to launch a big marketing campaign. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a promote your business to a wide audience. You can if you leverage the resources and avenues provided by the internet.
For instance, there are social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, which you can use to promote your products. As a new business, you may not have your own following yet, so you can use your personal accounts to bring in followers and potential customers to your page or website. Invite your family and friends to follow or like your page and ask them to share it to people they know.
When you have your first few customers, remember to ask them to review and rate your product or business. After all, word of mouth remains to be the most effective marketing strategy of all time.
Provide Exceptional Customer Service
As a business owner, it’s your goal to make customers talk, not to complain but to share their pleasant experience with your business. Exceptional customer service is key to that, whether it’s responding promptly or ensuring deliveries get on time and in perfect condition to their destination.
Fifty-nine percent of customers don’t return because of bad customer service. That’s not all, these customers are also more likely to complain and discourage others from patronizing your business. You want to avoid that as much as possible.
If you can’t have the best products in the market or the cheapest ones, you can bank on excellent customer service to make customers choose you. Consumers are human, and they want to be treated with dignity and respect. If you can give them that, they are more likely to give you their loyalty.
Go beyond what is expected of your business. Keep looking for ways to deliver excellent customer service.
With how full the online market is, it’s not easy to build a loyal following. You have many challenges, capital, reaching your target audience, and convincing customers to return to your business. But don’t dwell on these obstacles before you even start. Take the first steps to start your business, and deal with each challenge as you go.
Create a user-friendly website, use good photos and convincing descriptions, market your business, and provide excellent customer service. Don’t skip on any of these five essential steps. You will have a greater chance of success if you plan for the long-term and take necessary steps to establish your online business. Good luck!