This is probably the closest to the ‘standard’ business model of buying and selling goods. Customer logs onto your website, buys and pays for goods. You ship them. Simple as.
I am not a huge fan of something like this for small/independent businesses, or starting something new, because there are so many headaches that can be had.
But if you have a bit more resource, or have been running your current business for a while, then this could be the ideal way to boost your sales.
Why You Should Do It
- You can take your products to an unlimited audience
- Set up shop pretty much anywhere
- Low start up cost compared to a physical business, or cheap to add on to an existing business
How To Set It All Up
- If you already have a business, it is a case of taking your products you currently sell and putting them online.
- If you are starting something new, you will need to decide on your products – what you sell, how you position your brand, finding suppliers, postage & delivery. There is quite a bit to consider, but probably not much more so than starting any other kind of business.
- Decide on a brand and go to GoDaddy and buy the .com of it: Click here
- I would very strongly recommend using an established platform like Shopify: Click here
- The benefits of this are security, support and awesome social media integration – shopify even has apps which integrate with Facebook and Twitter so you can go viral with the amazing products you have for sale
- Point your GoDaddy domain to your Shopify page. Shopify have a fantastic video walkthrough of how to do this in their support area
- Choose a Shopify theme, add the custom bits, upload your products and you’re ready to start selling and promoting yourself.
How To Promote It
- One of the big ones is to build an email list with Aweber or Mailchimp and nurture that list. Email them updates, news and great content. They will keep coming back – special offers, personal messages, viral content all go down great!
- Set up a Facebook page, invite your friends to like it. Run ads to build more fans and drive them to your website too by sharing great content.
- Send free samples to well known people in your industry for free and ask them to write about your products – word of mouth referral is very strong
- Especially for food and fashion, Pinterest (kind of like Twitter for photos) is a perfect visual medium but make sure your pictures are good enough quality to get noticed
- Facebook and Google ads give you great bursts of traffic short term while you build a following
- Search engine optimisation will keep you at the top of search engines and get you a regular flow of visitors
How You’ll Make Money
- Purely and simply from sales & promotions – the more you sell, the more you make!
Some Great Examples
- Amazon – you probably know them already
- Ok let’s go for a smaller one: Montezuma’s chocolate is a great example of a smaller business succeeding with e-commerce!
Skip The Tech Bits
There are quite a few techie bits which will take someone brand new to these things quite a while to get to grips with, but for someone who has done this plenty of teams (like yours truly), the whole set up is a much quicker, seamless process.
So if you don’t want to spend hours and hours learning something which you won’t need again and want to get running really quickly, this could be perfect for you. Check it out:
If you DO want to take it upon yourself to do it, but need a bit of help, well we have plenty of free support. Just leave me a comment below with your questions, or get on to the Facebook page and drop me a comment there!