How to Sell Online Using the Power of Social Media

Many entrepreneurs have taken the road less travelled and chosen to go it alone. For people who choose to do this, selling their products and services online can be a viable option. Although much of the traditional ‘brick and mortar’ shopping can be accessed online, there are distinct differences between the two.

To learn how to sell online, you must consider differentiators such as pricing, marketing and products. You must understand what makes your product special and use this to your advantage. You must learn to listen to your customers, and create a brand that resonates with them.

When it comes to pricing, many business owners make the mistake of trying to price their products according to what they think a customer is paying. However, customers often have different values and needs, and you must price your product accordingly. Ensure that you are not losing any potential customers due to poor pricing strategy.

Pricing Strategy

To price a product or service correctly, it is first necessary to understand the cost of producing and delivering the item. To calculate the total cost of ownership, add the price of the product, any shipping charges and deduct any and all discounts, this will then provide you with an accurate idea of what you should be charging for your product. This is also the starting point for your return policy, as you will have a better understanding of how much you will have to refund if the customer decides to cancel the order.

As a general rule of thumb, customers should not be charged more for shipping than what is actually included in the item’s cost. Even if you are providing free shipping, you can lose a customer if you are overcharging them. This frequently happens and it is extremely frustrating for both sides. In order to avoid this, be precise with your pricing and ensure that the costs of what you are including in the product are accurately reflected.

Marketing Strategy

The term marketing comes from the fact that you are literally ‘marketing’ your product or service to potential customers. This could be done through various methods such as advertising, word-of-mouth or display marketing (shop signs, posters and the like). Each of these methods can be further classed as ‘traditional’ or ‘digital’ depending on whether you are using offline or online methods to reach your audience. There are pros and cons to both approaches and you must decide which one you will use to reach your customers.

The first step to effective marketing is understanding your customer. Who are they, where do they live and what do they want? It is essential to gain as much information as possible about your customers because, without them, there is no point in even considering trying to sell to them. This is why you must take the time to find out about your customers’ needs before you start marketing your product. The more you know about them, the more you can tailor your campaign to suit their needs. Tailoring your campaign to suit your customer is a key tenet of Marketo’s customer-centric approach to marketing.

Product Strategy

Depending on the type of product you are selling, you will need to consider several factors. For example, if you are selling machinery, you will need to consider how easy it is to use, whether or not training is required and so on. Even if your product is simple, it is still necessary to think about the various factors that could affect its success.

If you are selling a web-based product (e.g. a website, online store or app), you will need to ensure that it is functional and secure. If you are selling a physical product (e.g. a magazine or a vehicle), you will need to think about how you will get it to the customer. Delivery costs should be included in the price and you should have a clear plan in place for how you will collect the payment. Ensure that these factors are reflected in the cost of the product or service you are selling. If they are not, then it could be argued that your product is not providing value to your customer and you are losing out on an opportunity to make a sale.

Some businesses choose to ignore this and go with what they know, however, if you want to be a successful online seller, you must consider your customers and what they want. The more you know about them the better, as this will ultimately lead to a better understanding of what will make them interested in your product or service.

The Role Of Social Media

Let’s get Social! The ability to have a conversation with your customer (or potential customer) over Twitter or Instagram is the cornerstone of any successful marketing strategy. Social media is about much more than simply having a platform to post on, it is about engaging with your audience and having a two-way conversation.

By listening to your customer, you can find the issues they are facing and address these, either directly or indirectly through your products. If you don’t know where to start, then consult with an expert or search for advice on the topic. Social media is extremely powerful when used correctly and can provide you with an invaluable insight into what your customer wants or needs. The ability to listen to your customers and take action is a defining characteristic of a successful business, marketing or branding strategy.

Putting It All Together

To conclude, going online to sell requires you to be strategic about your approach. Although there are a variety of ways to approach this, you must develop an overall business strategy and plan. This should include the various factors discussed above and should serve as the backbone for your marketing campaign. Once you have developed this, then you can take the time to really consider your customers’ needs, wants and unique selling points. From there, you can craft compelling messages to encourage them to buy your product or service.