Start selling online: your guide to e-commerce platforms

If you are one of the many businesses who have now been instructed to close their doors to the public, we want to help you quickly get set up online. Setting up online may help you continue to trade over the next few weeks or months. It does not have to be difficult, costly or time consuming.

Launching your own eCommerce store could take as little as an hour! But you don’t even have to launch your own eCommerce site as you can sell through Facebook, Instagram, Amazon or eBay or online marketplaces like Etsy. As long as you can provide delivery, you can still serve customers.

Using Shopify

There are several eCommerce solutions that make trading online simple, convenient and cost efficient for small businesses.

Shopify has a partner relationship with Facebook meaning if you have a Shopify site, you can plug it directly into your Facebook business page.

The platform is very easy to use, has a mobile app so you can track sales and can be set up within an hour! 3D Secure payment is provided enabling you to reassure customers that their cards and payments are protected.

With templates you can use to design your store so you do not need to invest in bespoke designing, coding and building and allows you to upload your product catalogue and inventory.

Shopify offers a free 14 day trial and plans start from as little as $9 a month after that.

Selling via social media

Facebook and Instagram may well be a viable option for you especially if you’ve already got a vibrant and active social media presence. If you want to huild your social media presence take a look at one of our guides on getting started

Selling via Facebook allows you to retail physical products, You’ll be able to add your products, provide inventory info like availability, and take payment over Facebook Messenger. Take a look at our guide for setting up a Facebook store

Selling via Amazon

Amazon makes it easy to sell professionally with them. They provide all the tips and tricks you need to get started and provide an online community of other sellers you can connect to. You can opt to pay a flat fee of £25 per month to sell unlimited items, or £0.75 per individual item, making it a cost efficient option. You’ll also pay a commission on every item sold. Amazon handles payments for you and can also manage your stock and delivery for you.

Selling via Ebay

You may be familiar with eBay as a place individuals can sell unwanted or unused items. But eBay Shops also offers businesses three different tiers of professional selling solutions. You’ll be able to add your location, logo, business name, list your items and manage your inventory.

Seller Hub will support you and keep track of your eBay shop’s performance, providing you with lots of easy to understand analytics.

Key takeaway

This time could be an opportunity for you to reach new customers as well as continuing to serve your existing ones.

Although you may be stuck at the moment, panicked and anxious, there are more ways to continue selling online than you may think, and it need not cost you a lot in terms of time or money.

If you can yet your whole town involved via the Local Authority or BID then programs like ShopAppy are a great alternative and enable local click and collect.

Maybe* is providing free business resources and webinars to support you during this time. Check out our Coronavirus help centre for tips on staying connected via social media, and managing your business remotely. Sign up to Maybe* and stay connected to your customers on social media.