Business

How to sell products online (and marketing tips for beginners)

By The IFTTT Team

August 29, 2023

  • Are you looking to start an online business or expand your current offerings? The world of ecommerce offers a wealth of opportunity for entrepreneurs, but it can be overwhelming to navigate the various platforms, marketing strategies, and logistics involved in selling products online.

    In this article, we'll guide you through the process of selling products online, from choosing the right platform to marketing your offerings. By the end of this guide, you'll be equipped with the knowledge and tools to launch your own successful ecommerce business.

    Read on to learn more, and don't forget to check out IFTTT for optimizing your online sales strategy along the way!

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    A simplified model for selling online

    Choose the right product

    Starting to sell products online is surprisingly easy, but becoming a master at the skill is surprisingly hard. For those pressed for time, we have compiled a quick flow model for selling your next winning online product. In this article, we will go more in-depth into each aspect; so that you can understand everything there is to know about selling and marketing your products.

    Step One: Choose the right product

    The most important decision you will make when selling online is choosing the right product. What are people willing to buy? What sets your product apart from others?

    Step Two: Find a marketplace

    This is where you will be able to list your product and start selling. There are a few popular options such as Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Shopify, and more.

    Step Three: Dial-in selling and shipping

    Make sure you are able to accurately list the product, display it in a compelling way, and provide reasonable shipping times. You need to make sure you have the logistics for shipping your product in time.

    Step Four: Market your product

    This can be done through social media, SEO, email marketing, influencer outreach, and more. Your goal is to make people aware of your product and attract them to purchase it.

    Step Five: Reinvest

    Once you have made sales, reinvest your profits to grow your business. You can use the money to improve the product, add more features, better packaging, or begin selling a new product.

    What product should I sell online?

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    If we had a perfect answer to what your next million-dollar product should be, then we wouldn't be writing this article. In all seriousness, choosing the perfect product that will sell hundreds of thousands of units isn't a perfect science, and it often takes a few tries before you truly strike gold.

    However, with some perseverance, it is very possible to corner the market and keep the profits rolling with a good product. Here are some well-studied strategies to help you pin down what product to focus on.

    Identify your interests and passions: Start by considering what products align with your interests or hobbies. Selling something you're passionate about can make the process more enjoyable and motivating.

    Research market trends: Conduct research on market trends and identify what products are currently in demand. Tools like Google Trends and Amazon Best Sellers can give you an idea of what people are searching for and buying.

    Consider profit margin: Look for products with a good profit margin that will allow you to make a decent profit while still offering competitive pricing. Research the cost of production, shipping, and any fees associated with selling online, such as marketplace commissions.

    Evaluate product viability: Consider the practicality of selling a particular product online. Will it be easy to ship and handle? Is it legal to sell? Are there any specific regulations or certifications required?

    By following these steps, you're well on your way to finding the right product. Next, we will discuss where is the best place to sell your product.

    Which online marketplace should I choose?

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    The right online marketplace can be a crucial decision for any business looking to expand its online presence and reach a wider audience. There are many different marketplaces available, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.

    Some of the most popular options include Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Fiverr, and Walmart, among others. If you are just starting out, however, there are options such as Shopify that let you create your own store and sell via your own page.

    To determine which marketplace is right for you, consider factors such as your product niche, target audience, and sales goals. Research the different platforms and compare their fees, policies, and seller tools to determine which one aligns best with your needs. Additionally, consider testing the waters on multiple platforms to see which one yields the best results.

    Ultimately, the right online marketplace will depend on your unique business needs and objectives. With careful consideration and research, you can choose the platform that offers the best opportunities for growth and success.

    Here's a quick rundown on popular sites:

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    • Amazon: Massive customer base, easy to get started, shipping via Amazon's lightning-fast service.

    Fees: 99 cents per item, plus 8%-15% of the total item price.

    • Ebay: Equally large customer base, options for selling with auctions, expansion tools, and built-in ads offered.

    Fees: Varies, typically 30 cents per item, plus 12.9% of the total item price.

