How to Sell Online and Why You Should be Doing it
We, too, grew up going to the stores. Unfortunately, those days are over.
We, too, miss scoring a bargain from the bottom of the bin, connecting with friends while we shop, and finding something unexpected while just “window shopping.” That said, we don’t miss stories being out of stock, charging us more than their competitors, and having to search all across down for that one “simple” thing. Instead, we save our sanity and shop online – where easy and competitive prices are the norm. Stores and their full inventories are simply a few clicks away.
Needless to say, having an online e-commerce presence and knowing how to operate your business online is of the utmost significance. Those who don’t establish a digital presence online might have any presence at all in a few years.
That said, we’re here to get you online and keep your business alive. We believe in supporting local businesses and helping them survive the changing times.
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When starting a small business, creating an online presence might seem like an unnecessary burden at first. You’ll be fine just running your store, right? Not so much. In fact, not establishing your online presence might make the difference of keeping your doors open or closing them prematurely.
Here are the six reasons to invest in increasing your online presence
1. It’s the Digital Age
Let’s be honest: nobody wants to leave the house just to buy one item. With the availability of the internet, people rely on online shops to order what they want. It’s easier and quicker – a few clicks and the item’s practically on their doorstep.
Don’t miss out on this trend. Join the Digital Age and watch your business grow.
According to Statista Digital Market Outlook; 2017 to 2020 Forecast, In 2019, U.S. online retail sales of physical goods amounted to 343.15 billion US dollars and are projected to reach close to 476.5 billion US dollars in 2024. Apparel and accessories retail e-commerce in the U.S. is projected to generate 153.6 billion U.S. dollars in revenue by 2024.
Moreover, with the recent global pandemic and stay-at-home orders, even if they wanted to go shopping, customers are staying at home and shopping online. The pandemic has accelerated this inevitable paradigm shift from physical shopping to e-carts and e-commerce. With that in mind, it’s essential to provide your customers with the convenience they crave by offering an online presence and selling your fantastic goods online.
2. You’ll Increase Accessibility
Business may be thriving when the store’s open. But what about the off-hours? Without a digital storefront, you’re leaving money on the table. The internet never closes, why should you?
Creating an online store will result in effortless business transactions – and less work for you! With an online marketplace, you’ll no longer have to be available all day and night to sell your stuff. Enjoy the freedom and independence you imagined when starting your business.
While you relax, your customers can shop through your products, choose the ones they want, place an order, and all you’ll have to worry about is delivery. It’s a win-win situation for everyone. Make life easier and enjoy life more.
3. You’ll Be on the Cutting Edge of Technology and Sales.
As we progress into the digital era, more and more people are using voice search to buy products.
According to a 2019 report, 111.8 million people used voice assistants in the US to make a purchase. Google Assistant, Siri, Amazon Echo, etc., are all playing a key role in helping people search for stuff they want and place an order for it.
If your store is not digitized and optimized for online sales, you’re letting Alexa go somewhere else. Bring Alexa, Siri, and many new customers your way by having a digital storefront, and furthermore, by optimizing it for voice search. You don’t even have to say Thank You. We’ve heard it already.
4. You’ll Effortlessly Snag New Customers.
Having an online presence for businesses also increases your brand awareness and allows for an expansion of your customer base. Again, as a small business owner, we know you want to reach as many people as possible. Let the internet help. You won’t regret it.
When someone searches for a particular product or service online, with the right optimization and tools, they’ll come straight to you.
Again, with some effective marketing and minimal effort you can multiply your sales while never leaving your home. Furthermore, with a digital storefront, you never have to worry about disarray or organization. Instead, you’re always showcasing your products in an aesthetic way, while also making them incredibly easy to search. Furthermore, with online assistance you can always be helping multiple customers at once (and you might not even need to do the helping)! As always, this leads to increased customer awareness, satisfaction, and product sales. Your business deserves this. It’s time to dive in.
5. You’ll Beat Your Competition.
Having an online presence for business conductivity and sales makes the difference between e-commerce and small business winners and losers. We know you’re a winner – let’s keep winning.
Imagine this: you’re craving some pizza from your favorite pizza place. But you don’t want to go outside, and the store doesn’t have an online presence. Now what? What would you do? Order from the next best place, right?
Be the store with the online presence. Otherwise, if customers can’t make it to your store’s location, you’re giving them to your competition. Be the place where your customers (and your competition’s former customers) can find everything they want online.
There’s a high chance your competitors are working hard to create an online presence and gather customers, which means, you’ll need to do the same. For once, you can join them and beat them. Keep reading to learn how.
