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There is no doubt about it, the age of the online side hustle built significant momentum post-COVID-19. With more and more workers forced to stay home during the lengthy periods of COVID-19 lockdowns, many of us began to investigate different ways to make money. And, surely, what easier way to make money from home than to start an online business? With the COVID-19 lockdown-induced online shopping boom, this also happened to be one of the best times to launch an eCommerce business!
Indeed, many online businesses launched, grew, and flourished, during this difficult and unprecedented time. But how are people still managing to start online businesses in this post-lockdown era? Surely, that ship has sailed? On the contrary, the eCommerce boom is still going strong! So, if you're interested in learning how to start your eCommerce side hustle right here, right now, just read on to find out more.
The first step in starting an eCommerce business is to source the products you want to sell online. Of course, it is recommended to conduct market research into what products are trending or currently in demand within the marketplace. Then, once you have identified which products you wish to sell, the next step is to source them from a wholesale distributor.
Of course, many eCommerce products can be sold online. Skincare and beauty products in particular are very popular in this space, especially when it comes to the demographics that predominantly choose to shop online. That is to say, in general, this is composed of young females in their 20s and 30s. Fast fashion and clothing items are also popular with these demographics, as are jewellery items. If you're choosing to start an online jewellery business, for instance, you can source wholesale jewellery from Australia to re-sell online, under your business's own brand.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio: https://www.pexels.com/photo/happy-woman-shopping-online-at-home-3769747/
Importantly, by sourcing quality products through a reputable and trustworthy wholesaler, you can ensure that your online store inventory will be well-stocked with in-demand products. Additionally, when sourcing products through a wholesale distributor, you can also benefit from purchasing these items at a lower wholesale rate, and then re-selling the products at a profit. Increasing your profit margin in this way will enable you to maximise your online business's revenue, and of course, your take-home income.
If you are wanting to start an online business, it is important to build your eCommerce presence using the best web platform that is suited to your online business needs. For example, you could choose to sell your products on web platforms such as eBay, Etsy or Shopify. The main differences between these platforms can be found below:
Known as a 'global marketplace community' composed of independent online businesses, Etsy helps to connect buyers and sellers online. It offers a space where online business owners can sell unique, often custom-made items to their customers. It differs however from a platform such as Shopify, which enables online business owners to build their own eCommerce website.
Shopify is a website development platform that is purpose-built for eCommerce endeavours. It allows online business owners to create their own websites, albeit within the default parameters of Shopify's pre-determined site interface. It also allows for an internal payment facility within the website itself.
Alternatively, you could choose to use a third-party platform such as eBay to sell your wares. However, eBay is a relatively impersonal site that simply allows users to list items for sale. As such, using this particular platform is not likely to allow you to develop your business's brand voice or a strong online presence.
Photo by Caio: https://www.pexels.com/photo/macbook-air-on-grey-wooden-table-67112/
To drive sales and online traffic to your business, it is very important to engage in digital marketing and advertising to promote your products to your target online audience. Developing your brand voice and online presence can be achieved using social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. These are interactive platforms that allow businesses to connect directly with their customers, which can be invaluable in terms of building customer loyalty as well as brand awareness.
As well as social media marketing and advertising, however, it is also advisable to engage in other forms of digital marketing to promote your online business. One of the most effective methods of digital marketing known today is Search Engine Optimisation or SEO.
SEO draws on several clever techniques to influence search engine results, and how websites rank within the listings of search engine results pages. SEO technique achieves these results in several ways, including on-page SEO. This involves the creation of website content that is keyword optimised to be displayed when search engine users input certain search queries. For example, if an online user is searching for 'jewellery in Australia', the goal for an Australian eCommerce business is to create on-page content that draws that online traffic to their website. On the other hand, there is also off-page SEO, which involves methods including blogger outreach articles that reference and entice online users to visit a website by linking it within the body of their article. Using these methods is a surefire way to attract customers to your website, and to successfully promote your eCommerce business!
The age of the eCommerce side hustle is far from being over. In fact, by following the steps outlined above, you too can successfully start your own online business, even post the COVID-19 online shopping boom! Importantly, online shopping habits borne from the COVID-19 lockdowns - when most retail outlets and bricks and mortar shopping destinations were forced to remain closed - still exist. If anything, they are now set to stay, with many people now realising that online shopping is much quicker, easier and more convenient than shopping in-store. As such, now is the time to continue riding this eCommerce wave, which does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon! Follow the steps listed above, by sourcing quality wholesale products, building an online presence using an effective web platform, and engaging in digital marketing. If you do, your eCommerce business is sure to be a success!