Nowadays many people consider it is relatively to start selling products online. Let’s go through the three main methods that anyone can set up to sell online.
- The first is to developing your own online website/store.
- The second is to host through one of the ecommerce platforms (such as Shopify, Bigcommerce, etc).
- The third is to sell through an online marketplace (including Etsy, eBay, Amazon, etc).
What are the elements that are important to any online store?
No matter what you have decided, every online store needs to have these basic elements:
- A gallery of your products with photos, descriptions and prices
- A shopping cart where people can add their orders
- Shipping options
- Secure payments methods where people can pay you for buying the products
When you develop your own online website, it is up to you to select, configure, and integrate all the different elements together into the website that you design and host.
Ecommerce platforms let you launch your online store quickly.
When you use the alternative approach where you can customize, it is easier to set up. It is through using an online ecommerce platform. With Shopify and/or Bigcommerce, they offer many free and paid templates for building your store/website. Make sure you go through this Shopify setup checklist. These services also provide just about everything that is needed for the backend. They take care of details such as website hosting, shopping cart, shipping methods, secure payments, etc. Their fees and services do vary depending on which platform and which plan you have chosen to use. Usually the most basic plan would start from about $20-$30 per month. For example, Shopify provides many free and paid apps that you can install and activate.
Take advantage of the consumers already on online marketplaces.
You can choose to use one of the online marketplaces, when you are hurry to quickly start selling. With a marketplace, you do not have to develop your own website. All you have to do is to set up your seller account on your chosen platform (or on all platforms). Wait for approval from the marketplaces, and upload your products.
Customers may not know that they are actually buying products from you, and believe they are simply buying from eBay or Amazon. While these marketplace sites get a lot of traffic, the competition is sometimes too fierce to handle. Certainly if you still want to take advantage of high traffic on these marketplace platforms, you can do both: Set up your site on Shopify or Bigcommerce, and at the same time list your products on the marketplaces.