6. You’ll Make Your Brand The Brand.
We know you want to be The Best. (We do too.) As a business owner, you want to create a positive brand image, and an unforgettable brand. To do so, in this day and age, you need to be online.
Owning a website or being on social media lets you take the steps to be #1. Share your politics, your brand values, and your amazing products. Beyond that, being online allows you to engage with your customers and make them fall even more in love with you than they would otherwise. And before you know it, your brand is everything you’ve wanted it to become and more.
Beyond that, being online allows people to sing your praises so everyone (and their friends!) will know how awesome your business is. Beyond that, if you ever get a negative review (doubtful, but just in case), being online directly allows you to offer your consumer some type of compensation.
With this level of presence, everyone will see how awesome you are, and before you know it- your brand, truly will become, The Brand.
How To Build Your Online Presence
Okay, so we’ve convinced you that your business needs to go online. Awesome. But now, How? What’s the best way to do it?
The truth is, there’s no ‘correct way’ for this. You can choose from a variety of ways to conduct your business online, and all of them will slowly but surely help you grow and increase your profit.
Here’s our Lowkel take on to increase online presence and sell online:
1. Sell Online with Lowkel
Our platform, known as Lowkel, helps you create an online store easily and quickly. You won’t have to worry about creating an entire E-commerce store on your own – which often takes way more time and money than you might expect.
Instead, you can list your products on Lowkel, and voilà, you’re online! You have your own little online store without any fuss. We also provide same-day delivery for your local business, helping you increase online presence and sales without increasing your workload. Click here to learn more on How to Take Your Business Online with Lowkel
2. List on Free E-Commerce Platforms
Another alternative is to list your products on E-commerce websites like Amazon or eBay, and compete with the thousands of other merchants who are in your line of business.
That said Amazon and eBay, and almost every website charges a small fee for selling your products. However, some let you list your products for free (but still charge sales fees). Here are a few places to start:
If what you’re trying to sell is quirky and unique, Bonanza is the best place to go. From clothing and accessories to jewelry and beauty products, you can list a bunch of boutique items here without any listing fee.
Although not nearly as popular as eBay or Amazon, eCrater has a large number of sellers over the years who value eCrater’s competitive prices. eCrater charges you nothing to create a personalized little online store and takes only 2.9% as a sales fee.
3. Create Your Own Website
The very basics of learning how to start an online business require having some sort of web presence. If Lowkel, Amazon, eBay or another e-commerce platform isn’t your cup of tea, you’ll likely want to own and run your own website. If you’re serious about building your brand’s online presence and have the time and money to invest, you might consider creating your very own website.
With your own website, you won’t have to compete with other sellers – the page is dedicated entirely to your brand. Having your own website also allows you to make customers aware of upcoming discounts, holiday sales, and other offers.
Several services can help you build a website, such as Shopify, Wix, Weebly, Squarespace and more. You get to choose your choice of template, payment method, and list of products to start selling straight away.
However, you need to make sure that everything on your website, including the blog, is SEO optimized. This will help customers find your website quicker. (It’s also worth noting that a poorly SEO-ed website is similar to not having a website at all! What good is it if your customers can’t find it?)
Beyond that, your website should prove useful for people. Make sure you list and update product information, your contact info, store location, and your policies – basically any information that can help a buyer make their decision. Running a blog with frequently updated content also helps keep your clientele engaged and your website SEO optimized.
4. Embrace Social Media
There’s no denying it: social media plays an integral role in building brand awareness and online presence (and sales!). People want easier access to information, and what’s better than Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter? (Nothing.)
Having a social media page allows customers to learn about your brand on their time and their social media platform of choice. Being multi-platformed allows your brand to gather new customers and amass a water audience, as they can explore (and fall in love with) your products as they scroll through their feed. It generates conversation around your brand, makes your products easily shareable, and lets you reach out to your customers on their terms.
For instance, if you own a coffee shop, a comedic tweet about morning coffee can instantly create a positive brand image in a consumer’s mind. Likewise, featuring gorgeous images of your clothing brand and sharing them to local fashionistas will help raise awareness of your newest and trendiest wears.
Lastly, social media platforms can link to your website – the more followers you have, the more likely your sales will increase. You can even use social media as a sole means of selling your products, especially if you own a small startup.
Will It Be Worth It?
Without a doubt, Yes.
Understanding how to sell online and creating an influential online presence can be costly and time-consuming, and definitely has a learning curve to it.
That said, we guarantee that it will positively impact your business in the long term, especially if you use the right marketing strategies.
According to a report, 95% of purchases will be done through E-commerce by 2040. More and more people are realizing the importance of online presence for businesses, and are actively working to improve it. Come join them and watch your business grow. We’re here to help you ever step of the way.
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