Due to coronavirus, we are seeing more and more people taking to selling online to boost their income. We’ve already shared 6 strategies to help you increase online sales. Now we want to talk about how to increase sales of your products beyond your website. Here are three online selling platforms you should be using to find success selling online.
E-commerce has changed the lives of people around the world by giving them ease to buy and sell online. In 2019, retail sales of physical products in the US crossed 343 billion dollars and are expected to touch over 476 billion dollars by 2024.
Online selling platforms are becoming a go-to option for both mainstream sellers and those looking for side hustles. But not all online selling platforms are created equal.
Let’s look at three of the most popular online selling platforms, Amazon, Etsy, and eBay, and dive into how each platform can help you boost sales.
Global e-commerce giant Amazon is a household name. Launched in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, Amazon is one of the most valuable online selling platforms.
Why Sell on Amazon
If you’re wondering why you should choose to sell on Amazon, you might find this interesting:
- Amazon is the largest e-retailer company in the US.
- 89% of buyers agree they are more likely to buy products from Amazon versus other eCommerce sites (Feedvisor, 2019)
- There are currently over 150 million Amazon Prime subscribers.
- On average, small and medium-sized businesses located in the US sell more than 4000 items per minute.
- 25% of consumers make a purchase every few months on Amazon.
- 66% of consumers start their product hunt on Amazon.
- 82% of consumers check prices on Amazon before deciding to buy.
As you can see, there is strong evidence to show that Amazon is key to finding success in selling more online. But the platform may not be for everyone.
There are a few pros and cons anyone looking to sell on Amazon should consider.
On the pros side:
- Great Chance Customers Will Find Your Product: if you appropriately set up your products using Amazon’s guideline, you can take advantage of their product cataloging system and investment in Google Search, which will make it easier for people to find your products.
- Greater Reach: as an international selling platform, your products become available to potential customers around the world.
- Greater Customer Acquisition: because people come to Amazon looking for products and not for brands, you have a greater chance of selling against the big brands and acquiring more customers.
The cons you should consider:
- More Competition: because of the size of Amazon, you are competing against more products like your own for sales.
- Fees: While you will most likely see a rise in sales by selling on Amazon, it does come with a cost. Understanding fees and how they’ll impact your overall profit should be considered before you start selling on the platform.
- Limited Control: unlike selling on your own website, when selling on an eCommerce platform, you lose some of the control you have over your product. Be aware of what you can and can’t control before selling on Amazon.
Best Practices to Sell More on Amazon
Now that you know the pros and cons and the unbelievable stats involved with the platform, you have to understand how to sell successfully on the platform.
Here are three best practices to follow so you can sell more on Amazon.
1. Customer-First Approach
Amazon prioritizes a customer-first approach; so should you. Customer satisfaction should be your #1 priority. This includes optimizing your product titles, images, descriptions, shipping policy, and return policy to ensure they fit the customer’s wants and needs.
You’ll also want to understand what factors are important to customers, including:
- 49% of buyers consider flexible return policy as an influencing factor
- 47% select products based on fast shipping.
By understanding these various stats, you can better align your product for online sales by giving your customers the best online experience.
2. Write Accurate and Detailed Product Description
44% of buyers read product descriptions before buying. That’s why you should write accurate product descriptions that satisfy the buyer’s needs.
Include as much detail as possible and avoid exaggerated claims, which could harm your reputation.
3. Get Your Pricing and Shipping Right
82% of consumers consider product price as a driving factor. So keep your price competitive and reasonable. Also, keep your shipping charges low or offer free shipping because 70% of buyers find this influencing factor.
If you are looking to sell handcrafted items, craft supplies, or vintage goods, then Etsy is a great online selling platform to consider. Started in 2005, Etsy has become known as the go-to platform for handmade goods.
From vintage items to handmade products, portraits to jewelry, home decor to clothing, toys to furniture, if it’s a homemade or vintage item, you can sell it on Etsy. This unique e-commerce website supports independent and small-scale sellers, which makes it an ideal place for you.
