So after some very careful consideration, you have finally decided on your side hustle.You have discovered the holy grail! Product suppliers have been identified. You may have even decided you can create and supply your own products on demand. The next step is deciding on how to sell them.
For many people setting up their own ecommerce site will be the best option. But for some start-ups launching and operating an ecommerce website is just not viable. You may not have the resources, know-how, time, or confidence to go it alone and you may wish to outsource fulfilment. If so, selling on an online marketplace might be your best route.
Right now, the online marketplace is dominated by a few huge names including, Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba. But some entrepreneurs have found success selling on Etsy. This week we interviewed Astyn Gould, the founder of natural candle brand, Home Jewels . Astyn launched her business on Etsy to great success, this prompted us to ask what exactly is Etsy and why is it becoming increasingly popular?
Etsy is an online marketplace which specialises in selling unique and creative items. If you are an artisan or crafter who likes to create or add creative elements to the products you sell, then Etsy is the best place for you. The main product categories on the site are: Jewellery & Accessories, Clothing & Shoes, Home & Living, Wedding & Party, Toys & Entertainment, Art & Collectibles, Craft Supplies and Vintage.
Unlike some of the traditional online marketplaces Etsy encourages made-to-order and customization, so sellers must provide a high level of customer service. While that may not be attractive for start-ups who do not have the capacity to engage with customers for those that are happy to, it can pay dividends. As typically sellers can charge more for bespoke or made to order products.
Arguably the best thing about Etsy for Sellers is the niche consumer audience it attracts. Generally, visitors to Etsy are either exploring the listings in hope of finding something special for themselves or they are looking for something specific such as sewing patterns or supplies for jewellery making. Buyers on Etsy are not looking for mass produced products which can be bought anywhere so you do not have to worry about a race to the bottom in terms of your pricing.
Whatever ecommerce platform you choose it is essential you follow our top tips!
Make sure you write a detailed product description
It is vital that you use professional pictures and list all the product information i.e. dimensions, material, etc. Do not be afraid of detail, customers want to know as much as possible about a product they are buying for the first time.
Prioritise user reviews and feedback
The key to long term success is repeat business, positive customer reviews are an incredibly important part of making continued sales. Always respond to customer questions quickly, and be professional when buyers have complaints or concerns, no matter how minor they may seem.
Price your items carefully
Make sure to do market research to understand the real value of what you are selling, it is important to know what your items are worth. You need to make a profit, but you must ensure you are offering market value.
Consider offering discounts
As a new brand keen to attract attention, offering promotional discount pricing may help your brand. Do not be afraid to adjust your pricing in response to feedback, demand, and competition.
Watch our interview with Astyn for more tips on how to succeed as an online retailer.