I know you because I'm like you. Yes, yes, my friend, we need to make more money to enjoy better this unique life. Probably you are an employed or perhaps already retired or you have a small store that give you the money you need to live. But... it isn't enough! For example I like to travel, Who does not? But for travelling you need money. You are not a kid. You are not going to become a backpacking. You want to travel not as a rich (in fact we are not) but at least, with elegance. A good solution to explore is starting an online store to sell products from your store, if you have one, or selling any product, my God, to increase your income level!
There are various advantages and disadvantages of having an online store as indicated.
- Reduction in long-term costs: By owning an online store, there is no need to pay for costly shop premises, sales team and other costs like insurance and electricity bills. It requires to have only few people to handle and set up the whole website (perhaps you alone), which is much cheaper. Not too bad, isn't it?
- Broad client base: By using an online store, you can easily sell goods and services to customers for different parts of the world without any need of opening a shop anywhere. A shop, even a small one, cost a lot of money. Those bloodsuckers who rent facilities will leave you bankrupt in less time than blink a mad priest.
- Extra items: Sometimes customers are ready to buy different types of items irrespective of the need and this will help in increasing the profitability in longer run. In other words, you can sell what you want with flexibility.
- Competitors: By having an online ecommerce website allows you to easily track down competitors and can follow their strategies to increase your own sales volume.
- Regular supply of products on demand: By having an online store allows you to sell different types of products to new as well as old customers very easily. You can keep track of the products and services, which are having lot of demand in internet.
- 24/7 customer assistance: Customers from any part of world can seek products from you and can ask their queries related to online buying, which allows you to sell more and more products very easily. You don't have to become a slave of your business.
- High profitability and low maintenance cost: If you have an online store, then you can make lot of profitability with low maintenance cost related to your online business.
- Extra cost: Many businesses or companies have a very big ecommerce site, which requires lot of set up and handling. Due to this reason companies have to pay large amount of money to professionally manage, design and develop their online stores. Well, we are not Amazon, it isn't our case.
- Staff with experience: In order to carry out the day to day activities of selling the products, you will require a team of staff, which is highly experienced in terms of handling an online store. Same, man, I just want a little more money to make my live better, I don't want to be rich leaving lungs behind a complex business.
- Downtime of website: By chance if your site goes down, in that case nobody will be able to access your website. This means no business and no money. Well, well, it just a matter to select the best partner in charge on the technical aspects.
- Lack of personal touch: Due to lack of personal contact with the clients can make it harder for you to repeat orders from the same customer. It depends of yourself. One engages with customers to provide them with good service and keep them satisfied, you will not live with them. With my couple is truly enough. If you make a good job they are going to buy you again and again.
- Online fraud: This is seen as one of most dreadful disadvantages for online store because your customer might not trust you due to online fraud. It means risk of losing the money from the sales. Again the partner to manage the technical aspects is very important to minimize these problems.
Having decided to build an online store to get some extra-money there are three aspects to be considered:
- Operational aspect: What are you going to sell and how are you going to send products you sell to your customers?
- Technical aspect: How to deal with store implementation? Will it be necessary to hire a programmer or expert to build the store?
- Commercial aspect: How are you going to promote your store? You will need people coming to the store to look your products and deciding to buy or not.
Each of these aspects is important. Probably the most the commercial aspect. Having a great store with no visit is like having a hot lover in Italy and you in the States. Love with hungry do not last!
Me, being as lazy as I can, think as Talleyrand, ancient Napoleon's Foreign Affaires Minister: do not do anything that someone else can do for you. Why? Because neither you and me are experts and probably, highly probable, an expert we can hire will do the job better than we could do even living 100 years. Summarizing, outsources everything you can and do as little as possible. Operational aspect could be the most difficult to outsource but even, if you like, this aspect could be outsourced. But beware because some experts may be as bloodsucking as the worst of misers. I hired one for setting up an online shop and after paying a fortune I never saw the blessed store hung on internet.
Let's assume you want to control the operational aspect. I mean, you have your own store and you are interested in selling your own products. In this case let me recommend you two companies to oursource two last aspects.
Technical aspect: try with Bigcommerce. Why? Because it's better to be lion tailed than mouse head. They are big. They know what they are doing. Some kind of Microsoft implementing online stores. They have more than 50,000 stores all over the world having more than $2,750,000,000 in transactions. You go sure with the biggest and best company in ecommerce stores. Without paying more, in fact a bit less, scale economy you know. Starting just at $34.95/month. Visit Bigcommerce and watch the video below to learn more. Another good option is Shopify.
Commercial aspect: there are a lot of gurus telling you how to promote your site and how to appear first in Google searches. But forget it. It is not easy and require a lot of work and waiting a long time to be seen by Google. In the meantime who pays the bills? You have two choices. Contract someone to make this difficult job or simply use Google Adwords or Facebook to promote your online store with them. But neither of them is cheap and you will have to pay monthly to contract an expert or per click in Google and Facebook. A lot of money. I payed to Facebook more than $5,000 to promote an online store but apart having clicks I could not sell enough to pay the Facebook bill. Because there is a stupid amount of guys out there clicking any link they see without having really interest.
I think it's better using Twitter. Probably you landed this post through one of my accounts in Twitter. That's the way. If you have an account in Twitter try to increase your followers by following people and being social. I mean, interacting with your followers. At same time promote your online store twitting messages about it. Initially while your account is ready to promote your store I can do it through my accounts by an affordable monthly fee. Just write me.
Let me give you some advices to manage your twitter account:
- Follow people, no scam accounts. Search suggestions from twitter and follow people with a name, a surname and a photo.
- Never follow people offering you more followers.
- Never, never buy followers. Be careful with this. Your account could be blocked or closed by Twitter.
- Be a good twitter citizen. Never unfollow who is following you and is a person or someone clearly identify. Don't do that. You can unfollow scam accounts.
- Subscribe a service like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule your twitts and manage your account. This way you don't have to be a slave of your account.
- Subscribe a service like Justunfollow to clean your account from bad citizens that follow you and when you follow them back they unfollow you. Brainless people. Of course, you never do that, be a good citizen. Being a good citizen is being elegant. Read my post about The Elegance.
- Follow always back who has followed you and is not a scam account. Remember. Follow people. Name, surname and photo.
- Use Justunfollow service to send a direct message to your followers inviting them to visit your online store. Inviting, not shopping. Be stylish, be elegant, avoid messages like shop here now, shop me asap, and even worst, help me buying something. You are not a beggar. Again be elegant.
- Finally you can use Twitter Ads. It has work great for me. Better than Google Adwords and Facebook Ads. Being in your twitter account search for Twitter Ads. Create your ads. It has a lot of options. Really incredible to target people you really want to target. A great advertising tool. Select practically all you want. For example, countries, even towns and cities. Operating system, Windows, Android, iOS, etc., type of device: PC, tablet, phone, etc. I do recommend to set your campaign using the model of Cost Target. Set your cost per click, for example, $0.5 per click. And voilà, they will work hard to keep your cost around your selection. Really a great tool for advertising, high CTR (Click Through Rate) and reasonable costs.
Let's now suppose that you don't have any product to sell at all. Oh, my God, you want to sell oranges but you don't have even one and do not want to run the risk of finishing eating oranges for the rest of your life! Time to call Superman. Who is the king of kings of Internet sales? Amazon, of course. In this case try with Amazon Associates. They are going to make the job for you even buying, storing and delivering what you sell in your online store. Visit Amazon Associates for more information.