eCorner

eCorner
Secure eBusiness Solutions

Friday, 12 January 2007

How do I sell online?

Selling online is not just about setting up a website and hoping for the best. There are a few basic principles that apply to selling online that apply equally to selling in the bricks and mortar world.

Selling is about approach and if you are not customer focused and sensitive to customer demand then you won't be successful. You sometimes hear the story of a sales person who can sell anything and yes these people do exist. But the truly successful sales people know the product they are selling, know the competition, know the marketplace and know the buyer requirements. It is not just about being in the right place at the right time. Successfully selling online requires the same principles apply.

You have to have a product that people want to buy. Again you hear about the weird products out there that people buy because they can. But these are the exception and not the rule. So whats hot and what is selling. You have to be in touch with the market and understand buyer trends. Looking at well known and successful competitors can help.

Don't just expect to be found you have to market your site and your products. There are numerous avenues that work, the key is to find one that works for you. There are millions of companies selling on the Internet. So your competition could be tough. You need to make sure that you understand the geographic market that you want to sell into. That way you can really target your marketing spend. As an example Google AdWords allows you to set up campaigns that can target specific cities and regions. So you can market to a defined geographic space. Additionally you can setup the time that your add shows so that it is not going to the wrong audience. So think about your market and the demographic.

So a little about competition. Don't make the mistake of just copying everything that they do. Firstly you may be in breach of copyright laws but more importantly there is always room for improvement. So how do you find the competition well let you browser search bar do the work. Find the most appropriate keywords, product names and companies and start searching.

When it comes to the products the more information the better off you are. So make sure that your product descriptions are complete. If possible include down loadable PDFs and handbooks. Use good quality images and use multiple images of the same product specially if you have product variations. Make sure that the shipping and packaging descriptions and instructions are complete. Make sure that you explain your returns policies carefully.

People like to know who they are buying from so I always recommend that you make sure that the contact information on your website explains who you are and gives a real contact location.

We will talk more about this later and also discuss the issue of collecting payment and external payment providers and costs.

So are You Ready To Sell Online?

All the best,

John

Thursday, 4 January 2007

eCommerce - Getting Started

Many people contact us and ask about getting started with an eCommerce store so they can sell online. Most already have a day job or business and either want to extend or add to their current activities.

The advice that we offer always starts with the same question. Do you have a business plan?

This may sound like a mundane question but it is essential that you understand that starting an eBusiness is just like starting any business. Don't enter with your eyes closed. It is very easy to start a business on the web but that also means that it very easy to blow your money as well. When people come to us we try to determine if they have a real business opportunity because we want to see people succeed.

In building a business plan for your ebusiness you have to take into account all the traditional issues. There is a good site that is run by the Australian government that is very useful. The link is a s follows:
http://www.business.gov.au/Business+Entry+Point/How-to+guides/Thinking+of+starting+a+business/What+planning+tools+can+help+me/Business+plan+guides+templates.htm

Or just do a Google search on business plan and you will find a lot of information.

So the basics are simple:

1. You need a product or service to sell.
2. Set up a business and get an ACN or ABN in Australia.
3. Get a domain name (you need an ABN or ACN in Australia)
4. Put together a business plan and budget
5. Discuss it with some you trust (two minds are better than one)
6. Look at what competitors are doing and talk to them (it is surprising what they will tell you) but don't take their words as gospel.
7. If you want to sell online you can test the water on eBay.
8. How are you going to collect payment it can take 2 - 6 weeks to set up an online merchant account and some banks require 2 years trading history. There are alternatives such as Paypal and Worldpay.

These are just a few basic first steps and we have seen all types and sizes of businesses.

On the Internet size is not important one of the benefits of the web is that no one knows how big you are.

More to come later and please send me any of your questions.....

Regards

John