For small businesses, the best way to grow is to reach new customers on an ecommerce website. As such, the Internet presents you with a tremendous opportunity. Not only can it extend your sales reach to a world of new customers in a way that was once unimaginable, it can also be considered a great equalizer because it levels the playing field against larger competitors.
Unfortunately, many small business owners are hesitant to start selling on the Internet due to concerns about costs and technology. If you’re facing these concerns, there’s good news! The costs of starting a website are much less than you might think. Affordable technology solutions and experts are readily available to help you get online and increase your sales quickly.
Is Your Product a Good Fit for Ecommerce Website?
There are countless success stories that prove small business profits can skyrocket online. But first, you must determine whether selling products on the Internet is right for your business. To answer this question, consider your product line. Some products are easier to sell via a website than others. Here are a few guidelines for success:
- Is your product easy to understand for your online customers? Remember, shoppers will not be able to touch or try on your product. To purchase, they need to be sure they know what they are getting. Providing detailed product descriptions and photographs can increase your sales significantly. A clear return policy, product guarantee, or positive ratings and reviews may also reduce the apprehension some buyers feel when considering a purchase.
- Can you sell the product at an acceptable profit margin once you factor in the time and expense of packaging and delivery? If you sell low-ticket items, you may need to sell in bulk to increase profits. If you sell perishable items, you will need fast delivery and adequate packaging.
- Do you sell a service or digital (not physical) product that can be delivered efficiently online or via e-mail? Many providers of services or information have made seamless transitions to the Internet, for example, converting magazines to digital editions.
- Does your product appeal to customers outside your geographic area, or will selling online enhance your service to your existing customers? For example, if you’re selling tickets to a local sporting event, someone several thousands of miles away probably isn’t going to be interested. But, that doesn’t mean your neighbors won’t appreciate the added convenience.
Once you determine that you can sell your products online, we hope you’ll follow the steps in this guide to get started.