During my consultation sessions with aspiring online entrepreneurs, I often get asked –
“How to sell online apart from my online store?”
“How can I increase the number of my sales channel?”
This post is for all those people out there who are working towards building their own ecommerce business. In this post, I have consolidated my experience of working with ecommerce business and other similar projects, to prepare a list of best places to sell online and be a success in your ecommerce business.
7 Best Ways To Sell Online
One of the most popular online marketplaces in the world, Amazon is the place to be for any online business. It gives you access to millions of customers who are loyal to Amazon. And it’s a huge brand which will help your business.
Amazon offers 2 programs for sellers: Individual and Professional. Individuals can list products in over 20 categories. Professional Sellers get 10 additional categories to list their products. The individual plan is for sellers who plan to sell less than 40 items per month whereas Professional plan is for sellers who plan to sell over 40 items. Professional sellers also get access to other shopping features like customizing shipping rates, top placements in listings, special promotions and reporting tools etc.
Individual: $0.99 per item + referral fees and variable closing fees
Professional: $39.99 (monthly fee) + referral fees and variable closing fees
eBay is another place where you can get access to millions of customers and sell your products globally. The site offers volume sellers the facility to create an eBay store. The eBay store is your own space on eBay which you can brand and customize as per your needs. You can also use large product photos, optimize your listings, send email newsletters to subscribers and benefit from a dedicated customer service. All Store subscribers receive
- Unlimited insertion fee credits for auction listings that end in a sale.
- As much as 60% off final value fees compared to non-subscriber rates.
- A coupon of up to $50 toward eBay-branded shipping supplies for Basic Stores and above.
- Access to Promotions Manager.
- Exclusive discounts on business services.
For sellers who plan to sell fewer items per months, the fee is 10% of the total sale value to a maximum of $750. If you list more than 50 items per month, then an insertion fee of $0.30 per item will apply.
Etsy has quickly earned a name for itself as a popular online marketplace, especially for homemade or handcrafted products. The site boasts of over 29 million buyers across the world.
Etsy has one standard fee for all sellers. Here, there are no monthly subscription fees or plans for volume sellers. The fee for listing products is $0.20 per product. In addition, there’s a 3.5% transaction fee and PayPal payment processing fee on every sale.
You get access to reporting tools, promotion tools and analytics to manage your business.
Known primarily for selling tech products, Newegg also houses apparel, toys and accessories etc. The site boasts of over 36 million customers across 50 countries. Remember to check the list of the countries it operates on before subscribing.
Newegg has 3 plans for sellers: Standard which is free, Professional at $29.95/month and Enterprise at $99.95 / month. You can list up to 5000 items in Standard plan and 25000 in Professional. There’s no limitation of listings in enterprise plan.
Depending on the plan you choose, you get access to features like-
- On-Site Promotions
- Dedicated Account Manager
- Premium Seller Store
- Curated Marketing Programs
- Premier Seller Program
- Personalized Post Purchase Email
- Shipped by Newegg Fulfillment
In addition to the monthly fee, there’s an additional fee of 8-15% (depending on the product category) on each product sold.
The virtual home to billion of users, Facebook offers a great opportunity for businesses to sell their products. And guess what? There’s no fee charged for selling on Facebook. In Facebook, you can create a Facebook store or shop by adding a shop section to your business page. If you have built your online store on any of the ecommerce platforms then check with your platform if they provide an integration to Facebook. In the store, you can list products and let the shoppers checkout on Facebook itself.
In addition to a Facebook shop, there’s another way of selling online on Facebook i.e. Facebook groups. There are thousands of Facebook groups for buying and selling products. Each group has its own requirements like location, interest etc. Once you list your item on the groups, buyers will show interest in it and then its personal negotiation.
Pinterest is also a great place for an ecommerce business to get access to millions of customers and sell their products. And again it’s free! You need to apply for Buyable Pins and once approved, Pinterest users will see Pins with a “Add to bag” button that links back to the merchant’s store. When people choose to buy a product on Pinterest, order details and payment information are sent to the merchant for processing. You can track the performance of Buyable Pins on Ads Manager.
If your store is on Shopify or BigCommerce then you can apply for Buyable Pins through your respective platform.
33% of Instagram users say they have purchased items they first saw on the platform.
38% say they frequently purchase products they find on the platform.
Yes, there is a good business opportunity on Instagram. With over 500 million shoppers, Instagram is a must for every business.
To sell on Instagram, your business must sell physical goods. You would need an Instagram business account and a Facebook shop. You need to create at least 9 shopping posts to activate the Shop tab.
If you’re a Shopify merchant then you can use the Instagram app available on Shopify to integrate your Instagram account to Shopify. You can then add products to your Facebook product catalogue on Shopify so that they are available for product tagging on Instagram. When you tag your product on Instagram, your shoppable posts will have a shopping bag icon to suggest to users that they can shop these products. Users can tap your post to see the tagged products, where they will be shown a product screen with additional details and pricing for the tagged product. If they wish to purchase the product, the checkout will happen via your Online Store which appears in a web view in the Instagram app.
There are other ways of selling on Instagram which I have covered in my post- How To Use Instagram To Drive Ecommerce Sales
Your Online Store
While the above-mentioned ways of selling your products are great ways to reach out to new customers but your own online store is the place of your business. Online marketplaces charge you a fee for listing your products on their site and getting sales. This means you’re losing out on your margin. The marketplaces are good to get visibility for your business or to increase sales but your own store is built your brand and relationship with your customer base.
In case, you have not built your store then there are many ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Volusion, eCommerce etc., where you can quickly build a store and manage it on a monthly subscription. To learn how to build an online store, read my following posts-
To choose the best platform for your business, read my posts on
5 WAYS TO SELL DIGITAL GOODS ONLINE
If you are selling digital goods like music, videos, ebooks, software etc., then there are exclusive marketplaces which you can leverage to sell it.
As we have seen, in addition to your online store, there are many alternative ways of selling online. These places can give you access to millions of customers and help you kick-start business without much capital. Start with one marketplace, see how’s it helping your business and then spread to others to grow your business.