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Here at Selz, we make the process of selling products online simple and powerful.

We’ve seen what works and what doesn’t, and we’ve put together a recipe for doing it successfully.

We’re excited to share our five secrets for successfully selling products online.

Infographic 5 secrets to selling products online in this post from Selz ecommerce for growing businesses

5 Secrets to Selling Products Online

1. Work works
2. Choose the right niche
3. Make the checkout process simple
4. Offer great customer service
5. Promote your store

Check out this video playlist for how to sell online:

Secret 1: Work works

Selling products online is unique because of the massive range of customers you can reach. In some ways, this evens the playing field, but remember, the millions of potential customers you can reach also have possibly thousands of competitor websites fighting for their attention.

First, you have to drive traffic to your site, then deliver great service and great products. The good news is, your overhead cost selling products online is significantly lower than opening a physical store.

A family working together in a florist shop shows that old fashioned work wins the day when you're learning how to successfully sell products online

Secret #1 is simple: work works. Things will probably move slowly as you are first getting started, but the more time and effort you put into creating and promoting your online store, the more sales you will see. Keep in mind that you will need to build multiple channels for marketing your products. Social media, content, SEO, and paid advertising all take time, tweaking, and a little bit of work every day.

Don’t worry if this sounds overwhelming- we’ll get into helpful resources for these approaches later in the post. Know that you will need to gradually invest energy into your store to grow your customer base and get to the point where you are mostly focused on upkeep.

Read: Growing Business 101: Structure, Manage, Succeed

Secret 2: Choose the right niche

The first question most of us ask when starting a new business is what to sell. There’s not necessarily a right or wrong answer.

That being said, considering the niche market you want to target is vital to the success of your business. Smaller niches will have less competition, giving you a better chance of connecting with potential buyers. On the other hand, your pool of customers will be smaller. Spend some time thinking about your niche and balancing the level of competition with the size of the market.

A room full of boxes shows the evidence of a thriving online store for an article about selling products online from Selz the ecommerce platform for growing business

Think about the role location plays in selling products online. You will need to include the costs and logistics of delivery in your planning. Keep in mind that digital products like software, music, and eBooks can be sold internationally and delivered instantly, and thus have a slightly different cost structure.

Secret 3: Make it easy for the buyer to purchase

Visitors to your website or blog tend to have a short attention span, so you generally have about 10 seconds to grab their attention when they first land on your page. Don’t put obstacles in their way or make them overthink. Many visitors will leave your site the moment they hit a snag.

Three golden rules are:

  • Don’t force visitors to register when they first visit your website
  • Don’t make the navigation on your website or blog complicated to use. Put the navigation at the top of the page and keep it consistent.
  • Don’t make buying process long and don’t try to collect a lot of information from buyers. The more steps and information requested, the greater the friction, and the more sales you will lose as buyers abandon their purchase.

A lot of ecommerce software isn’t easy to use from a buyer’s perspective, forcing them to pause and fight their way through to the eventual purchase. Hint: try buying your product as a prospective buyer would. Can you do it quickly and easily without too much thought?

Secret 4: Offer great customer service

When consumers consider purchasing from a website, they are looking for reassurance before they buy. Help them shop with confidence.

Fact: 33% of Americans say they’ll think about switching companies after just one poor service experience. (Source)

One technique for selling, regardless of whether the business is online or brick-and-mortar is to offer a guarantee that if the customer is not satisfied, you will refund them with no questions asked.

the importance of making your customers happy and creating a great customer experience if you rally want to sell products online.

Make sure your site is secure

Another is to show that your site is secure and verified by trusted third parties like Symantec or McAfee. If you are planning on handling credit card information, your website or blog will need to be on a secure server and PCI compliant. This takes a lot of work, time, and investment. A better alternative would be to build your store via an ecommerce platform. Selz securely handles the credit card payments for you without requiring you do anything to your blog or website.

If you sell digital products, the delivery should be automated. If you sell physical products, prompt shipping is important, as is providing the buyer with the ability to track their shipment.

Secret 5: Promote your store

Having a great website or blog alone is not enough to bring in traffic and sales. You need to attract people to your store and help them take the step of making a purchase.

Put yourself in your prospective buyer’s shoes. What will they do? Most likely…

  • Search on Google for something they are looking for.
  • Ask for advice on a forum or from other people on social networks like Twitter or Facebook
  • Seek recommendations or reviews from other websites or social media

You will need to invest a considerable amount of time and energy each week to promote yourself. Try writing relevant articles or blog posts on your site, or finding guest posting opportunities on other websites that your prospective customers will visit. Get other people to review your products on their website.

