Many people make and sell products as a hobby, side-hustle or full-time career. Alongside using physical stores and craft fairs, the main way to get your products out there is to make them available online.
There are many options to choose from depending on the type of products you sell, your technical skills and your budget.
Here are some of the most popular options to consider.
Your own website
Creating your own online store has never been easier. The e-commerce industry has made many products that you can integrate into a website with relatively few technical skills.
Popular platforms include Shopify and Woo Commerce. With these platforms, you can populate and manage stock on the website yourself.
There are pros and cons to hosting your own site. You have more control and get to keep whatever money that you make, but you will lose out on the reach and resources of some of the bigger sites.
You’ll also need to learn the basics of SEO and Pay Per Click advertising in order to get your site visible online.
Amazon is the world’s biggest online retail platform. Alongside its own good, it offers sellers the opportunity to open Amazon stores and take advantage of its huge range of marketing and sales tools.
Amazon can be very lucrative, especially if you ship internationally, but Amazon also heavily pushes sponsored listings and ads to get your products listed prominently in search results.
Most traders cover their bases and have eBay and Amazon stores to catch the greatest number of potential customers. Similarly to Amazon, eBay has a huge reach online and can bring in a lot of potential customers.
A marketplace for handmade or unique products, Etsy is very popular with those looking for quality, handmade items. Unlike platforms such as Amazon and eBay, price isn’t the overriding factor and the expectations of products are the main concerns of customers.
Folksy is a UK handmade marketplace with reasonable commission rates and an easy to use template setup.
Not On The Highstreet
Popular with those just starting out selling their products, Not On The High Street champions itself as a platform for independent product makers. The content on the platform is curated very carefully, relying less on sponsored listings than some other sites.
Commission fees can be quite high, as much as 25%, which is considerable.
Approaching other online e-commerce sites to stock your products is another way of utilising more successful platforms reach and engagement to get your products in front of the right people. Do your research and find a few sites that act as retailers.
Taking your business online makes sense. It opens up a whole new world of potential customers to you. Deciding how to do this can be confusing. Many people use multiple platforms to get the right mix. For those just starting out, platforms like Etsy and Not On The Highstreet offer comprehensive hand-holding to get your shop up and running, as well as automated systems for orders and payments.
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