    • Shopify: Ability to build your own custom website, self-handled shipping and sourcing, social media integrations

    Fees: Shopify plans range from $39 for small business to $2,000 per month for full-access

    • Etsy: Ideal for selling crafts and clothes, unique and targeted marketplace, simple account creation

    Fees: 20 cents to list an item, 6.5% commission given from final sale price.

    Selling products online step by step

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    Next, we'll go further in-depth on each step to selling a product online, with tips to make sure you that can optimize your sales pipeline.

    Choose the right product

    When it comes to selling products online, choosing the right product is crucial. Start by identifying a niche or area of interest that aligns with your expertise or passions. That way, it will be easier to motivate yourself to work on your project and gain further expertise.

    From there, research market trends and consider factors such as profit margin, competition, and product viability. Maybe you had a good idea, but it didn't fit the metrics of what buyers were looking for; just try again. By carefully selecting the right product, you can maximize your chances of success in the competitive world of e-commerce.

    Find a marketplace

    Once you've chosen your product, it's time to find the right marketplace to sell it on. Research different platforms and compare their fees, policies, and seller tools to determine which one aligns best with your needs.

    Consider testing the waters on multiple platforms to see which one yields the best results. Additionally, consider setting up your own website to supplement your online marketplace presence. This can be an independent marketplace such as Shopify, or a website portfolio sharing your catalog of products and further details.

    Dial in selling and shipping

    The next important step is to make sure your selling and shipping processes are perfectly optomized. This includes setting up clear pricing, shipping rates, and policies around returns and customer service.

    Investing in high-quality product photography and descriptions can make your products stand out and attract more customers. Having good SEO copy, with strong keywords throughout your listing, can cause your website to climb the ranks of Google and reach more customers. Finally, implement efficient shipping processes to ensure that orders are fulfilled quickly and accurately.

    Market your product

    To succeed in the crowded e-commerce business, it's necessary to have a strong marketing strategy in place. Consider using social media platforms, email marketing, and paid advertising to reach your target audience and drive sales.

    Optimize your product listings for search engines by using relevant keywords and descriptive language. Encourage customer reviews and feedback to build trust and loyalty with your audience. Listen to your customers, and fix issues with your product in a timely matter.

    Reinvest

    Once the sales start flowing in, hold off on buying that new Porsche quite yet. As your e-commerce business grows, it's incredibly valuable to reinvest in your business to keep up with the competition and continue to drive growth.

    Try reinvesting profits into improving your product offerings, expanding your marketing efforts, and enhancing your customer service experience. By continually reinvesting in your business, you can stay ahead of the game and one day build a monopoly on your product.

    Selling online with IFTTT

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    IFTTT, which stands for "If This Then That," is our web-based service that allows users to create free automated actions between different apps, services, and devices.

    By setting up custom "applets," users can streamline the process of selling products online and make their e-commerce business more efficient. Read on to learn how the world of business can be changed forever with the click of a button.

    What is IFTTT?

    The concept behind IFTTT is based on the programming conditional statement "if this, then that." Users can set up triggers (the "if this" part) and actions (the "then that" part) to connect different apps and services together. For example, if a new blog post is published (trigger), then automatically share it on social media (action).

    IFTTT supports over 800 popular apps and services, including social media platforms, email providers, home automation devices, and more. We offer a free plan with all the essential features, as well as paid plans for more advanced functionality.

    Overall, IFTTT is a convenient and efficient way to automate tasks and connect different apps and services together. Implemented with your e-commerce platform, you can help increase your productivity and ultimately seal more deals.

    Top e-Commerce automations with IFTTT

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    Create new Salesforce contact record when a new Stripe customer is created

    With this Applet, your new Stripe customers will be automatically added as a Salesforce contact record, saving you time.

    Publish Woocommerce products to Twitter

    Woocommerce is a very popular site to sell products online, and with this Applet, your new products will be posted to your selected Twitter account.

    Email me when a new product is featured on @producthunt

    Need inspiration for what items are up and coming? This automation will send you an email brief when a new product is shown on producthunt.com.

    Get an email every time your Gumroad product is purchased

    Gumroad is another lesser-known but still marketable e-commerce platform. Every time a product that you post sells, this Applet will send you an email notifying you of purchase details.

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