The easiest way to get your start in the competitive world of online shopping is to use an ecommerce platform that’s already set up for you.
No, I’m not talking about creating a WordPress website with a shopping cart plugin. If you’re truly new to ecommerce, you’ve probably done a lot of reading about CMS’s, shopping carts, payment processing, customer service, etc. It can all seem really complicated, not to mention the actual money you can make seems like it’s a long ways away. After all, with everything you need to know in order to set up all the variables, you could study and get a university degree in the time it takes to implement all that knowledge.
Marketplaces for products you own, drop ship, manufacture, etc…
If you have your own products to sell, consider using an auction site like eBay or a paid marketplace like Shopify. Neither of these options are particularly easy (which is what the title of this post is all about).
Most paid platforms have a lot of unexpected fees and an entire governmental-type customer-service bureaucracy that you need to learn in order to make money. With the above-mentioned and other established “paid” storefront platforms, you basically pay for the privilege of using their online real estate to sell your products, while still being entirely responsible for marketing your products in order to make any money.
So how can you get set up quickly, with no risky upfront investment, and still be the master of your own destiny (i.e., controlling the appeal and marketing of your product)?
Answer: Build an On-Demand Storefront!
I always recommend on-demand storefronts for newbies and startups. On-demand products don’t require you to spend money upfront. If you use an ecommerce service like Zazzle, you don’t have any costs at all. There are also no hidden costs, you know the minute you sign up what you’ll be paying.
Keep in mind that this isn’t a promotion for Zazzle. This is simply the best way for you to get an online store set up for free.
How does it work?
There are plenty of options out there. I recommend Zazzle because of their free signup, transparent (super simple) royalty rate system, and the millions of products they offer.
Zazzle provides you an opportunity to express your creative side by putting your designs on Zazzle products and selling them in the Zazzle marketplace. You can think of these products as a “canvas” that you can decorate for your customer however you see fit.
How do I get started?
Step 1: Register on Zazzle.com.
Step 2: Verify your email address.
Step 3: Create a store and choose your store name.
Step 4: Create products for your store. Upload designs (catchy slogans, phrases, words, images, photographs, or other graphics) that you own the rights to, and choose a product or products that you want the design to be printed on. The more products you have, the more likely you will make a sale.
Step 5: Tag your products with the appropriate keywords. Remember to add a unique description for each product.
Step 6: Choose your desired royalty. The lower the royalty,the more attractive your products are to prospective customers. The recommended royalty rate is between 10 – 15%. However, you do have the option to charge up to 90% if you’re confident there’s a market (like if you have an established on or offline brand already.)
Step 7: Market your products using your blog, social media, paid Google AdWords, hanging signs up around your town or city, placing newspaper ads, etc. You can get as creative as you like using free or paid advertising methods.