The answer depends on your personal style and your business. I have a product based business. I need to have my products where it is likely my customers will be looking for them.
My target customers are women, aged 25-45, median to high income level with some post high education. Through some training and experience I know that Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok are their platforms of choice. They shop Amazon, EBay and Etsy. They Google. They read reviews. My products and my business need to show up where my ideal shoppers are spending their time.
Our small business has product on Amazon, EBay, Cratejoy and a website. It has taken years to build this system, one piece at a time. The start was small, not very polished, and pieces were added as I could learn them. Your business can learn them too and stretch beyond your brick and mortar limits.
If you have used any of these platforms as a consumer, you have an understanding of how they work. That information is useful on the business side because you might have opinions on how you want your business to look online and feel when a customer makes a purchase. Learning the posting systems, payment procedures and shipping expectations are how a business makes money with online platforms. Each platform is different and has different rules for businesses.
I began on Amazon and EBay. I knew them as a consumer. I had a feel for what I wanted to provide for customer service and shipping. The apps for these platforms are relatively easy to learn and post product on. I got help from a lot of YouTube videos in the beginning on setting up listing and shipping routines. The beginning is simple. Download the seller apps, set up the accounts and start listing products. When sales happen, treat each package as a customer. Package well. Ship fast. Include a thank you with your contact information. Let customers know how to find you and your online presence. Create a small enclosure that goes in every package that lists your website and social media pages. You want them to shop on your website and follow your social media for repeat business.
I have added Cratejoy in the last 2 years because I have three subscription boxes. Cratejoy is a marketplace specific to subscription boxes. It is not hard to learn how it operates and there are many online articles and YouTube videos to offer help in being successful on Cratejoy. As with any other selling platform, treat each individual shipment as a customer. Package well. Ship fast. Say thank you. Include information that will let the customer find you again.
An important part of any small business is a website that sells what you have in your shop. It sounds obvious. Lots of small businesses have a website. Many websites only give basic information like address, phone, business hours. It’s not hard to have a website that sells your best selling items or your monthly specials. There are do it yourself website builders or freelancers who can put one together. The important point is that once you capture the attention of a buyer from a Google search or an online selling platform you want to keep them checking back with you. A website helps you to stay in touch with people who are looking for what you are selling. Once they find you in a web search or through your shipping enclosures, show them pictures of all the other wonderful stuff you have to offer.
Next up: Social media posting routines.
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