Getting Started Selling Products Online Beginners Guide

Like most small businesses your products or store has little or no national brand recognition. So how can you sell products online amongst the millions of other websites? Let this article serve as a guide to start selling your products online. There are an endless supply of tips and tricks to selling products online but the following are ones that I’ve had personal success with.

Professional Web Design

The overall look and feel of your website will have a great affect on people and the confidence to purchase from you. Most people are willing to make online purchases but with Internet fraud on the rise, you need a professional web site to build confidence in your customers. When new customers visit your site they typically won’t research your business before making a purchase, they decide based on how your site looks. See our article on Small Business Professional Web Site Design and Layout Guide for more tips.

Usability

Usability is very closely tied to the design and layout of your website. Website usability is the practice of making your website as easy for customers to use as possible. If you want potential customers to purchase your products, you must make it easy for them to locate your products and find out any information they need to make the purchase. If potential customers can’t locate products, descriptions, and prices quickly, they will go somewhere else. Many experts agree the the best websites allow viewers to navigate directly to products in three clicks.

Once customer is ready to purchase, the checkout process needs to be streamlined. Make the user fill out only what is required to make the sale with little extra. Don’t display page after page of additional products, popups, questions, etc… This will only lead to more people exiting the checkout process prematurely. Once they have made the decision to checkout, don’t give them any reason to change they’re mind.

You must accept credit card payments for online sales. Giving customers multiple checkout choices increase your chances of making a sale but most customers will still want to purchase using they’re credit card. Services like Pay Pal allow users without an account to purchase from your website securely without having an account.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

SEM is typically the process of marketing your website by paying search engines to display your ad when users search for particular terms. These ads are not part of the organic search results; rather they are displayed on the first page, many times above or to the right of the organic search results. This marketing has worked very well for many companies but it does cost money. Most services charge based on the number of times your ad is displayed (impressions) or the number of times your ad is clicked PPC (Pay Per Click). Most large search engines offer this service.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

This is one of my favorite ways to market my websites. Search engines cannot tell you specifically what to do to increase your placement in organic search engine results. If they did, obviously everyone would change they’re websites to rank high in the search results. This would result in sites ranking high that are not relevant to your search. SEO is a science to many people, they study sites that rank high, formulate theories as to why they rank high, test these theories on they’re sites, and study the results. The three important things for small businesses to do from an SEO standpoint are:

1. Key phrases: Research popular key phrases. Find out what key phrases people use when searching for your product. You should define at least 6 key phrases for your products. Many times these key phrases include brand names. For instance, if you sold shoes online, some of your key phrases might be: Buy Shoes Online, Running Shoes, Brand X Shoes, etc…

2. Content: Populate your site with key phrase dense content. Make sure your site has the phrases you’re defined in step one repeated on your website. You can’t just list your key phrases; you must incorporate them into your website elegantly. This can be done by rewriting your product descriptions and writing key phrase dense content. In addition to making sure your key phrases exist in your content, make sure your content is unique. If your content can be found elsewhere on the web, you may be downgraded by the search engines and other sites with the same content may get preference in the results. Making your key phrases relevant and your content unique will increase your position in the results.

3. Links: Getting one way links to your site not only tell the search engines that you exist but can increase they’re trust in your website. The higher ranked site that is linking to you the more trust you will inherit from that site. Getting links from sites, directories, blogs, and social networking sites that have similar content will help build trust with the search engines resulting in a higher position in the search results. Additionally writing and submitting articles and news releases with a link back to your site will build trust with the search engines that your site is an authority on the subject at hand, thus increasing your ranking with them.

There are many other tips, tricks, and rules to SEO and the more you study and tweak your site the better your search engine results will be. Make sure what you do does not have a negative affect on your ranking. Stay away from automated software or services that submit your site, link farms, spamming, sites that are not easily navigated by search engines, sites that use frames, all flash sites, any black hat tricks, etc… Make sure you research anything before trying it.

Products

Many people have found many ways to sell there products online. The following are two techniques that I have found successful

1. Selling large ticket items at cost. This technique is exactly how it sounds. If you can be the low price leader for your product this can generate sales and people linking to you. Obvously you won’t make money selling products at cost, rather when the sale is made you make extra money on accessories or at lease gain a customer. Customers are loyal to websites they have already purchased from, especially if they received good service.

2. Selling unique or customizing your product. This can set you apart from others. You will obviously have the foothold on a unique product and limit your competition if you customize your products. Your task is to build the perception that your unique or customized product is worth the extra cost (if any). Building value in your product will reduce your competition thereby increasing your chance of making a sale.

