We are in a digital world now.
Online business is taking over physical retailers. Now, we all have an open door to internet contention. We already know an eCommerce business has many advantage over its brick and mortar counterpart. Needless to say, online stores are easier to manage and can be accessed from anywhere, at anytime. In brief, online stores are really convenient to buyers, sellers and resellers. According to the blossoming online activities, you can see three main types of options to sell online.
Three options to start an online shop
As what happened in the physical world in history, there are also many ways to sell products online. We can use social media sites, a marketplace or we can establish an independent store. Let’s look at each option in more detail.
Social media is the easiest platform to promote a product. In social media, your friends and even someone who are interested on your post may give you a hand spreading the word about you products and services. In this case, even you do not have a physical or online shopping site, you can focus on telling your products to the world. Instagram, facebook, and twitter, can be used to tell about you intentions of selling a product from the beginning of our journey as store owners.
However, the cons side of the social media promotion is that it is hard to organize your order online. You need to have another platform to take orders and ship it out. Even you also need another to contact to your customers.
Online market place is the same concept of “bazaar” in the physical world, you can have a booth where the fame of bazaar will bring some customers. The bazaars in the online world are known as Marketplaces. Think of Amazon and Tokopedia. They let you create an account and allocate a place for you to sell. When a user goes to a marketplace looking for a product, your product will be display in the search result. It is very efficient way to gather people to see your product online.
However, the problem is that even though you can put the name of the store on a booth, there is little opportunity to create an identity on your own. In addition, marketplaces will list your product along with the products of other sellers. A lots of competitors are selling the similar products in a same location, so the relevant price will be decreasing.
So, how you can keep the adequate price against competitors and still can obtain the fans of your store?
Own your store
The benefit of having your own store is ownership and customization. That makes it easy to build your products and store image as a “brand”. By creating your own online store, you will be able to personalize in your own style: you can create a name of the store, the store colors, organize your products, and display it as you want. (To define the store name and colors along with your products, please also read the article, The Secret Method of Store Branding.)
It doesn’t sound easy and a lot of work is required. But if you learn properly about the way to build your store, eventually you can get more customer engagement in a long-term than opening store on a marketplace or advertise it on social media.
Store branding is the key to be successful.
So, what is the best option to start a business online? It depends on what you really want. You can start using social media to see if it fits you. Then, your can open your store and get serious. If you already know you want to be an online store owner, create your own shop and use it as your headquarters: tell your friends through social media to visit the shop, tell your customers in the marketplace to visit your shop. At the end.
From the next chapter, we can practically learn how to create and establish your own, outstanding online store as a strong brand. Let’s start your journey!
Next to learn : Conduct Market Research