24 hour shopping, huge discounts, a massive range of products and you didn’t even leave the sofa. On-line shopping is just another technoloigcal revolution, along with video chats and Social Media that have been seamlessly assimilated into modern society.
According to Wikipedia e-commerce in the United States totaled product sales of 146.4 billion accounting for 6% of retail product sales.
It is no secret that e-commerce is already huge and still growing. Most businesses big or small are turning to the internet to improve product sales. Many people these days start new retailing businesses from their home living room. With the right know-how you can make money on-line but how do you compete with all the other emerging and existing businesses currently utilizing the internet to make bread?
Know the right places to set-up shop
Big Cartel is an on-line shop with east-to-use store building and shopping cart service designed to help artists. Basic usage is free and this allows you to set-up a store front and list up to 5 products with basic customization. You have the option of a Platinum plan for $9.99/month to a Diamond plan for $19.99/month. Paying for a subscription will allow you to display more products. The nice thing about Big Cartel is that it doesn’t take a percentage of your sales.
Shopify does not offer a free subsription, the basic charge being $24/month to handle 100 products all the way up to $699/month to handle 50,000 products. Shopify allows you to use templates but can be fully customized with HTML and CSS. Shopify charge a transaction fee from 2.0% – 0.5%.
Self-Hosted if you are the sort of person that likes to do the programming yourself then have a go at self0hosting a shopping cart system. You will need a web server and the knowledge to install third-part tools on the server. Some of the more popular carts are Zen Cart, Magneto and XCart the price for these carts varies.
Etsy is the place to go if you want to sell craftsupplies handmade goods, and vintage goods. This is not the place to go if you want machin-spun sweaters this is strictly for the crafters, artists and DIYers. To set-up your account is free but you must pay $0.20 listing fee to list your product for four months and then a 3.5% transaction fee on sold items.
Sell Simply is a fantastic simple little tool that lets you list items via Twitter and have them appear on Sell Simply. You only have to pay $1.00 listing fee and PayPal deals with the rest. Sell Simply allows you to use Social Media to sell your items.
Know what days users shop
ShopItToMe.com compiled a list of data between June 2009 – June 2010 to find out on what days the best deals exist on-line. Mondays are best for men’s and women’s trousers and sunglasses; Tuesday for buying men’s apperal; Wednesdays for shoes and kid’s clothing; Thursdays for women’s handbags; Fridays for jewelry, belts and scarves; Saturdays for intimates and jackets; Sundays for swimsuits. Kind of starnge but true.
Other useful stats
Women make up 63% of people that shop on-line out numbering men 3 to 2. People with children are more likely to shop on-line. Most on-line shopper are aged betweem 18-44. Men mostly buy computers, CD’s and videos; women mostly buy health & beauty and clothing products.
On-line retailing is growing fast but we at Webrandrank don’t think that there is any danger it will take-over traditional high street retailing, people like to touch stuff before they can buy it. The case of Bulgaria is not something that should scare the high street retailer (it is said that the economic crisis has driven Bulgarians on-line and away from the high street).
I though it might be intersting to bring up the case of the Nexus One. Google has a mobile phone called the Nexus One Android that is exclusively available to buy on-line. You would think that Google being the most visited site in the world would be able to sell a phone but apparently it couldn’t, the Nexus One retail shop is now closed. This is primarily due to the fact people could touch, hold and feel the phone before they bought. Google has been forced to sell the phone in real shops across the US.
In conclusion, creating an on-line shop is important but people still like to hold what they buy.