As a budding entrepreneur, you’re constantly looking for new and innovative ways of selling your products – whether you’re doing it as a side business or a full-time operation. No matter what products you’re offering, you’ll want to discover the power of selling them online.
In the modern-day, there are only a small amount of retailers that still solely rely on a physical store, with many starting their own website or selling through an e-commerce platform, such as Amazon.
Of course, not all e-commerce platforms will be the right fit for your business. So you must uncover the features, advantages and disadvantages of each site before you start to sell your products through them. By determining the best platform and market for your products, you can grow your business online successfully and strategically.
To give you a head start, here are the top 5 ways you can sell your products online, along with some pros and cons for each platform.
Start Your Own Website
Pros: It is pretty easy to set your website up with builders like Volusion or Shopify and by selling your items through your own website, there won’t be any monthly fees to list them (or for credit card processing fees) and you’ll have everything in one place.
Not only this, but many business owners opt for this method, as all of their products will be under one roof and can easily be edited. With full control over the way that it looks and how customers navigate through it, you’ll be able to increase the revenue you receive.
Cons: Creating a website is expensive from the get-go. And although it offers you the flexibility to change the layout/listings and more throughout its lifetime, you might require the assistance of a developer to do so.
If your brand hasn’t already got a large following, you might also find that your website isn’t being accessed by as many customers as you’d like; which you would arguably access to a greater degree through the likes of e-commerce sites such as eBay.
Pros: Amazon is easily one of the world’s most renowned e-commerce platforms. Used by millions of users every day, it can be a great way of selling your products to an international market. By marketing and selling your products through Amazon, customers will think that you’re more trustworthy and reliable.
Cons: A big downside of selling through Amazon, is that they will take a percentage of your profits each month. You’ll also have to pay a monthly listing fee if you’re selling large quantities of product at a time.
Pros: Since opening its virtual doors in 2005, Etsy has become one of the most beloved e-commerce platforms. A site that’s ideal for entrepreneurs selling unique and bespoke niche products, they allow you to personalize your listings to appeal to a wider audience.
Cons: Similarly to Amazon, Etsy will take some of your profits and require a listing fee.
Pros: Launched in 2010, Aliexpress has quickly become one of the world’s fastest-growing e-commerce platforms. Catering for an international market, it’s a popular portal for those looking to get into drop-shipping.
As there’s no minimum number of units per order, you can sell as many or as little products as you wish – helping you to scale your products with the demand.
Cons: Even though it’s a good platform for selling a wide range of products, consumers often think that it sells low to medium quality products at reasonable prices – leading them to believe that what you’re offering is subpar.
There are three other things that you should keep in mind if you’re looking to use this platform:
- Quality standards will differ between the countries – if you want to legally sell internationally, you’ll need to make sure these are met.
- The purchase process is unique – customers will contact you to agree on the specific details before ordering – making it differ from a conventional marketplace.
- There are a lot of counterfeit products on there – you might find that after selling your products, counterfeits crop up. And although you can remove counterfeits from Aliexpress, it’s something that must be considered beforehand.
Pros: Running for over 20 years, eBay is arguably the most recognizable e-commerce platform. A huge market for you to access, you can utilize the platform to sell your products to anyone in the world. Ideal for a startup, you can quickly become popular through it.
Cons: As it’s used by millions of sellers, the market is very competitive. This could make it more difficult to get noticed and make significant sales. As with similar sites, it will take a portion of your profits – a hard pill to swallow for small businesses who aren’t receiving a lot of sales initially.