In this week’s episode of the Extra Paycheck Podcast we’re talking about how to set up your own online store in order to sell physical (and digital) products
You’ve decided that you want to sell your own products online? Awesome! So where do you begin?
WooCommerce is the world’s biggest eCommerce platform. These folks decided to not reinvent the wheel and simply create a WordPress plugin that turns your blog/website into a real online shop. It’s compatible with ShipStation, MailChimp, Square, Stripe, PayPal and many many others giving you plenty of choices and freedom.
The basic WooCommerce plugin is free and it will allow you to set-up a working online shop. However when you decide to integrate certain premium features you’ll need to pay. Some extensions such as Stripe and PayPal can be integrated for free while others will cost you $50 and more.
The main point is, if you already have a blog on WordPress then you can actually build your first online store for free using WooCommerce
Shopify (aff link) is one of the best ecommerce platforms out there. Shopify is a stand-alone platform that allows you to sell your products online. There are over 500,000 active Shopify stores around the globe and there is a reason for it. Shopify is probably the easiest to set up.
You can try Shopify for free for 14 days and then it’ll cost you $29 per month, $79 per month or $299 per month, depending on the plan that you pick.
Going with Shopify or with WooCommerce will have one major challenge: marketing. Whenever you’re starting to build an online presence you need to start thinking about bringing in the potential customers. Simply putting your online shop out there doesn’t mean that the customers will come running to you. In fact, you’ll probably see no traffic at all. This applies to your online stores just as much as it applies to a blog, website, Instagram account and YouTube channel.
You can either work on getting free targeted traffic or paid traffic. Either way, you will need to do a lot of marketing if you want to see those sales coming in. And that can take a lot of time, or money, or both.
There is however another option. Imagine if you could take your product, bring it into Walmart (or any other store) and have it displayed on their shelves. How much easier would it be to make that sale? Loads of people are already coming to that store with the intention of buying stuff. There is a chance they’ll buy your product as well.
It’s hard to get into retail stores however more and more people shop online. You can list your product on Etsy. Almost 30 Millions customers made a purchase on Etsy in 2016. Now you can have your product available to these buyers in just a few minutes. There are no upfront costs and you’ll only pay a small fee if your products sells.
Amazon is another option. Yes, you can list your products on Amazon and start selling to over 300 Million buyers. Think about it once again; 300 Million users on a single platform with the intention of buying something!
I am not saying that you shouldn’t start your own online store, you definitely should. However, trying out existing marketplaces could be a great idea for several reasons. It’s easy, it’s a great way to test the demand for your product, it’s a great way to actually start generating sales fast.
Resources mentioned in today’s episode:
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