If you have been thinking about starting a small online business, this post is meant for you. There are many kinds of business opportunities you can venture into. Your success will be determined by different things, such as the decisions you make and the goals you set. First of all, you need to know how to widen your customer base because that is the only way you are going to increase your profit margin and grow your business.
Before you begin selling products online, it is vital to appreciate the fact that the whole process requires total commitment. It can even be overwhelming if you intend to start by creating your website, putting the products for sale, organizing for shipping, and dealing with different payment options, among other issues. These are frustrations that can see you forget about owning a business online even before you begin the process. Luckily, third-party ecommerce marketplaces can ease your burdens.
Benefits of using a marketplace when creating an online shop
In the current economy of the World Wide Web, almost everything is being done on the net. This is enough reason for business-minded people like you to think of having an online presence. It is the only way you can sell your products or services to a broader customer base. If you intend to create your own site from scratch, things might turn out to be difficult to the extent of giving up. Fortunately, the introduction of third party ecommerce sites such as Shopify have come to simplify things. They make your journey of setting up a small business online less hectic.
The impressive feature of such platforms is that you just need to put your products or services on the site and reap the benefits. They are there to help you create, run, and grow your business to full scale. They allow you to sell your goods and/or services to anyone regardless of their geographical locations. You also don’t have to worry about managing orders, shipping, and receiving payments because you can do so using a single dashboard.
A functional site will need a lot of resources, management, hosting, and accounting for payments, among other additional requirements. Creating a website that does all these from scratch will need a lot of effort and may be quite expensive. If you compare the sacrifices you have to make and the risks involved, opting for an existing third party ecommerce marketplace is better. Use the services these platforms offer and grow your business to its full potential without putting yourself into unnecessary pressure.
Their ability to deal with many orders assures you that your clients will get their orders on time. They have also put in place excellent email marketing strategies to enable you to market your products.
How to promote your online business
Small businesses don’t have the privilege of using expensive software or hiring a marketing team to market their products. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t let the whole world know what you are selling on your new online shop. There are so many ways you can use to attract more customers, and here are just a few of them.
Search engine optimization
When you are starting a small business online, you don’t have a client base, and so it may be challenging to attract traffic to your website. This is where Shopify SEO services come to your help assuring you a customer base and the much needed revenue to keep growing your business.
Be present on social media
One of the most significant ways to reach your audience in a big way is through the various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Both the young and old generations spend some quality time on social media. This is where they share their likes and dislikes. You can use the information you collect here to know what your customers are lacking and how you can bridge that gap.
Respond to negative comments
Customers tend to use review sites or social media networks to share their views or pour out their frustrations. Please don’t expect everybody will sing praises about the products you are selling in your online shop. Some will criticize them, and in that case, it is advisable to respond to them. Keep your cool, and be open to feedback. Make sure you address the problems to avoid future unhappy customers. Don’t forget to appreciate the good reviews as well.
The best way to show the bright side of your business is through the usage of high-quality images. Eye-catching photos can make your business stand out. This is especially useful if you are using an ecommerce marketplace. They have the power to set your listing apart. This doesn’t mean you can use poor quality images if you are hosting your own ecommerce site and get away with it. Whichever way, the value of your products or services will be determined by the images you have. They are the first thing customers get to see before analyzing the actual merchandise or service. Hence, make sure you send the right message to your customers.
Choose the right platform
It is good to do some background research on the site you intend to sell your products or services. For instance, if you are selling baby products, it would be better to choose a site that parents frequent. If you want to sell crafts or art, a platform used by artists will be ideal. These are just examples. The rule of thumb is to make sure you select a platform that works for your kind of business.
As you can see, starting and running a small online business becomes difficult if you don’t have an idea on the dos and the don’ts. If you use the above information, you will see your business grow within a short time. Remember to make a business plan and stick to it. However, flexibility is allowed, and you can make some small changes whenever necessary. Lastly, set realistic goals.