Small businesses are under pressure right now. If your business relies on people visiting your shop or premises you’ve probably seen a large portion of your custom disappear. Yet these customers still need your products and services, and many of them are going online.
If your business can’t sell online you’re missing out.
Below is a quick-start guide to get your business online fast.
eBay is not just the ultimate car boot sale, it’s also a great place for companies to sell their products. It’s easy to get started. Follow eBay’s tutorials and you can have your first listings up within minutes. Don’t forget that you’ll probably have quite a bit of competition, and people will be looking for the best prices. You’ll also have to factor in postage costs and eBay’s commission charge, so make sure you cost it all out beforehand. But if you’re careful you’ll get your products in front of thousands of potential customers within a very short time frame.
Amazon Marketplace lets companies list their products on the main Amazon website. You get access to thousands of customers, but as with eBay you’ll be listed alongside your competitors. It’s a bit trickier to get an account set up but Amazon walks you through the process to make sure you meet all their criteria. You’ll need to convince Amazon that you can deliver your products on time and to the correct quality and they will even provide you with warehousing and postage services (at a cost) if you need them. As with eBay they charge a commission per sale so make sure you factor this into your selling price.
Your own website
If you want to sell direct to your customers through a website it’s fairly easy to set one up these days. There are a range of ready-made stores such as Shopify, from which you can ‘rent’ a website. You upload your products, connect up to their payment system and you’re good to go. For these systems you pay for the site rental and a payment charge per order, which is similar but a bit more than a normal credit card charge.
The other option is to have a web design company (like mine!) build the site for you. Here you’ll get professional help and support setting everything up correctly, and once you’re connected to a bank or PayPal you’ll only be charged normal card fees.
You will need to get people to visit your site. The best way to do this is to contact every customer whose email address you already have and send them your web address. Then use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to target people in your area. Within these platforms you can even target specific types of people to make sure your advertising spend gets maximum return. Your web designer will be happy to help you get all this sorted out.
Act now. If you’re not selling online, you’re missing out.
By Bob Grant Web Consultant at get.uk.com