Selling online can be one of the best decisions of your life. Not only do you get to breathe life into your business idea but also make the most out of your business without a lot of hassles. With the popularity of the Internet growing all across the world among all kinds of population, selling online has become more profitable. Anybody with a zest to sell their products and services can get started with online selling within a few minutes. The only thing you need to understand before getting started is the online selling process.
eCommerce, or the phenomenon of selling online has gained popularity in recent years. There are many reasons for this including the growing interest of industries in adopting the digital wave. In addition to this, more and more customers prefer the convenience of getting their necessities delivered to their homes. While retail still remains one of the prominent experiences in buying and selling, it is being taken over by eCommerce slowly and steadily.
In addition to this the ongoing pandemic of coronavirus is shifting the behaviour of customers. While customers were still going out and making purchases from retail stores, it has become the other way now. Customers are avoiding physical contact as much as possible. This means they want to skip long shopping lines, and instead order from the convenience of their homes. E Commerce is therefore becoming an instant hit.
For sellers who are enticed by this global phenomenon of ecommerce, must understand the online selling process. Because any decision in haste can cost not only money but also turn your efforts into waste. The idea is to break down the complex process into smaller chunks. And then start forming strategies to land your first foot in the market.
The entire online selling process might seem like a tough nut to crack at once. However, there’s nothing to worry about as we are here for you! Read on to find out everything you need to know about selling online-
The Online Selling Process Simplified
The online selling process can be broken down into the following chunks. While there is no escaping from it, you can definitely leverage 3PL services to do most of the jobs for you. These can help you get started with selling online without much ado. Read on to find out more-
Coming up with a Business Idea
Coming up with a business idea is one of the most tricky things to do. When you’re stepping your foot in ecommerce you need to decide whether you want to sell in a vertical market or horizontal market. While a horizontal market refers to an Amazon-like selling structure where you sell more than a few products, it is the other way with a vertical market.
In the case of a vertical market, you pick a specific category of products to sell. For example, if you want to be known as a baby care brand you will pick products that are best suited for a baby. Similarly, if you want to be known as a popular gadget brand, you will sell the latest gadgets and tech items. The first step is to conduct a research in your market and then find what your audience mostly buys. For example, if you are planning to target an audience that consists of working class professionals, you can sell them ready to eat food items that saves their time and provides them with the nutrition. Make sure you explore your options well before forming any decisions.
Deciding a Platform
Once you decide the market you want to enter, you will then make a choice about the platform. For example, you will choose whether you want to sell on your website or on a marketplace. When you’re selling online you have majorly two options. You can either create your own website from scratch and then start selling. Alternatively, you can decide on a marketplace to sell products effectively.
For example, Amazon and Flipkart are two of the most popular marketplaces out there. You can choose to sell on these platforms by registering yourself as a seller. This requires fulfilling some minimum requirements such as showing your GST number, business registration among others. Make sure you read the documents well before registering on the websites. These marketplaces levy some charges on the sellers depending upon their sales. For example, on Amazon, you can choose to pay a monthly fee or pay some selling fee from every order you sell on the platform. While creating a brand and acquiring traffic can be difficult in the first step, a marketplace gives you a lot of possibilities.
Choosing the Niche
Once you have a platform decided in mind, make sure you pick your niche and make preparations for them. For example, if you decide to sell groceries, you will have to rent a warehouse that has special provisions for storing groceries. In other words, you might need a temperature sensitive warehouse. Similarly, if you are storing apparels, you will want to have large storage space with compartments to keep your products. Choosing a niche can make or break your business.
Understand the trending products in the market and how their demands have been varying in the past few years. For example, due to the COVID scenario, the rise in cleaning and sanitizing products have gone up. You can choose to sell these products to your customers because you know these will be in demand. Similarly, you can look for other sought after products in the niche of ecommerce.
Marketing Your Business
The online selling process then moves to marketing your brand. After having your store set up and market selected, you need to advertise your business. In other words, you have to make your business visible to your customers. Business visibility is one of the most important aspects of ecommerce. If your customers are not aware of your existence, how will they ever make a purchase from you?
Therefore, make sure you market your business on all possible channels. This doesn’t mean that you invest in television and radio marketing channels. With social media getting excessively popular these days, there are new advertising avenues opening up. Brands are marketing their products on Facebook, Instagram, Google and other platforms. This is not only bringing them traffic but also garnering conversions as per their desires. It is best that you explore these options and set a strong foot in marketing.
Order Processing Strategy
Order processing forms the fundamental of your online selling process. No matter what you must have an order fulfillment strategy in place. Right from receiving orders, to planning your inventory, picking and packaging, you must know when to do what. Similarly, you must decide on a shipping strategy so that your products are delivered to your customer within the stipulated time.
Remember that the order processing makes the most of your business reputation in the eyes of the customer. Because if you don’t deliver on time or end up delivering incorrect products, your business will fail. Similarly, if you send damaged products to your customers or fail to pack your products efficiently, your business will fail. Order processing and fulfillment consists of the following steps-
- Receiving orders
- Inventory management
- Inventory storage and warehousing
- Return order processing
Make sure you form strategies on each of the key factors as you step your foot in ecommerce.
Deciding on a Logistics Support
Decide on a logistics support for your brand. From the various steps of the online selling process, it is one of the most crucial decisions you have to make. And that is because, unless you own your delivery fleet, you will have to hire a courier to deliver the product at your customer’s doorstep. This might seem like handing over your business to someone else.
But, if you are following the right order fulfillment strategy, all of this can change. With a trusted courier platform like Dash101, you can maximize your business’ reach and save logistics costs as well. Remember that when you’re selling online, your customers will be expecting a lot of lucrative discounts from you. You might as well have to offer free shipping to them. In such cases, if your shipping costs are high, you will not be able to provide offers and deals.
The online selling process can seem like a big challenge at first. But, if you have to set foot in the eCommerce industry, you have to make the right decisions. And this is because there are no shortcuts to success. If you miss out on even any one of the factors we talked about above, your business might not be sustainable in the long run. A majority of eCommerce businesses shut within 6 months of their launch. This is due to the lack of a sustainable idea and incorrect practices. Always remember to hire a reliable logistics service for your business. For example, Dash101 is India’s lowest cost and most reliable 3PL. With it, you can ship to 26000+ Pin codes at shipping rates starting Rs 23/500gms. Moreover, you also get to ship with over 8 courier partners from a single platform. This can kick start your online business idea!
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