If you do not produce your own products, try to find as many products to offer as possible, the more the better. This only increases your chance of offering the product a customer may need. Additionally, from an SEO perspective, rewrite all your descriptions replacing abbreviations and using keywords where possible. This will create uniqueness for your products increasing your ranking in the search engine results.

This is truly a beginner’s guide to selling products online but following these guidelines will result in a solid foundation to build on.

How to Start an Online Store Selling The Best Selling Products Online

Starting an online store selling the best selling products online is much more easier than what most people seem to realize, if you know how to do it in a step-by-step format.

But before you start your online business and create your company name you need to first determine which products you’re going to sell online.

This way you can give your company a name which may be related to your product line(s) and a name that tells your customers exactly what it is that you are offering on your estore.

The following product lines are the best selling products online according to the NRF/Forrester Online Retail Index, The NPD Group, The Media Metrix Online Shopping Index and other statistics providers.

Top selling products in order are:

1-Books

2-Computer Hardware and Software

3-Apparel

4-Toys

5-Video Games

6-Video Game Systems

7-Videos

8-DVD’s

9-Health and Beauty products

10-Consumer Electronics

11-Music

12-Jewelry

13-Office Supplies

14-Linens

15-Home Décor

16-Flowers

17-Sporting Goods

18-Footwear

19-Appliances

20-Tools and Garden

21-Gifts.

Then try to pick a niche product within a niche product line.

For example; Instead of selling all types of books, which is the number one selling product on the Internet, you would specialize in selling a certain category of books such as the best web design books.

Another example would be computer products. Instead of building an online super-store selling all types of computer products you would focus on a niche hot market such as digital cameras.

Lets break these steps down a little further:

1.Create your company name.

Do not make the common mistake of creating a business name too quickly and without thought. This is an important decision that takes careful consideration. You’ll want to select a name that should reflect the main product line or service of your new online store.

Do not use your own name in your business name. Make your name descriptive so that it advertises your products, or at least relates to your products or services.

2.Register your name.

3.Form your business structure; Sole Proprietorship.

Next, move is to check on the names’ availability. Contact the name search department within the Department Of Corporations for your state.

Next, select a type of legal structure for your business. There are basically three types of business structures: Sole Proprietorship, Corporation and Partnership. Sole Proprietorship being the easiest and quickest to form. Complete explanation of all of these terms can be found at [http://www.estorefronguide.com]

4.Obtain your business/occupational license.

(Only if needed in your county) Business licenses are generally issued through the city and/or county clerks office where you will need to fill out and submit an application.

5.Obtaining your resellers license (sales tax license).

Now you’ll head on over to your local State Revenue Department (IRS) to apply for your tax license, which is also known as your resellers license or dealers license.

This tax license, (resellers license), gives you the privilege to buy at wholesale from genuine wholesale distributors and sell at retail to the public. You will also have the responsibility of collecting sales tax from consumers for sales
made within your home state.

6.Choose a top-selling, niche-product market.

Choose a product line from the list above and possibly dive deeper to find your niche market. When choosing your niche market, ask yourself if there is a certain type of product that you may already be educated in or a product line that you find interesting to learn about.

It always works best when you are selling a product that you enjoy. A complete list of top selling products and subcategories can be found at [http://www.estorefronguide.com]

7.Get signed up with the distributors for those products.

It’s always a good idea to be signed up with at least 3 to 4 full-line major distributors. A complete list of the best wholesale distributors and drop-shippers can be found at
[http://www.estorefronguide.com]

8.Read and learn as much as you can about those products.

This can be done by simply reading magazines and books which expound on your products. You can also visit the manufactures website and read more specific details about those same products as well.

9.Build your own e-store or have a design firm build it for you.

Building your own online store with FrontPage, Dreamweaver or an Adobe web dev program is the best way to go.

Most if not all service providers who offer online stores will build a database driven website which calls up the product pages on the fly, meaning you do not have a web site with many pages but instead you have a system that makes up the pages as the customers click for that product page, which is very convenient of course.

However, the problem with that type of online store is that you do not have each product page created specifically for that product and therefore the search engines will see your online store as a one to 4 page web site and not a content-rich online store with many product pages which in turn will not earn your e-store a good position with the search engines.

With a data base driven online store you can not get indexed for each product you sell because you can not create a separate page for each product and submit those pages to the search engines or allow for the spider of the search engine to index those distinctive pages.

However, an online store that has many pages, also known as a static web page web site, allows you to make a web page for each product giving the search engines more pages to feed their search engine database and helping your customers find your site when they are looking for that product.

It’s less complicated than what it sounds. But suffice it to say that it is much more better for you to build your own site, even using a professional template such as those found on TemplateMonster.com. other template providers can be found at [http://www.inet-start.com] under free and low cost web site templates.

10.Choosing your domain name.

