How to Succeed at Online Retailing

online retailingThe internet has dramatically changed people’s lives. A few decades ago, people would have to go to the shops to buy goods and supplies for their home. Today, goods can be bought and delivered to your home with a click of the mouse. The number of internet shoppers is also growing. According to an estimate, 192 million people in the United States alone are predicted to shop for goods online by 2016. More than half of the population in the United States shopped online in 2012. The way the internet has revolutionized shopping brings more opportunities to businesses and promising entrepreneurs. The popularity of online shopping allows almost anyone with forethought and determination to succeed in online retail. If you are planning to try online retailing, here are some pointers that you might want to follow to ensure your online retailing success:


While starting an online shop is relatively easier than starting a brick and mortar business, you still need to familiarize yourself with the different aspects of online retail. Do your research on how online shops work, how to keep yourself safe from scammers, and how to keep your prices competitive. Try to read forums on the internet about online selling to get an idea how the system works and how to get people to buy from you. It is also best if you know someone who is experienced in online retail who can help you with your baby steps regarding online selling.

Determine your niche and target market

A general goods online store may be possible but most successful online sellers select a niche for their online shop. This allows you to specialize in a specific product. You should consider selling products that you are interested in. If you enjoy collecting toys, you can start an online shop specializing in collector’s toys. There are several benefits to this. The first is that since you are interested in the products that you sell, you can easily answer questions from customers who are interested in buying toys from you. Similarly, it is not a wise idea to engage in selling digital cameras and DSLRs if you do not even have an idea what a megapixel is. Make sure that you also know who your target market is. Your target market for your online toy store is toy collectors like you. Knowing your target market will make it much easier for you to come up with marketing plans that will effectively promote your shop and your products.

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Gain people’s trust

One of the things that potential customers often look for when shopping online is the reputation of a seller. It will not be easy for you to find customers regardless of your products if your website does not look credible. Scammers do not often post working contact details in their website. Because of this, you should consider posting your business address and business phone number so your potential clients know where to reach you. Word of mouth can help you, as well as testimonies of previous customers who can attest to your legitimacy and excellent customer service. Get help from friends who can aid you to spread the word about your products. Many online shopping networks and auction sites also provide buyers and sellers with a means to gain people’s trust through the feedback system. Work on getting positive feedback from your buyers every time you have a sale as this can help new potential customers feel confident in dealing with you and purchasing goods from your online store. Most sellers with established reputations find it much easier to find new clients.

Discuss This Article

Comments: 4

  • Agree! Busy person don’t have time to shop in concerned with his diligent schedule. It is an active opportunity for individual who have passion in online business. However, sellers will begin in investing in research on the product and the techniques he might do to build a trust and acquire growth. Tapping on any popular sites will be a help for expanding online business. And it is good to understand the demand of each consumer for the idea that may consider in doing innovation.

  • I’d also suggest the idea of product placement elsewhere on as many QUALITY commerce sites. Leveraging big brand to reach more potential customers is often overlooked. Even if your profit margin takes a hit, the brand awareness you gain from extending your product’s visibility can expedite company growth.

  • Good points. Another would be to test. Test Call to actions, test buttons, test layout, test content and measure results after the change. Also get as much feedback as possible from your website visitors to ensure that your website (your sales shop) is up to scratch, easy to navigate and clear.

  • Hi Nancy,

    Thanks for an interesting post.

    From my experience, finding out about the various platforms for e-commerce made a big difference.

    For digital products or a small number of physical products, the open-source (not to be confused with software is great. It’s a content management system, to which website designs (known as ‘themes’) and customising programs ( known as ‘plugins’) can easily be added.
    It runs on your hosting with your domain name, but it’s a great solution.
    For e-commerce sites with many products, Magento (also open-source) is a better bet. it’s harder to set up than WordPress and needs faster hosting, but it’s the enterprise-level solution that many large companies use.

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