eCommerce is booming today. Even businesses that have been global offline entities over the years have now shifted focus to selling their products online. If you are a new business, finding online customers might be your best strategy.
However, given the volume of businesses and consumers online, the competition is fierce. Most product markets are saturated beyond capacity. It is hard to keep up with global giants who can provide consumers with a much more convenient shopping experience than a smaller business would be able to.
Despite these drawbacks, selling your products online may be the most lucrative option in today’s world. With a few simple steps, you should be able to pull it off successfully. Listed below are seven essentials things to do when selling your product online.
- Calculate Your Expenses
The first thing to do before starting any business, whether offline or online, is to calculate the expenses and figure out how much you need to be returned to break even. For online businesses, that includes the following –
- Hosting Cost – Whether you choose to sell your product on an online seller’s platform or host your website, you need to pay a fee to maintain your store or catalogue. Including this cost in the cost of your business and pricing your products accordingly is important.
- Payment Gateway Cost – If you are going to sell through an online seller, this cost will be included in your hosting price. However, in the case of an individual platform, each transaction through your site is chargeable by the payment gateway you use.
- Shipping Cost – Free Shipping is a great incentive for customers to buy your product. However, since you cannot be making a loss in the process, even for free standard shipping, you need to take the cost into account when deciding how to price your products.
- Packaging Cost – This is rather high for online businesses as you expect your product to reach the consumer in perfect condition. So ensure you add this to the product cost as well.
- Product Cost – And finally, the main expense, which is the product cost.
Once all of these expenses are put together, and the final price is calculated, only then can you decide if your cost is good enough to attract consumers and for you to run a successful business.
- Choose Your Niche
Choosing the right product is very important. Do some survey, Understand what consumers want. And just because you started with product A does not mean you cannot change to product B or add product C to your business.
However, keep in mind that consumers should be able to think of a product and then connect the dots and think of your business as the place to buy it. Without creating such a connection in the consumers’ minds, your business will not get established. So have a somewhat specialized product catalogue, don’t just sell anything.
Choose a brand name, connect it with a niche. Let consumers relate to you as a specialized shop they come to when they need that particular product.
- Get Your Documents In Order
Today in India, to run any business, you need a GSTIN. For the best results, you must have your GST documentation in place. If you have applied, you can always gst status check online at sites like Khatabook.
The chairman of GST council and the rest of the members have ensured that ecommerce vendors can take maximum advantage of this taxation system. For example, if you bought produce worth Rs 10,000 and paid GST of Rs 100 on it, then made a product and sold it at Rs 15,000 and charged Rs 150 as GST from the customer, the government expects you to pay the Rs 150 to them. However, you can get a return of Rs 100 that you paid earlier as Input Tax Credit and thus, end up paying only Rs 50 in taxes.
- Create An Online Store
If you choose an online seller platform for your business, all you have to do is create a seller page on their platform, and then add your product pictures, descriptions, category, and other details on it and wait for customers to make a purchase.
However, if you opt for creating your online store, there are a few steps you must keep in mind –
- SSL Certification – No customer will trust an online store that does not have a security certificate. So shell out that extra money and get an SSL Certification. Not only does it help gain consumer trust, but it also helps protect your data as well as prevents identity theft.
- Build a Minimalist But Efficient Site – Nobody likes clutter when they shop. Build a site that has a minimalist interface, and yet all products are displayed properly with a detailed description. Have a deep search option with various filters so that it is easier for customers to find what they are looking for.
- Have a Seamless Payment Gateway Integration – Ensure that the consumer can find a product, see the product, and then seamlessly buy the product at the same sitting. They shouldn’t have to run from one page to another to make a purchase.
- Have Fierce Inventory Management
Using a good inventory management software is important. Doing it manually in online business can lead to confusion. Instead, using software ensures that your day to day stock is updated and maintained. That way, consumers will never face the hassle of ordering something, only to see it go out of stock after having paid for it.
- SEO, SEO, SEO
There is no point of an online business that doesn’t show up in the first few results on the first page of a Google search. Nobody on the internet is going beyond those few results. As a result, this is one of the most important aspects of running an online store.
- Take It To Customer Doorsteps Via Social Media
The most important tool in running an online business in 2020 is Social Media. Take your business to new heights by having active Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages. Not only does this ensure that you are always visible to your consumers, but these platforms also provide direct feedback from the customer.
By following these simple steps, you can easily become a fierce business owner in the world of internet commerce.