Online Selling Platforms: Why You Should Use Them and How to Get Started
One of the best ways to get your product out there is through an online selling platform. An online selling platform is a website that allows you to create your own store without needing any coding skills, a huge budget or a degree in web design.
But because of the many platforms available, how do you choose which one you should use? This article will help guide you on what ecommerce platforms are and why they can be beneficial for both beginners and experienced sellers.
How does an online selling platform work?
Online selling platforms help entrepreneurs turn their products into a business without the need for any coding skills or expensive design work and they come with all of the features you would expect to find in an online store. The service provider typically handles everything from hosting your site, providing customer support, shipping orders on behalf of sellers when necessary and collecting payments.
The store owner is then responsible for marketing the products to customers through social media, email campaigns or any other means they choose.
Online selling platforms do not restrict sellers to just one type of product, but rather offer templates for different types of shops including those that sell physical goods, digital goods, services and more.
What are the most popular ecommerce platforms?
Following are some of the most popular ecommerce platforms:
- Shopify: It is the most powerful online selling platform on this list and is great for beginners because they offer video tutorials so that you can easily understand how everything works. This article also includes information about what you need to know before getting started, which platforms to choose when you’ve decided on a product and how to get started.
- Big Commerce: It’s a great option for people who are new to ecommerce or don’t have any past experience with software and it also has one of the easiest learning curves on this list because there is no coding needed at all.
- Magento: is a popular choice among large companies and comes with functionality that’s perfect for people who are looking to sell products in all sorts of different categories.
- Woo Commerce: It is free and easy to use for beginners with no coding skills or design experience.
- Shopify Plus: For high volume merchants, it offers a suite of powerful products that are usually only reserved for enterprise level retailers such as manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers.
- SquareSpace Commerce: It is designed for ease of use by people with no coding skills.
- Volusion: You can sell any product through their system and they have a large range of templates that are easy to edit.
- Big Cartel: There’s an affordable plan as well as the option to upgrade at anytime if your business grows or you need additional features.
- Etsy: Etsy is a website that focuses on handmade or vintage goods and is perfect for artists, crafters, designers, collectors and anyone who’s creative.
- Yahoo Stores: Yahoo Stores has over 18 million products available in their marketplace so it’s perfect for people who are looking to sell a mass variety of items.
Which products are popular online?
People want to buy clothes; especially from a brand they trust. So if you’re selling clothing, make sure the clothes look and feel high quality to potential shoppers. They also need to be in styles that are currently popular so people will know what they’re getting before buying it.
People want things for their homes and apartments, like furniture and decorations for the kitchen or living room. They could be looking for a new pillow, curtains, lighting fixtures or even just something to jazz up their walls with some art on it.
Technology is another popular product people are always shopping around online because there’s so much out there that you’ll never know what’s going to be the next hot item.
What people are willing to spend will also determine which selling platform you choose for your product. There are platforms that allow people with a lower budget and want to sell smaller quantities of items, or there are ones where the prices can get higher because it caters more towards high-end products.
How to evaluate the online selling platform options?
How does the platform provide inventory management? What are the fees for using an online selling platform? Does it offer a mobile application or other ways to access your store on the go? Is there customer support available 24/hours a day, 365 days of the year?
These questions will help you determine which platform will work best for you, your product and the type of customer base that you want to attract.
- Inventory management: If inventory is very important to how well an online store can do then this factor should be evaluated closely when making a decision about which ecommerce platform to use. For instance, if stock needs are low and inventory is not a major concern, then platforms like Shopify or Big Cartel may be more appropriate.
- Type of product: If you’re selling products that are high in demand and have lower stock requirements (such as books), then an online store builder such as Squarespace might work best. However, if your product has low demand and is in high stock demand (such as t-shirts), then Shopify or Big Cartel might be more appropriate.
- Experience with online selling: If you don’t have any experience setting up an online store, then Squarespace may be the best choice for you. However, if you do have some experience from running a blog or another type of online presence, then a platform like Big Cartel may work best.
- Time: If you have no time to learn new skills and don’t want to spend hours researching the different types of platforms out there, then Squarespace might be the easiest option for you. But if you’re willing to invest some more hours in learning about the different types of platforms out there and want a higher level of customization, then Big Cartel may be worth exploring.
Steps to get started selling online
So you’re ready to start selling online, but are not sure where to begin?
- Decide on an ecommerce platform.
- Download the platform’s mobile app and install because this will be your method of checking in on your store, seeing how it’s going or even making changes if needed. You can do everything from there all while you’re out and about so make sure that when signing up for an account you allow the app to access your location. That way, when you’re on vacation and decide that selling is just too much work, all you have to do is open the app while sitting at a beach bar in Mexico and make it so orders ship there instead of leaving them in limbo until you get back home.
- Create your store and product listings.
- Get approved by the online selling platform you selected (usually just a matter of providing them with some basic contact info.
- Start marketing. Share links to your products, advertise through social media channels and reach out to bloggers that might be interested in reviewing your products.
Researching online selling platforms is important
Ecommerce platforms have made it easier than ever before for you to start selling online without having any coding skills or a degree in web design. There are many to choose from, so it's important to research the platform that best meets your needs.
I Buy I Review helps you make that decision by buying a variety of online training programs and then reviewing them to let you know which ones we think are legitimate and which ones we think are a scam.
Team National is a direct sales network marketing company that also has an ecommerce platform called Big N Marketplace for its members. You can find our Team National review here.
I buy and review courses so you don’t have to. Sometimes, I even find courses that are legitimate and worthwhile; and that’s how I accidentally came across one that led me to building a 6-figure business in a little under 5 years. Now, I still review courses because it’s my favorite hobby. 🙂 Learn more about me here.