If you found this article by searching “how to sell a product online” via Google, you’re not alone. Nowadays, more companies are seeing the world’s digital transformation, so they are trying to adapt in any way possible. Similarly, you might be looking for ways to bring your brick-and-mortar brand into the internet.
Online stores face similar dilemmas to the physical ones, though. Just being in the market won’t be enough to gain potential customers, so you must plan your launch. Similar to a regular business, this will take a lot of time and effort. Fortunately, this article can guide your brand every step of the way towards selling products online!
First, I will go through what you should do before you even provide your products and services on the internet. After that, I will talk about how to sell a product online, from checking the products customers buy to building your homepage and social media page. This process will take a long time, but it will make sure you have a foothold in the growing online market!
What should I do before selling a product online?
No matter how small your business is, you must learn how to sell products online. That’s because your customers spend more time on the internet nowadays!
Around 68% of online activity begins with search queries. They find new brands via search engines. These leads are eight times more likely than conventional ads to produce conversions.
This is why 61% of marketers say ranking higher on search engine results is their top priority for inbound marketing. There’s no doubt that selling products online is a must!
As a business owner, you know just how important it is to plan every move you make. Follow the steps below so you can prepare your product line for online customers:
Study your competitors
Check if the other players in your industry are online, then gauge how much they’ve dominated in the market. This will determine how you will start your marketing campaign.
How many social channels do they use, and how much has their marketing developed in each one? Let’s say your main competitor has a homepage and profiles on Facebook and Twitter.
If that’s the case, you could start by improving local SEO. Make it easier for people nearby to spot your business via search engines. You are in the same industry, so you’ll share similar keywords.
Boosting SEO lets you divert some of their organic traffic to you. This is just one example of how planning to sell a product online starts by identifying your competitors.
See how you’ll deliver products
Learning how to sell a product online won’t work if you cannot send it to customers. Business owners want to make it big in the long run, but you have to start with your local area.
This reduces the cost of delivery and chances for delays. For example, if you accept orders from another state, your courier will face more traffic and use more fuel.
Fortunately, Amazon can make sure your products reach customers. With Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA), it could also package and label your goods.
This isn’t a problem if you’re selling digital goods, such as ebooks or software. Instead, you’ll have to deal with different issues like bandwidth and data storage.
Read More: Why Your Brand Needs Digital Transformation
Keep customer data safe
Selling a product on the internet means you will have to collect info from clients. Otherwise, you cannot provide high-quality customer service.
We see more companies getting hacked nowadays. For example, the US had a gas shortage because of hackers. As a result, people had to pay more to fill up their cars.
You could keep your data on a dedicated server, but you have to get an expert to do it for you. On the other hand, it’s easier to store data on a regular PC, but it’s more open to cyberattacks.
If you can, you might want to get cyber insurance for your business as well. This will ensure you’re covered if something bad happens to your company computers.
How to sell goods using the internet
Now, let’s talk about how to sell a product online. After following the previous steps, you’re ready for the following:
- Find out what to sell
- Know your target audience
- Check where you’ll start selling online
- Create marketing content
- Plan the rest of your marketing
#1. Find out what to sell
Here’s the most important step to selling goods online: marketing. Whether online or in real life, you will have to persuade people into paying for your brand offerings.
It’s more important when selling online because you will have to work harder to stand out. More things could distract the average internet user, such as pop-up ads and social media.
They have so many options that they might not have time to test yours out. In other words, your products might serve a demand that has so many other brands serving them.
That’s why the first step to selling goods online is figuring out what to sell. See if your brand’s offerings can fit into the latest online trends. Start with the following steps:
- Subscribe to newsletters from other companies in your industry to get the latest info.
- Visits websites designed to follow the latest online trends, such as trendhunter.com.
- Facebook ads can give you some ideas about the up-and-coming trends. You could even use Google Chrome extensions like My Ad Finder to compile a list of ads.