Try to choose and register a domain name that has your most important keyword in it and your company name combined which should already be a part of your name. Always try to choose a dot.com and not a .net or .org. e.i.

11.Register your domain name

The best place to register your domain name would be with GoDaddy.com http://www.godaddy.com

12.Choose a web hosting provider and a hosting plan.

You can find a list of the top web hosting providers with the best and most affordable web hosting packages at [http://www.inet-start.com] under free and low cost web hosting.

13.Choose your web development software.

Most people choose Microsoft FrontPage, Dreamweaver or any Adobe web development program. A complete list of programs which allow you to build online stores can be found at
[http://www.estorefronguide.com]

14.Start building your online store.

This is much more easier than what it sounds. All you have to do is design the first page one time by using your own template design or by visiting http://www.templatemonster.com

Then from there all you will need to do is add the product details and images and save each page as the name of that product. Once you build your first specification page then the rest of them will be easy to duplicate within minutes.

15.Set up your merchant account.

Most merchant account basically offer the same rates. Some offer free set up and good rates which is always the best way to go. You can find a helpful list of the best free and low cost merchant accounts here [http://www.inet-start.com]

16.Complete your online store.
17.Promote, market and advertise your e-store.

Marketing is the hardest part but if one attacks this process in every angle possible then you are more than likely to truly succeed. Meaning…

You must execute every means of effective internet marketing techniques: search engine optimization, link building, keywords, articles, press releases, creating your own news letter and collecting subscribers, Email marketing, participating in forums etc…

You have to learn and do the best you can in all of these marketing areas to truly make some serious money online.

18.Then wait for the orders to start rollin in.

Of course it’s not that simple but it can be if you just take it one step at a time. Write a simple step-by-step business plan just as what you see here. Then follow each step and then scratch it off of your list as you complete it. Before you know it you’ll be taking your first order.

How to Sell Products Online

How To Sell A Product Online. 3 Steps To Get Started.

Online businesses continue to grow. Every day, new merchant start-ups are added to the World Wide Web and successful businesses expand. The internet has literally changed the face of doing business. If you’re interested in joining the ranks of individuals who are making money online, here are the three basic steps you’ll need to take to get started.

Step. 1. Choose your product. In the world of online sales, there are a number of options for you to choose from.

Sell a product. If you’ve ever been interested in retail but are not interested in opening up a brick and mortar type store this business is for you! You actually have two ways to go when you sell products you can sell products that you’ve made like candles, jewelry, Santa letters, costumes, pet treats etc., you can find companies that dropship, or you can become a direct sales consultant.

Direct sales consultants are essentially independent sales people for other companies. They’re self employed and generally market their business online and via home based parties. Common direct sales companies include Avon, Shacklee, and Discovery Toys. These are only a few of the hundreds of direct sales opportunities available

Dropshipping means the manufacturer or wholesaler will ship the product directly to your customers upon ordering. Again, the sky is the limit here, you can find just about any type of product you’re passionate about and start selling. For example, are you crazy about cooking, there are certainly wholesale companies that cater to the culinary industry.

Selling information. Information marketing is growing by leaps and bounds. It encompasses selling books, online courses, audio books or courses – anything that can be downloaded online can be sold. You can build an information marketing empire around your specific and unique knowledge or a topic that you are interested in. If the idea of creating your own information products is not to your liking, consider purchasing resale rights to books that other people have written or find a ghostwriter to have your products written for you.

Information website. The last type of business that you can open is an information based website. You can develop an entire website devoted to your specialized knowledge or area of interest. Information websites make money selling advertising space and promoting affiliate products. . You can also make good money as an affiliate marketer. This means that if your passion is helping people cope with food allergies and you have favorite food products, cookbooks, and information on the subject you can partner with the manufacturers of these companies to make a commission from any sales you send their way.

Step 2. Build your website. Building your website is a very important step. In fact it is critical. The good news is that it isn’t irreversible. If you choose a keyword that doesn’t sell, you can change your keywords. The first thing you will want to do, once you’ve determined what type of online business you’re going to open is determine your target audience. Here are a few questions to ask.

How old are they?

How much do they make?

Male or female?

Do they have children?

Are they married or single?

What are their problems as they relate to your product? For example if you’re selling patio furniture, what solutions are you providing?

How do they normally shop?

Where do they live?

The next step to building your website is to build a focused site. Using the patio furniture example above, a website could be devoted to patio furniture, teak patio furniture, wrought iron patio furniture, patio furniture care, patio furniture cushions, patio furniture accessories etc…The more focused your website, the easier it is to meet your customer’s needs and to make a profit. If you instead try to meet everyone’s needs then you’ll spread yourself too thin and not meet anyone’s needs. This is particularly important because the more you specialize and focus your site, the more you’ll be seen as an expert and the results will be profits.

