Selling products online: How to get started

Selling products online

Planning is the key to launching a successful online business with long-term success. Planning is not difficult. Below are a few steps of how you to successfully plan to sell online.

  1. Decide on what to sell in your online store

You can choose to sell either commoditized or unique products. For e-commerce startups, unique products sell best with minimal competition from well-established online marketplaces.  You need to find yourself a product niche that is trending or one that you are passionate about. It is even better if you can manage to find both.

  1. Make sure that you can actually sell

After you’ve decided on what to sell, you need to consider the challenges you are likely to encounter in your product niche. Consider the challenges that go beyond other people potentially wanting to buy what you are selling. Potential challenges might include shipping logistics. Make sure that you can be able to ship to your clients without charging them exorbitantly or obliterating your margins.  


  1. Study your target market and get to know the players

Online competition is fierce. Knowing your product market thoroughly before launching your business is in your best interest. Identify your target market. Your target market is the market that is interested in the product but is currently underserved. Make your brand the trustworthy choice for these underserved customers.

  1. Find out who your closest competitors are and what they are doing

After you’ve gotten the lay of the land and figured out who your top competitors are, you need to analyze their business dealings to formulate a plan of attack. Pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses, note where and how they are selling and find the gaps they are leaving in the market. You can then formulate a plan on how you will fill these holes and outwit your competition.

  1. Figure out how to best source your product.

After you figured out all the background information for your e-commerce venture, you can now move on to sourcing your product.  Will you make your products in-house, drop ship, or use a 3PL? Every brand, even within the same selling category, will require its own sourcing. Figure out which type of sourcing works best for your customer’s expectations, margins and sales channel and choose it.

  1. Make sure you aren’t breaking any laws.

Check to make sure that your business is operating within the confines of the law of the market where you’re selling. Different locales have different rules so you should make sure you learn and abide by the laws of your area of operation be it local, state, federal or even international.