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So You Want A Slice of the Online Retail Pie

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Google Employee
# 1
Google Employee

So You Want A Slice of the Online Retail Pie

 

Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar that has been in business for years, or an aspiring entrepreneur ready to turn your passion into a small business, online retail is crucial for you. With more than 200 million customers doing their shopping online, if you’re not using e-commerce to sell, you’re missing out on revenue.

 

We know what you’re thinking: “Setting up an online store is too complicated. It’s too expensive. It won’t be worth my time.” The reality is that there’s no better time for you to start selling your products online. With $414 billion in projected e-sales in 2018, get ready to grab a slice of that e-commerce pie. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

 

Your virtual storefront: Renting vs. owning.

If you’re a small business with a website, you’re ahead of the game. With your online presence already established, all you need now are the tools to create a virtual shopping cart for your customers. The question now becomes whether you should use an existing marketplace - such as Amazon, eBay, or Etsy - or embed an online retail platform on your website. With an existing marketplace, you have access to millions of customers who already visit that site, but on an embedded retail platform, you have full ownership and control.

 

Ask the right questions.

Will you be shipping to a small, local radius or expanding beyond your neighborhood? What are the laws and regulations you have to take into consideration when shipping items to states with different sales taxes? What steps should you take to protect your customers from identity theft and other misuses of their personal information? Which copyright laws apply to businesses selling their products online? The Small Business Administration has dedicated an entire section on their site to help you answer these questions and more.

 

Aesthetics matter.

Make your products stand out. Just like your physical storefront, you need to market your online store to potential customers. When it comes to creating your product listings, the devil is in the details. Display your products using great product photography and descriptive titles. When describing your items, Parker Gard from Etsy recommends picturing your target customers and using language that they would use to describe that specific product.

 

For example, if you’re selling back-to-school supplies that appeal to the younger demographic, use language that would appeal to them rather than their parents.

 

Flex your creative muscles and experiment.

Harley Finkelstein from Shopify reminds us that “the cost of failure trends toward zero in e-commerce.” As a small business owner, you have the opportunity to experiment with new products, services, and storefront concepts online with the click of a button. When it comes to seasonality or trying a new look for your store, test it on your virtual storefront to get feedback from your customers. 

 

For example, if you want to customize your store for Valentine’s Day, all it takes is a couple of clicks to create a theme on your virtual storefront as opposed to buying new signs and displays for your physical store.

 

Originally published August, 2015

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: So You Want A Slice of the Online Retail Pie

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Some added insights into your E-commerce adventure.

 

When launching your E-commerce site, be sure to understand your countries business laws and make sure you have the correct T&C's in place.

 

UK E-Commerce Guidelines

 

Most businesses upgrade to their own E-commerce website after dabbling with Amazon and Ebay. Here are some ideas to leveraging your Amazon and Ebay Store to benefit your new E-Comm site.

 

And websites, no matter what platform you build them in, need to be optimised. 

 

Common E-Commerce Mistakes:

 




Tim Capper
Google My Business Top Contributor (UK) and SEO consultant at Online Ownership




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Tim Capper, Google My Business Top Contributor
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’ Learn how here.

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Tim operates a bespoke Local SEO Consultancy in the UK, Online Ownership

So You Want A Slice of the Online Retail Pie

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

This is helpful thank you. I am wanting to resell vintage clothing. I have everything I need except a website to resell vintage clothes on. Etsy was the website I chose but they are for handmade items. Can I resell with my Google Small business?

So You Want A Slice of the Online Retail Pie

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hi @Amber N

 

No, Google my Business is a "Map Listing" not a website.The Google sites builder is not ideal for Ecommerce



Tim Capper, Google My Business Top Contributor
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’ Learn how here.

Find me on: Google+ | Twitter | Facebook | Linkedin
Tim operates a bespoke Local SEO Consultancy in the UK, Online Ownership

So You Want A Slice of the Online Retail Pie

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi

 

Have you tried shopify ?