Transitioning to an Online-Only Business
Some companies, like Zulily and Smokingthings, have made a successful brand with an online platform. In today’s technology-driven world, you no longer have to run a brick-and-mortar store to be successful. In fact, the costs of a physical store can add up over time and leave you with fewer profits than you would have with a strictly online enterprise. There are a few things to know, however, when you decide to open up an online shop, including deciding what platform you will sell on, what product you will sell, how you will make shipping efficient and how you will develop marketing strategies.
Decide What Platform You Will Use
You must first decide whether you will operate your own website or if you will sell your products through another platform. There can be advantages and disadvantages to both methods. With your own website, you do not have to worry about a platform’s commission fees, but you also do not get their advertising services. When selling through a platform, you have access to a larger number of customers, but there may be fees that you encounter.
Decide What Product You Will Sell
Your brand should be focused on a certain product or category of products. When you are not focused on a specific service, it is more difficult to market things and improve your design. When you have only one or a few specialties, you can streamline your processes and make them more efficient.
Make Shipping Efficient
You will need to factor shipping costs into your product prices. You can offer free local pickup or free shipping for purchases over a certain amount. Be sure that you have the right materials to ship items out and that you can do so in a timely manner. As your business grows, it might be advantageous to have a dedicated shipping department.
Develop Strong Marketing Strategies
Because you do not have a physical location for people to walk or drive past every day, you will need strong marketing strategies to attract customers to your online business. This can include social media posts or paid advertisements. Any effort that draws more clients to your site can be worth it.
With these few tips in mind, you can be on your way to operating a successful online enterprise. With some hard work and business smarts, you can skip the hassle of a brick-and-mortar store and go straight into selling your stuff.