Selling Online – Getting Started

Selling Online and Setting up a business from scratch,  Scary?  Of course it is.  This is a massive decision with many important aspects that you will need to consider.  At WebShop Revolution we aim to help simplify some aspects of this decision and selling online.  We will help you start up your own online business by:

  1. Delivering a powerful, simple and cheap ecommerce solution, AND
  2. Giving you the benefit of our learning about selling online

This blog covers the second point – giving you advice on setting up your online business.  So, how do I set up an online business?  What do I need to do?  Read on, we can help.

Is Selling Online an All or Nothing Decision?

In short, no it isn’t.  We have worked with loads of clients who have started with on-the-side evenings and weekend online businesses.  Some have naturally grown into full time ventures that have provided large income, others have delivered a decent second income, others have withered on the vine.

The key here is to not jump off a cliff.  Give it a go, see how it goes and see what you learn before you pack your job in.  Don’t be afraid of failure, embrace it, learn and move on.  I read a recent article that said 9 out of 10 start up projects fail.  Fine.  I took from this the need to have at least 10 projects to guarantee success.  You must not be afraid to let go of the 9.  You should check out the it’s time to celebrate failure article from the great team at comms2point0 for a better explanation of what I mean.

What About Intellectual Property?

If you are developing a very high tech, science type product or business then fair enough.  But for the majority of us it is more important to test out our business ideas with a wide audience than to be constantly panicking about IP issues.  Don’t just do this testing out with friends and family – they often tell you what they think you want to hear (things like “what a great idea”, “it will make you £millions”, “you are a genius” and stuff like that).  You should seek out more challenging and critical input.

Most of all you should listen and take on board whatever feedback you get.  As a prospective entrepreneur you have to walk a fine line between being driven and focussed and listening to sensible advice and challenge.

Find Your Niche & Customer Value

I’ve said this before, but I really mean it so will recap a little.  This is something you should get a grip on very early and base your whole project on it.  What makes you different?  More important, what makes you different in customer’s eyes?  Why should I buy from you and not the other 100s of sellers out there?

The Amazon & eBay Effect

Nowadays a lot of customers internet starting point is not a search engine, but eBay or Amazon.  Thing about it.  You have done this too.  Just think about the last time you bought anything online.  Did you start with google or did you start with eBay or Amazon.  I thought so.  For better or worse these 2 giants are here to stay and are going to increase their influence and reach.

How do you deal with this?  Easy enough.  Many of our clients have linked their own commission free sites to eBay and Amazon stores.  Use their power and reach to drive traffic to your site where you keep all of your cash.  Whatever your online ecommerce choice, make sure it supports linking to eBay and Amazon.

Customers are savvy and there is already a reaction to the power of Amazon and eBay.  It is the hypermarket versus the boutique specialist shop issue.  Customers like the fact that you are specialist and can offer deep insight, it is just that you might need to get started with them on these bigger sites.