Are you a new business or a startup?
Starting a new venture is as tricky as it is exciting. With a lot of opportunities, there may be many obstacles, too, and as a founder and owner of a startup, you will be in charge of taking all the crucial business decisions single-handedly, at least initially. One of the most critical decisions to take would be to start selling your products/services online, followed up by how to start selling online.
So, should you be selling online? Is it worth the effort, time, and money?
Well, the answer is a definitive yes. Whether you are a startup or an established offline business, online selling and eCommerce is the future. In fact, this pandemic has only reinforced the need for businesses to grow their online businesses and create a wider and futuristic market for themselves. Whether you are in B2B or B2C, you can grow your business exponentially online.
To help you understand its importance further, let us share the multiple advantages along with examples.
Greater scope of scaling up your business
While initially, it may take time to set up your online business, once set, the massive reach and wider audience help you to scale up your business with fewer resources than required in offline businesses.
For example, if you are dealing in luxury fashion, scaling up your online business nationwide or even globally would require far lesser resources than if doing it offline. In online selling, you need to partner with global logistics and delivery companies, integrate multi-currency payment systems, and market to global audiences.
Doing it offline would require you to search and build your own showrooms, hiring staff, doing its interiors, etc. that would lead to monumental costs. Plus, you’ll need to create and maintain a huge inventory for all your stores.
Additionally, a brick-and-mortar store has limited reach, whereas in online selling, you can reach a global audience and there’s no limitation to your reach.
You get to understand your customers better
As a startup, you need to study your customers intricately. When you start selling online, you get a lot of insights and reliable data about your customer profiles. It helps you understand them better and tailor your new products or services as per their needs, enabling greater customer retention in the long run. This kind of customer insight is not possible or very complex to gather in offline businesses.
You can do online business anywhere, anytime
In eCommerce, there’s no limitation of space or time to do your business. You can do it on the go, whenever you want.
In a startup, due to budget constraints, most entrepreneurs have limited human and other resources to operate with. Having the flexibility and freedom to conduct business from anywhere and at any time of the day, helps you allocate your funds and time in a much better way.
Reduced Overheads & other expenses
Apart from saving on infrastructural costs, online selling empowers a startup to curtail down various other costs like inventory, office expenses, office staff salaries, etc.
Saving up on these costs can help your business direct these funds on online marketing efforts, helping you grow your business at a faster pace.
The Next Big Question: “How can we start online selling business?”
Now that you know the benefits of taking your startup online, the next step is to understand how to do that. For this, we have listed the four most important ways in which you can start selling online.
- Create your own online marketplaces
- Sell on multi-seller eCommerce platforms like Amazon, Etsy, Flipkart, etc.
- Sell via social media
- Sell through direct messaging
The beauty of the online selling platforms is that you need not choose one but can simultaneously sell on one or more channels. It all depends on your business type, availability of funds and time, preferences, audience size, etc.
Now, let’s explain each one of you in greater detail:
Create your own online marketplace
Having your own online store enables you to create your own brand presence online and you are in complete control of everything. Today, making your own eCommerce website has become so simple and cost-effective, thanks to the eCommerce website builders like Shopmatic, which enable you to set up your own online store in just a few minutes without any coding or technical knowledge.
Selling via your own website also helps you save significantly on the commissions that are charged by multi-vendor marketplaces like Amazon. However, because your online store is new, you might have to market it heavily initially to gain more customer traffic.
Sell on multi-seller eCommerce platforms
Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Flipkart, etc., have become eCommerce giants and are offering sellers a great platform to sell their products and build their clientele. To set up your sellers account, you have to fulfill their distinctive statutory requirements. After you have done that, you can simply list your products and sell them. Various platforms have their own set of compliance and listing limitations or charges.
It is important to identify the relevant marketplaces for your business and only list your account on those where you have the maximum potential to make profits. It is also crucial to track your sales on these platforms and see whether you are getting optimum ROI or not. It is also highly advisable to have your own webstore as it gives you more credibility, plus eCommerce website builders like Shopmatic also allow you to manage various eCommerce platforms like Amazon, etc., through a single dashboard, making sales and order tracking a lot easier and efficient.
Sell via social media
Social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, etc., have given a new dimension to eCommerce. The number of people on these platforms give startups a great place to market their brand and products/services. Building your brand on social media helps you connect better with your audience and turn your followers into customers. You can also direct your social media followers to your website, generating greater sales and better ROI.
Thus, social media selling is a great supplement for your eCommerce website and a brilliant way to build a strong brand presence for your startup.
Sell through direct messaging
You can also grow your online sales through direct messaging on social media channels and Whatsapp. It’s a great way to connect in a personalized way with your audience and build rapport enabling better customer retention and loyalty in the future.
Selling Online is Totally Worth the Shot for Startups!
In 2021 and beyond, selling online is completely worth it. In fact, it is the need of the hour, and losing on it can cost your startup a lot more than you can imagine.
The key to selling online is to understand the basics and the ever-evolving dynamics of eCommerce. It is important to keep growing your brand, reaching new customers, and building greater loyalty through various digital marketing strategies.
If you need any expert advice or guidance to wing your online business growth, you can get in touch with our experts here.