Budding startups are usually online only. Why? Well, just about anyone can set up a website and sell products via an eCommerce store.
WordPress provides so much for free, so you can get a CMS and use WooCommerce to get your site online. While it’s not quite as simple as this, it is much easier and cheaper than you’d expect.
Called the Gig Economy – more workers want to own their own business, and it’s technology via the internet that has empowered people to do it.
Create a side hustle while continuing with your day job and transition to self-employed as and when your new venture generates enough revenue. Or you may be at the other end of your career, perhaps already retired, and want to keep in the game and earn money simultaneously.
There are even success stories of students still in study becoming millionaires from their drop-shipping businesses.
This blog article delves into generating an income from an eCommerce store and why it’s changing our workforce.
Freelancing Is On The Rise
The traditional nine to five job on an employment contract as an employee is slowly but surely dying out.
Global events like COVID-19 have threatened entire industries, such as hospitality and travel, and many workers let go with no idea of what to do next. Hiring has changed since COVID-19.
Plus, with collaboration tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, which we all used a lot during the pandemic lockdowns, remote working and, in particular, hiring freelancers located offshore is now doable.
There’s no need for companies to commit to full-time employees when they can pay just for hours on the job and at competitive rates.
Freelancers are typically on short-term contracts, and they’re responsible for their own tax and insurance.
In the USA telecommuters aka freelancers or contractors make-up 20% of the workforce and within a decade they’re expected to make up half of the American workforce. So the question is, how long before there’s not a business anywhere with employees on their books?
With freelancing comes the freedom to source an income online, which has given rise to dropshipping services and eCommerce platforms, making it easy for anyone to get set up and sell products online.
Challenges With Startups
Setting up a business that requires staff, technology, and premises is costly. The outlay is usually from the owners’ pockets, so without startup funds, many a good idea is never commercialized. Investors and lenders view startups as risky investments with few assets for security.
So it’s no surprise that budding entrepreneurs will look to platforms that provide supply, logistics, and payment infrastructure. For example, Amazon is the largest e-commerce platform and a favorite for small businesses using dropshipping services. Spotify is also a popular eCommerce platform, and thousands of aspiring micro business operators, i.e., sole operators, pay the seller fees.
So what does it take to sell products online?
Start A Dropshipping Business
Selling anything online requires an audience, therefore the seller must become competent in digital marketing and developing expert writing skills to blog. Social media marketing is also a critical skill, and combining all these skills will grow a network of followers and customers who like and share product updates.
Pay-per-click advertising is also a preferred strategy, especially for online eCommerce businesses that are time-poor and cash-rich. These small eCommerce businesses don’t need to operate their business with expert knowledge of warehousing or the complexities of using an eCommerce website. This frees up time for product analysis and choosing to sell products in demand to consumers. So what are these micro eCommerce operators selling online? Well, popular items change due to events like COVID-19.
Top Selling Categories
Start your research into the best-selling products by doing a simple search. For example, doing a search on Amazon using the keywords ‘top-selling products’ will present exact items that are popular at the time of the search.
Plus, to hone in on what’s popular in your region, you’ll need to add it to your browser search. For example, top-selling items, Amazon, UK.
The most popular categories for online sales include:
- Home security
How To Choose Products To Sell
Of course, the list is not exhaustive, and there is no magic solution to selecting a product that will make a million or more in revenue. However, in researching what to sell online, you can focus on meeting this criterion:
Chose products that have an x-factor, and that may include:
- Hard to find items
- Not readily available within a specific country
- Product within $10 – $40 price range
Top Selling Travel Products
Do a search using keywords top selling products and look for the most recently updated item. With lockdown now in the distance and travel back on the agenda for most people keen on venturing beyond their State, it’s no surprise the following items are in demand:
- Travel Pillow
- Day Pack
- Drink bottles
- Drone camera
- USB charger
- Travel adapter
The most challenging part of starting an eCommerce store is knowing what to sell. You will need to do a lot of research to find the items that sell quickly and for a profit. Plus, many new eCommerce stores are unaware of the need to understand and invest in marketing to bring the right eyeballs to your products.
While you can start your business on a shoestring budget, you will need to learn about marketing so your store is found. To get people to buy from your store, your website will need to be professional in design and adhere to all the security requirements and SEO optimized for Google search.
Whichever you look at it, working-age people are increasingly keen to control when they work and what they earn. Even the career-minded among us, who are doing what they love, can continue by adding more income with a small just-in-time business.
Freelancing and sole operating will continue to grow in popularity, especially with the business models offered by Amazon and Spotify, and many other providers. Starting your new online store as a side hustle gives you time and money to get the right website, products, and marketing strategies aligned before relying on them as your primary income.