- You may also look at Etsy and other eCommerce sites to check the most in-demand products right now.
- Once you find ideas, you must confirm real market trends. If you got them from a certain website, search it on www.similarweb.com to find similar online resources.
- What’s more, www.trustpilot.com and other websites let you see how people feel about certain brands. See what they did right and wrong to learn from their example.
#2. Know your target market
You now have the product line, so you must figure out your target market. In other words, see the types of people who are more likely to purchase from your brand.
As with other marketing campaigns, you should begin by creating a buyer’s persona. Think of the traits of your “ideal customer,” then see how you would meet its needs.
Let’s say your potential customers are people in their 20s. You should see if those people show interest in products similar to yours. Then, market your product on social media.
After reading that, Facebook and Twitter may have crossed your mind, but you might want to focus on TikTok. After all, it beat Google as the most visited website globally!
#3. Check where you’ll start selling online
After doing market research, see how you’ll offer your products on the internet. Start by building a website that will connect your lineup with potential buyers that has these features:
- Lists the products
- Records a buyer’s chosen products
- Saves customer info
- Accepts cash and credit as payment methods
- Updates customers regarding the status of their deliveries
It’s easy to start a homepage for your website nowadays. The internet has so many sites like WordPress that let you build one yourself without charging a penny.
However, you will have to spend on other services such as a shopping cart feature. Fortunately, Shopify and other small business tools can help with that.
These will take some time to set up, so you might want to host your products on an eCommerce website instead. For example, you could list your products on Amazon.
It can be a good choice if you have a startup. Eventually, you will have to grow from a third-party platform and provide a separate website for your brand.
#4. Create marketing content
Here’s arguably the most important part of this guide on how to sell a product online: marketing. Without it, you will not have anyone buying your brand’s offerings!
Roughly 68% of online activity starts with search engines like Google. These search queries from regular people are called organic searches. They make up 51% of all website traffic.
As I said, the internet presents so many options to people. That’s why they narrow their selection by using search engines. Make sure you’re the first one they see.
Around 75% of online searchers never go past the first results page. If your brand isn’t listed first, then it might as well not exist to these people.
Fortunately, you can perform search engine optimization (SEO) for free. It involves placing keywords in your content, so it has a good chance of ranking high in search queries.
Click here to learn more about SEO. I discussed it first because it’s important for your content. Even if you created the best piece of content ever, it would be useless if nobody could find it.
Once you have the keywords you need, start creating your promotional materials. Content marketing mostly involves blog posts that provide useful information for potential buyers.
This is when you have to create high-quality work for people instead of search engines. Folks should enjoy reading your articles and get valuable tips from them.
You must cite your brand as a good example or solution. That way, they’re more likely to purchase it. More importantly, content marketing can build trust in the long term.
As a reliable source of info, more people will like your brand. In turn, they’re more likely to become loyal customers and bring new ones too.
#5. Plan the rest of your marketing
Content marketing is effective, but you shouldn’t just stick to one method. Let’s say you have your initial batch of content ready. Now, you have to plan where to place it.
Featuring it on your website is a given, but it should appear on third-party sites too. Start by launching profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites your target market uses.
Post about your blogs and link them to their landing pages. This promotes your brand while increasing online traffic to your website. Then, explore other marketing methods.
For example, you could ask readers to provide their email addresses to send more promo updates. This is how email marketing usually works.
You might want to place ads on social media, search engines, and other websites. If other sites don’t allow your blogs, perhaps they’ll be fine with your ads instead.
Learning how to sell a product online doesn’t stop here. Technology is changing our lives by providing so many new products and services. You will have to adapt each time it does this.
Marketing is now an ever-changing process, so you will have to keep yourself up-to-date with the latest trends. You can start by reading more Inquirer USA articles.
If you need more help with digital marketing, consult the experts at LeadAdvisors. Click here to see how the company can handle all your online marketing needs.