Sell Products Online
February 20th, 2012
Selling products online will require you to learn a few technologies that are a bit more difficult to understand. I've covered most of them on my page dedicated to building an online store. With that said, if you take the time to read each page that I've written about each topic you'll have a enough of an understanding to sell products online in no time.
Below I'll cover some of the aspects of selling products online that I didn't cover on my page on how to build an online store. Be sure to checkout that page because it really gets into what's needed to selling online.
What Do I Need To Sell Products Online?
Other than the obvious, a product to sell, you're going to need shopping cart software that allows people to add items to their cart and ultimately checkout by paying you.
You're also going to need some features as a dedicated IP address and an SSL. These items are going to be needed to make your visitors shopping experience secure. All credit card companies will require these in order to legally process credit cards. With that said, if you intend on using Pay Pal at the beginning you won't need these items.
By the way, just in case this is one of the first pages you're reading you'll also need a domain name and a web hosting account.
In the last couple of years the major shipping companies have made major strides in emphasizing in online shipping software. Most of the shopping cart software that you use will come integrated with UPS, USPS & Fed Ex.
This is important because the time it takes to print labels can be exhausting so having your software integrated with these shippers. You can simply select the orders you want to ship and within a few clicks your printer is spitting out shipping labels.
Read more on shipping products online.
Start An Affiliate Program
An affiliate program is a great way to expose your product to customers and markets that you may not have been able to market to. This works by offering a percentage of any sales that are referred to you by an affiliate.
There are people that make a living just selling other people's products so this is definitely and avenue to consider.
This is a very detailed topic so please read more on starting an affiliate program.
Customer service is an area of selling products online that is extremely important. One reason is trust, people are hesitant to give their credit card information to just anyone. Many times you'll have customers who want to call in just to verify that you're a legitimate company or they'll call because they don't feel comfortable giving their credit card information.
The bottom line is that if you don't offer an aggressive customer service policy you may be losing hard earned money.
Read more on website customer service.
A strong marketing strategy is important to the success of your website. Without it you won't get visitors to your website and without visitors you won't get any sales.
A marketing strategy is so much more than relying on search engines. There is advertising on websites that offer complementary products, linking campaigns, viral marketing and press releases.
I still haven't mentioned offline marketing such as advertising in local publications like your newspaper, offering drop ship services and offering an affiliate program.
Rather than getting into each topic I suggest you do a search on your favorite search engine because each of these topics require a dedicated website rather than just a couple of paragraphs of information.
My only word of warning is to make sure you do your due diligence before paying for any sort of marketing. You'll find that a lot of companies are quite as reputable as their website makes them out to be.
I invite you to visit my webmaster forum, it's a great place to discuss websites and ask questions to fellow webmasters regarding topics that you may still have questions on.