Focus on getting prospective customers to visit your blog or website. Click here to schedule a free webinar that will show you how to market your business successfully.

Use analytics to your advantage

Use Google Analytics to see which sources bring the most prospective customers and which convert best to sales.

Image of Google Analytics Dashboard. selling products online is simple and powerful with Selz, here at FounderU we know it's hard to start selling products online so we're here with tons of tips and tricks for selling products online and optimizing existing businesses for selling products online

If you are selling products online via Selz, you can easily connect your Selz Store to Google analytics by copying and pasting a single piece of code.

The techniques to help your website appear higher in search results are called Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO for short. This process has spawned a whole industry and is the subject of a separate post. You can read a great overview of the benefits of content marketing and SEO in business blogging here.

You can also spend money advertising your website on search engines or other websites – this is called Search Engine Marketing (SEM for short) or Pay Per Click (PPC). The two big advertising networks are Google Ads and Facebook Ads.

Read How to Drive Traffic to your Online Store for detailed guidelines on social media, email marketing, and more. If you are looking for help with paid ads, check out Managed Advertising.

Repeat business is another vital aspect of building a successful online store. Existing customers are your most profitable. Encourage your customers to regularly visit your site by updating your content regularly, building an email list and consistently sending out relevant information, and freshening up the areas of your site that you feel are underperforming (you can see this using Google Analytics).

Encourage social sharing

Encourage your customers to share a link or two on their social media accounts. Remember, you’re not just asking them to make a purchase, you’re asking them to share your online store with their network – personal recommendations and endorsements can be extremely valuable and will convert well as a source of new customers.

Our final piece of advice is to be patient. It takes a lot of time and effort to build up an audience and to build up a business. But don’t give up. It is challenging but rewarding, and you will get back what you put in.

Sign up for Selz for free now to see how simple and powerful it is to sell online from your blog or website.

This post was originally published in July 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

About the author

Kristen DeCosta

Kristen DeCosta is a growth marketer and content marketing specialist turning casual browsers into loyal customers.

When she isn’t busy working, you can find Kristen out hiking a mountain or snuggling with her three rescue dogs, Cooper, Tobi, and Finn.

67 comments

  1. Jessica

    A great article, to help readers, step-up their online game
    But often, businesses don’t reveal their secret of brand-building
    Readers should also be cautioned about online frauds…

  2. Jana Rumberger

    Appreciate the comment, thank you!

  3. halal india

    It was a very good post indeed. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Will surely come and visit this blog more often. Thanks for sharing.

  4. kosher

    thanks for sharing such great tips on selling product online, hope this will gonna help me to sell my increase, #indeed

  5. Tara Storozynsky

    Glad you enjoyed the article! Thanks so much for checking out FounderU and commenting.

  6. sujith

    Nice post. Thank you for sharing Secrets about online shooping

  7. Tara Storozynsky

    Hi Tim, great point! The overhead for an online business is much less than a physical brick and mortar.

  8. Tara Storozynsky

    Hi Millie, thanks for checking out FounderU and commenting! Best of luck and have a great day!

  9. Millie Hue

    I like that you pointed out that we must lead our target buyers into our website by using techniques that can help us with that. I will follow your advice since I plan to invest in online selling. This is because I need to be at home to be with my kids and take care of them, but I wanted to have a source of income as well. Thanks!

  10. Tim Yaotome

    Knowing that it costs less to open an online store compared to a physical one, I believe that a future business owner can opt to invest in a website design service before selling products and/or services. For example, if I wanted to set up an on-call massage service, I would ask them to create a website that lets customers book an appointment easily. Doing this will help them be impressed with the business and increase their chances of paying me again for the service in the future.

  11. Tara Storozynsky

    Hi, Ian. Thanks for checking out FounderU! Glad you enjoyed this article!

  12. Ian Wollermann

    All the 5 points are helpful and useful for new users. Online is a great platform and growing very fast. So it is important to present on internet also.

  13. Bryce Patterson

    Thanks for reading and for your kind words, Nishant.

  14. Nishant Chandravanshi

    Thanks, Kristen. Content is really good and awesome. I will follow your one of point soon i.e ” Don’t force visitors to register when they first visit your website”
    This point is logical good and forces me to apply this.

  15. Tara Storozynsky

    Glad you enjoyed the article, Sutton! Thanks for checking out FounderU.

  16. Sutton Turner

    I like how you said to make it easy for the buyer to purchase your product. I am starting an online business this summer. Thanks for the tips on selling a product online.

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