If you are a business and the concept of selling online is a new one to you – then it really shouldn’t be!
If the basic principles of what’s involved aren’t too clear to you then you’ll get a good basic overview description from established online selling environments such as that available at Amazon.
Although the basic method is relatively straightforward, it sometimes takes a bit of thought to appreciate why you should move your business into this domain of selling.
Benefits of Selling Online
Perhaps the most obvious business reason relates to the size of the marketplace. Last year a phenomenal £68billion was spent online in the United Kingdom and it might be a very brave or more likely foolish business that decides to stand back and not take part in those volumes of potential retail activity.
One of the biggest attractions of selling online is that the capital investment required to start-up is typically modest. Yes, you will need to invest in some basic PC and internet equipment, a decent quality digital camera plus a scanner – and you’ll also need to think about putting some business processes in place to deal with things like online orders and inquiries.
As you can see, this would be well within the reach of even the humblest business and if you do need some help in capital funding there are business lending facilities available from companies such as Everline who might be able to offer a small business loan to help.
One of the biggest business challenges to starting to sell online is often the change in mind-set that goes with it.
Some aspects of using this channel are very familiar to those with experience of the conventional high street. People visiting your site will need to find it a pleasant and easy experience and somewhere they can find products and services that are of interest to them and at a cost-effective price.
What they most certainly will not want is:
- difficulties in finding their way around your site;
- a lack of information;
- long waits for answers to their e-mail inquiries;
- inexplicable and unnecessary delays in shipping goods once they have purchased them;
- complicated procedures if they need to return the goods for a refund; etc.
For the shopper, the internet is very attractive because it is convenient and fast. If your business culture and business processes do anything to work against those two factors, then your customers will simply go elsewhere.
Some new entrants to this sales channel make the mistake of thinking that it is a game changer in terms of their need to comply with certain forms of legislation including consumer protection etc. In fact, it isn’t and there are rules and regulations governing consumer rights when buying online.
You can find out more about these from the government’s own website.
Is it all worthwhile?
Well, selling on-line in itself won’t guarantee the success of your business. You won’t find it any easier to sell products and services online that people don’t want than you would do in the high street.
However, online selling also brings with it access to a truly global marketplace. If you get the basic business proposition right then offering it to the world can only be a sensible thing to do.