How To Start Selling Online with eBay, Amazon, Shopify, Wordpress, Dropship
There are a couple of ways to go about selling items online. It really depends on what products you are trying to sell and what your target audience is.
You could start to sell your items via a second-hand platform like eBay which enables each user to practically sell anything as long as it pertains under the guidelines that they provide. There are no real rules but usually, there are two selling options.
Firstly, is selling your items as auctions. This enables users from all over the world to bid on your products and you'll reach a massive amount of users in a really short time. You can choose what the starting price is, for how long the item is auctioned for, and if you have a minimum price which you won't sell it for under, then you can set that too.
Secondly, is selling your items at a fixed price. This enables total control of the items you are selling whilst utilizing the eBay customer base.
Important to note however is that eBay in itself a huge community and you'll have to do extensive research in order to learn and master all its intricacies. One thing to consider though is that having your products on eBay is not free and you'll have to pay a fixed fee + a percentage of all the sales. eBay also does not allow you to sell an unlimited amount of products immediately after creating an account so you'll have to build trust with eBay so that they’ll increase your sales limit.
Amazon is one of, if not the biggest market out there, with hundreds of millions of monthly users and is without a doubt a huge market with huge potential to sell products online.
There is no option for selling items as auctions but Amazon and its ecosystem is nevertheless a huge beast to grapple with.
The titles, pictures, descriptions, meta descriptions, linked products; the list never ends of what you can optimize to maximize your sales avenues through higher product ranking.
Amazon is a money running operation and as such, they operate by taking a fixed fee + percentage of all the sales. Amazon has due to they way that it has been set-up enabled storefronts to advertise directly to the visitors with paid ads to create visibility for products. Amazon can and has been for many very lucrative in terms of making money but one should keep in mind that the competition is high and competitors endless. There are many obstacles to overcome when selling on Amazon, but once you do, and your product listings are getting better ranked, you’ll have an endless stream of people looking to buy your products.
Amazon being the big conglomerate that it is provides shipping to a variety of places. This means for example that Amazon UK provides shipping to Sweden by delivery. It has opened up new sales avenues and enabled multi-country commerce in a whole new and exciting way.
Fulfillment By Amazon
Amazon FBA is another service whom a lot of storefronts make use of. FBA is short for Fulfillment By Amazon and enables you to send your products to Amazon warehouses around the world, cutting your need to have a centralized and often in-house warehouse. You could just let Amazon handle that stuff and focus on what is important, which is building a brand and making sales.
Shopify is an e-commerce front store that makes it easy for anybody to easily create and manage their own shopping store. With its easy-to-use interface, Shopify enables everybody to create a store their own terms. Shopify is a tool that enables small business owners to reach an audience online that they might have forgotten or not been able to reach before.
Starting a store is as easy as browsing the web. You can pick and choose from one of Shopify's own themes, a theme you might have found on a marketplace like Themeforest, or if you are an experienced developer or just brave and curious you could try to create your own theme personalized to fit your exact needs.
The Shopify interface is really intuitive and easy-to-use. It has been crafted to accommodate the savviest of computer geeks but also the ones who have just started their journey of selling products on pre-built and easily managed e-commerce platforms.
Shopify also enables users to use third-party tools through their App Store. There is a variety of add-ons which enable you to use business tools, data, and marketing tools to further leverage your sales. You can use apps from places like Xero, Quickbooks and MailChimp to further develop your store into the premium enterprise that it can be.
Another thing that is popular is the dropshipping capabilities of Shopify using apps like Oberlo, AliDropship, etc. These online solutions enable you to never even be in proximity to the products that you sell; enabling you to focus on sales and brand growth. By dropshipping you never actually have the product. The way it works is that you develop your website, and add products to it. These products are available on other established commerce platforms who can send products to people all around the world. You start advertising and driving traffic to your online shopping store, and whenever you make a sale, you order that from for example Aliexpress, Amazon, eBay, and ship it to your customer. The sales price to your customer is, of course, a bit higher than the cost of the product itself, and whatever is left is the profit that you make.
You can also use apps that let you utilize other commerce platforms such as Facebook Marketplace, Google, eBay, Amazon by connecting these together in a free-flow ecosystem enabling you to have full control and leverage the platforms against each to create flexibility and boost sales.
Wordpress - with WooCommerce Integration
Wordpress is in many ways a more customizable and in effect more difficult commerce platform to use for your shopping store than the ones mentioned above. WoCommerce is contrary to Shopify, not a centralized ecosystem meaning you do not have to use specific servers to host your products, rather you'll have to set them up yourself. This can for some people create hurdles in terms of how easy it is to set up and maintain a store. Whereas Shopify is a streamlined experience where the developers have created a set of criteria to follow, WooCommerce throws all of this through the window for a more hands-on-approach which enables for a complete customization of the online shopping store.
💸 WooCommerce & Wordpress are both free, and free is good.
👋 WooCommerce is actually open source. This means that anyone can modify, audit or extend the code.
👐 WooCommerce is really user friendly. This means that you don't have to be an expert to create your very own online shopping store.
🔌 WooCommerce is comprehensive in terms of support. There is a great array of consumer plugins, these add new functionality meaning you can build your store without the technical knowledge.
📱 WooCommerce is compatible with all devices. The amount of people doing their shopping on their smartphones is constantly increasing and with WooCommerce you can relax whilst it automatically adjusts to fit your devices.
🎨 WooCommerce makes it easy for you to design. WooCommerce utilizes something called "themes" which enables the user to fine-tune the store without the need for extensive technical knowledge.
🔒 WooCommerce is safe to use. WooCommerce is not just open source, it has a set of security features making it hard for hackers to access.
There are of course positives and negatives with all these methods of selling products online so you’ll have been sure what option is the best for you.