Why Sell on Etsy
Looking for reasons to start selling on Etsy? Read below:
- There are 46.35 million active users on the platform
- There were 4.97 billion dollars in sale in 2019
- 81% of Etsy sales are from repeat customers
- 31.8 million app downloads
Just like with Amazon, before you decide to invest in selling on Etsy, you need to know the pros and cons.
- Large Buying Audience: there are over 35 million active buyers on Etsy, which means you’ll have access to a massive audience of buyers.
- Easy to Set up and Maintain: creating and maintaining your online store in Etsy is extremely simple, and a new seller can be up and running in no time!
- Custom Insights and Analytics: data is a key to selling more online. Etsy provides built-in analytics that allows you to make data-driven decisions to optimize your store and sales.
- Fees: just like Amazon, there is a cost to selling on Etsy, and that should be considered before investing in the platform. Be aware of the listing fees and transaction fees, so you understand the impact of your profits.
- Very Niche Market: because you can only sell handmade products, vintage items, or craft supplies on Etsy, it’s not the platform for everyone.
- Competition: there are over 2 million sellers on the Etsy platform – so competition is stiff.
Best Practices to Sell More on Etsy
While selling on Etsy is not difficult, knowing the best practices can help you sell like a pro.
1. Make your Etsy shop SEO-optimized
As most of the buyers will land your online shop through searches, it’s important to optimize your content with proper keywords. Add relevant keywords to your product titles, description, profile to increase online visibility.
2. Use High-Quality Images
Buyers want to experience products before making a purchase decision. With online shopping, you allow them to experience products through images. Clear and high-quality photos can increase your chances of selling more.
eBay is one of the pioneers of online selling and was launched in 1995. Much like Amazon, eBay has a huge marketplace that allows you access to a global customer base.
Unlike the other platforms, eBay allows you to choose from two selling formats: auction-style and fixed-price listings known as “Buy It Now.”
Why Sell on eBay
Looking for interesting statistics while you decide why to sell on eBay? Here they are:
- 77.36% of eBay traffic comes from the US.
- eBay mobile app is the 3rd most popular shopping app in the app, next to Amazon and Walmart.
- There are approximately 1.5 billion live listings on the eBay marketplace.
- 31% of eBay sellers are US-based.
Just as we did with the other platforms, let’s look at the pros and cons of selling on eBay.
- Global Reach: when selling your items on eBay, you have access to a global consumer market the moment your item is listed.
- Easy to Use: the platform is extremely intuitive and easy to use, making getting started a breeze.
- PayPal Payment Processing: eBay is integrated with Paypal for payment processing, which makes getting paid easy and also offers seller protection.
- Varying Fees: depending on how you decide to sell your products, the fees can vary and, in some cases, be massive.
- Payment Issues: a common complaint with the platform is not getting paid for a sale. So while a product may look like it’s been sold, due to the website configuration, payment may not be completed leaving sellers in a tough spot.
- Customer Service: the customer service level on this platform is considered by most to be sub-par.
Tips to Sell More on eBay
Once you’ve determined to sell on eBay, think ahead and look for ideas to increase sales. Here are three proven tactics you can use:
1. Optimize Listings for Mobile Users
More buyers use the eBay app to make a purchase, so you should optimize your listings for mobile users. Without being mobile-friendly, your listings will not generate the sales you are looking for.
2. Offer Free Shipping
Customers love free shipping. When you offer free shipping, your chances of selling more increase, and it may give you an advantage over the strong competition on the platform.
3. Promote on Social
2.85% of total eBay visitors come from social media, and YouTube is the top referral site, followed by Facebook. Therefore, promoting your site on social channels will boost viability and generate more revenue. Creating videos of your products for promotion can also be a great advantage to more sales.
There are hundreds of thousands of eCommerce websites where you can showcase your products and start earning from day one. The key to success is understanding the difference between each and where you’ll have the most success competing to sell your items.