The key to any successful website is to fill it with useful content. Content achieves many things including:

Driving traffic

Encouraging return traffic

Improving your search engine rankings

Offering benefits to your visitors

Selling your product

Establishing your credibility

Generating press

Marketing

The types of content you can create for your website is virtually boundless. You can create articles, reviews, blog postings, ebooks, videos, audios, tutorials, guidebooks, workbooks, online courses, case studies, reports, ezines, etc…

The key to your content and to driving traffic to your website is to optimize your pages. Optimization will include adding title tags and description tags to your web pages. It will also include incorporating your keywords into your online content. Search engine spiders search for this information. As they find it, they use it to establish where you rank when a person searches for your keywords, products, or services.

Step 3. Traffic. The best way to drive the profits of an online business is to drive traffic to your website. Driving traffic in web-speak means getting visitors to visit your website. Here are just a few of the ways you can drive traffic and build your business:

Content. Content as stated in step 2, is a critical element of your copy. One of the hurdles many business owners face is dealing with the time it takes to create copy. This can be overcome by hiring a writer to handle the task. However, it is generally beneficial to include your personal touch to your business and writing some, or all, of your own copy is an excellent way to accomplish this. Back to traffic…how does content increase your traffic? The simplest answer is that the search engines really like to see content on your sites and the more frequently you update your site and add content, the better your search engine ranking will be. As your search engine ranking increases, so too will your visibility and the number of visitors. If you offer quality content, new visitors will become loyal visitors and customers.

Advertising. Pay per click campaigns are a good way to drive targeted traffic to your website. However, online you can also advertise in ezines, blogs, and other people’s websites. Offline you can advertise in your yellow pages, flyers, chamber of commerce and more.

SEO. Search engine optimization has three basic elements: optimizing your web pages for keywords or keyword phrases, optimizing your content for keywords and keyword phrases and generating incoming links. There are of course several methods for each of these three elements. The main ingredients for all three are your keywords. Spend time generating, and testing, quality keywords and the rest will fall into place.

Networking, offline and online. Networking is worth its weight in gold. Meet and connect with the right person and your company’s profits could sky rocket. Networking can be accomplished online with networking groups, mastermind groups, forums, chat rooms and blogs. Offline, networking with your local business organizations and associations that are relevant to your business will prove invaluable.

Email and direct marketing campaigns. Marketing campaigns can be excellent tools to not only promote a product but to also promote awareness of your company’s products and drive traffic to your website.

There are many important steps along the way to selling products online and when you understand the steps involved, your job becomes a lot easier and your profits are only a few steps away.

Internet Marketing Tips: What You Need To Know About Selling Products Online

Selling products online isn’t something that only big retailers do. There is plenty of scope for individuals to make good money.

There is no end to the amount of products that can be sold online. Just as long as there is a market for it, it can be sold. This being the case, it’s possible to tailor your business to anything that has a market that you would like to sell. Your success will depend on how well you research the market, how much demand there is for your product and of course a touch of luck. Products as diverse as children’s bicycles to food to precious stones can be sold online.

One of the big benefits of selling products online is that you won’t need the traditional sales location of a shop. You’ll just need somewhere to store your stock, and if your stock is digitally downloaded, then you won’t even really need that.

The big stores don’t usually get into specialist niches so that also provides an opportunity for financial success. Online stores don’t generally need a lot of employees either, unless you make it as big as a site like Amazon has. This means that your overheads will be considerably smaller than a traditional bricks and mortar business.

When it comes to selecting a product to sell online, there are different business models on offer. For example, you could resell a product that has been developed by somebody else, such as an ebook or a piece of software. You’ll need to know what the conditions of sale are from the original owner of the product and it’s also wise to know the product and what it can do inside and out.

Another method that makes a lot of money online is selling services. This type of work covers everything from writing articles for other companies to promote their goods online to designing smartphone applications. This is a huge variety of services that sell well – check out some of the big freelancers sites to get an idea of these.

The fundamental rule is if you can sell it, and there is a market for it – then you can start a business on it. You will need to check whether what you want to sell has any legal prohibition on it, you can do this by checking with the relevant governmental department or agency.

To get started with selling products online, the best approach is to start with research into options. Start by sitting down to brainstorm your interests and the topics that you know something about.

You should then check on forums to see what people are discussing and whether there are any products that are sought after but not met by any other businesses. There is a possibility that there could be enough demand for the type of products being demanded.

You should then check to see who is selling products online like the ones that you want to sell. Run a search on the major search engines and check out the websites that returned in the listings. Now check how many people are visiting these websites each month. If they can sell it, then there’s plenty of room for you to sell products online like these too.