These days, everyone has a side hustle. A popular way to make a bit of extra cash is to sell things online. “What can I sell online?” you ask. Pretty much anything! And the benefits of having an online store are numerous:
- Starting is simple, quick and inexpensive
- There is a quick purchasing process
- It reduces many overhead costs
- You can make money 24/7. Essentially, you can sell things even when you’re sleeping.
- It’s easy to display your products to current customers on your online store
- Online stores can be inexpensively marketed
There are plenty of things you can sell online such as clothes, computer and phone accessories, jewellery, home items (such as Christmas gifts), arts and crafts, baby items, furniture, etc. But you can also sell your services. In this article, we’ll take a glance at the many product and service options.
Selling online may seem like a straightforward concept. And it can be. However, you must first conduct some research. You must carefully choose what you wish to offer, identify your potential customers, and then plan how you will deliver your products or services to your clients. The quickest way to fizzle out is to throw random products on a website or online marketplace and hope for the best. You must also provide comprehensive information about your business and goods or services so that website visitors feel secure to place orders. Before we go into some ideas of what you can sell online, let’s first outline the basics of setting up an online store.
Key things to consider before you sell online
1. What is your business name, and what will the website domain be?
The names of your business and domain are almost as important as the products or services you sell. You want it to be simple for potential consumers to discover you online, and you don’t want them to misspell your name or say it incorrectly to voice assistants.
2. Choose your platform
Using an ecommerce platform (e.g. Takealot) or online marketplace (e.g. Facebook Marketplace), which helps small businesses set up shop and start selling products, makes selling online simpler. We’ll go through some ecommerce platforms below.
3. Select the payment methods you will accept
Depending on how much work (and money) you’re willing to put in, there are a variety of payment method options that you can make available on your online store. If you run your own website, you will need to add a shopping cart and a payment page. If you already have a physical store that accepts credit cards, your existing payment processor should be able to support your online sales.
4. Figure out the shipping
It’s critical to calculate shipping costs and how they will affect your profitability before announcing pricing. It requires careful balancing since you don’t want to lose a transaction because shipping is too expensive, but you also don’t want to break even because you offered free delivery to everyone.
5. How are you going to market?
The most important part about selling online is promoting your website. It’s fundamental to spread the word about your products or services with an ecommerce marketing strategy. You can begin by promoting on social media platforms like Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, etc. and even look at partnering with influencers. If you have the budget, you can also run various ad campaigns.
Ecommerce platforms to sell your products on
1. Your own online store
Creating a website to sell products online has many advantages over adding your products to the likes of Takealot. The difference is similar to buying property instead of renting a store in the local mall. When people are looking at your products, you won’t be directly competing with your competitors, therefore your brand name can grow in value.
It’s a simple process to sign up to sell on Takealot’s marketplace:
- Application – apply and write about your business and products
- Approval – your application will be reviewed within 10 days
- Registration – complete an account by filling out the required information and paperwork
- Onboarding – learn about the process and choose the stock model
- Sales – put products live and start selling
- Growth – Invest in growing and marketing your products
3. Facebook Marketplace
- On your Facebook profile, navigate to Facebook Marketplace
- Click “Create new listing”
- Choose the listing type
- Add a title and price, and select a category
- Complete a product description and fill in other details
- It’s always best to “Add photos”
- Publish your posting once you’ve provided all the information
- You can even choose to boost your listing after it’s published
Shopify is a customisable ecommerce platform trusted and used by trusted millions of businesses worldwide.
- Build your brand. Create a business name and logo.
- Build your online presence. Find a domain, explore stock images and amplify your brand.
- Build your store. Use Shopify’s powerful features to start selling.
Here are some other ecommerce platforms for you to consider:
8. Makro Marketplace
9. Loot Marketplace
Right, so now that you’re aware of the how and where of ecommerce, let’s look at the what , i.e. the many things you can sell online. It’s easy to think about the conventional things that can be bought online, but you might be surprised by some of the unconventional things.
- Products – this is obviously the main category of things that are sold online. A list of products that can be sold online is endless (some of which are mentioned in this list), but it essentially refers to any physical item that can be sold.
- Software programmes
- Digital templates and tools
- Music or art
- Licenses to your digital assets
- Craft patterns and downloadable prints
- Graphic design works
- Stock photography
- Dance classes
- Guitar lessons
- Resume or CV design and job search assistance
- Yoga classes
- Business cards
- Icon sets
- Applications (web and mobile)
- Hair and makeup tutorials
- Nutritional plans
- Beats and instruments
- Workout plans
- Digital planners, illustrated journals and calendars
- Cooking courses
- Translation services
- Digital magazines
- Relocation guides
This is still not an exhaustive list of things that you can sell online to make some extra money. The possibilities really are endless. An important thing to keep in mind is that there certainly is a cost involved – your time, as well as development costs. If you want to build an online store, do it properly!
If you already have a physical store, there are many reasons why you should also start selling online. Or do you have a new idea of something you’d like to sell online? Do you want to explore some ecommerce options to make some extra money? Send us an email. Let’s chat.