2 proven ways for the novice business to get sales - Boffix

2 proven ways for the novice business to get sales

April 8, 2018  /  Lizzie Sullivan
Lady working on her business at home

Websites and Marketplaces

Do you have products to sells and are you wanting to sell them online? Gone are the days where you need to have a brick and mortar store to get sales. You no longer need to stand in a store waiting for customers to come in and purchase something from you. You can now do this from the comfort of your own home. You can choose to have either a website or be part of the Marketplace ecosystem. There is nothing to stop you doing both.

Once you have your business legally set up you are ready to work out how to sell products and make money.

Option 1: Sales through a Website

Creating a website is something any of us can do with little or no training. Thanks to clever website building software you don’t even need to know anything about HTML coding. With time, common sense and a little creativity you can create a fully functioning website to suit your needs.

Things to consider

  • Type of website – do you need a standard website or an ecommerce site? If you want customers to purchase through your site, then you will need an ecommerce site.
  • Stock Management – how are you planning to manage your stock control? Website builders offer ways to manage this, setup stock thresholds and opt for notifications.
  • Payment systems – how will your customers pay for items? Look into third party providers and be sure to add all fees into your cost projections.
  • Customer Service – how will you respond to queries and complaints? Will this be through a contact form, email or by using pop up chat boxes. Whatever you choose the main aim is to keep customers happy.
  • Policies – you are legally required to include policies on your website such as privacy and return policy. You will find helpful information on the internet of what you need to include.

Pros and Cons

Setting up your own website is a great way to test your products to see if there is a viable business without spending a lot of money on fancy graphics and website design. However, if this is your first experience it may take time to get the site operating how you want it.

Option 2: Sales on Marketplaces

Selling products at Marketplaces doesn’t mean you have to stand in the cold shouting “two for a pound”. Marketplaces are online websites that enable businesses to sell products for a fee. The registered business owner signs up to an account, lists products and the Marketplace brings in the customers.

Things to consider

  • Choosing the right Marketplace – determine the types of products you sell and whether you are eligible to sell these through the Marketplace. Work out your customer base and ensure the Marketplace can fit you with the right audience.
  • Costs – each Marketplace has a different pricing structure. Some charge a monthly subscription, others take a percentage for each item listed and upon a sale. Work out your full costs and be sure to find out how you will receive the money after the sale.
  • Rules and Policies – each site has its own set of rules and by choosing to sell through a third-party site you will need to familiarise yourself with the rules. Failure to adhere to these could see your listings removed and/or your account suspended.
  • Competitors – Before signing up search for the products you wish to sell and identify a competitive price for these products. Work out a cost plan to see if you will stand to make money selling through the channel.

Pros and Cons

Selling on Marketplaces have seen small businesses all over the world experiencing an increase in sales. But it can come with challenges and you may find yourself catapulted into price wars with other sellers. To benefit be mindful of feedback and rating systems, adhere to the policies, keep on top of dispatch timeframes and respond quickly to customers.

Pause and Research

When you first start a business, you have the tendency to want the best website and to be advertising your products on multiple Marketplaces. Your eyes glisten over with pound signs and you can quickly be out of your depth.  Instead pause and research. Check out your competitors and see what is working for them. Keep your overheads low, sell products you have in stock and offer the best customer service.

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