Things to consider before e-tailing

E-commerce transactions mainly involve the use of credit cards, smart cards and other methods such as digital cash or coupons.

If you are selling low value items in large quantities online, it is better to use one of the large commercial gateways such as provided by the big banks to minimise your risk and maximise your security.

If you are selling high volume items, think twice before you start doing online transactions. Online presence and online transactions are not the same. Use your website to show the customers what you have to offer, and use it to get more customers and business contacts.

Many people waste their money trying to sell goods and services online simply because they have not done their preliminary preparation and research well enough.

Before planning to sell online, as I have stated in many articles just answer these questions and you will then see whether it is worth selling online.

  • Do you sell a product or service that people will want to buy online?
  • What is the benefit to your customer by purchasing that item or service online?
  • Who are most likely to buy your products and where are thy located?
  • How are you going to pack and ship the items?
  • What will be your return policy?
  • Can you manage refunds?
  • Is your product a common one that is available always on retail stores?
  • If so why do you think your customer will want to buy them online?
  • How are you going to minimise errors happening. E.g.: a customer orders a blue one and you dispatch a pink one?
  • What are the costs likely to occur for all above and are you able to price the item covering all the above costs and still make it cheaper than the same item in the brick and mortar store? (especially if you are selling a common item like clothing)
  • If you have a shop, there might be customers who come to your shop in search of one item and get interested in other items that are in the store and this might bring you a big profit. Are you likely to get this type of sales online?
  • If you supply your products to retail stores run by other companies, what percentage of your products get sold simply because they were in this main stores?

After finding answers to these questions you will be able to decide doing sales online is for you or not. You should still not back away. Your online presence is very likely to promote your business or brand and generate lot more sales offline.

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