The COVID-19 outbreak is causing havoc for various businesses across the world. Due to the nation-wide lockdown, retailers are not able to sell their products as they would usually do. Nevertheless, this does not imply that you cannot sell your products at all because people are still looking at buying essentials for their day-to-day lives. In difficult times, diversifying your income streams makes sense; with diversification even if one source dries up, another source of revenue will be ready to supplement your sales. When you sell your products online, along with rendering a seamless shopping experience to your customers, you will also be able to generate income while you’re stuck at home. If you’re new to e-commerce here are some ideas to help you get started:

1. Choose a suitable online platform for selling your products

These days, plenty of shopping websites are readily available on the internet, which is built specifically to help you sell your products. However, since there are so many options, making the mistake of selling your goods on a wrong platform is quite possible. That’s why it’s important to identify a suitable online platform to sell your products before you start your e-commerce journey. If you think your customers can reach out to your products with ease via an online shopping portal, consider adding your products on the most popular e-commerce websites. However, if you think your customers hang out more on social media handles such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. consider posting photos of your products using these social media channels. You will need to do your bit of research in understanding your customers and which is the best online marketplace suitable for you to sell your products.

2. Focus on getting high-quality photos of your products

To sell your products online, you will have to name each of your products along with a product image. In case a product image isn’t feasible for all kinds of products you intend to sell, at least a brief description of the product will be needed. If you intend to sell clothes online, you will need to explain what fabric your garments are made of or describe an occasion where it can be worn. If it is a cooking utensil, you will need to tell your customer what it can do, just as you say if the customer turned up at your store and asked, “What is this?”. But most importantly, in order to catch the attention of your online customers, you will need to capture high-quality images of the products you intend to sell. This is because there is a lot of competition when you sell online, as every other vendor is trying to sell similar products. Identify a suitable place to take pictures of your products. Pay attention to details such as lighting and background. In case you are unable to get quality photos of your product, find someone who could write short and catchy descriptions for your products.

3. Your customers must know where to find you

When you have your online shopping space up and running, you will need to communicate this to your customers. Your customers need to know that you are still open for business.   Here are a few ways you can get the word out:
  1. Via Google search: Several businesses have Google listings, which makes it easy for customers to seek directions, leave a review, or post their ratings. Creating a “Google My Business” listing is not only free, but you can also monitor the visitors who view the content. Make sure your “Google My Business” listing has your e-commerce site included as well.
  2. Via your physical store: Due to the lockdown, you might have had to close your store temporarily. A few of your regular customers would want to know where they can find you; you can make it easy for them. You can create and post a QR code on the door of your store, directing customers to your website. Making a QR code is easy. Copy your website URL into a free QR code generator and take a screenshot of the result. QR codes are also great for sending customers to coupons or your social media profile.
  3. Social media: Talk about your new site on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Change your Instagram bio to include a link to your website. Then post a photo showing off your new retail space. Encourage followers to share your new site in their own stories or posts for a percentage off their first order. Edit your bio on Instagram to include a link to your shopping website. Upload a picture of your new retail room instead. Encourage fans to share their own stories or articles via your new site to get a discount on their first purchase.
  4. Advertisement: Make sure you advertise about your business via multiple channels:
    • Online in search ads
    • Via email/text message/Whatsapp
    • Online media channels

4. A To-Do List You Need to Focus on

  • Do well-detailed research on which online marketplace will be suitable for your products.
  • Create a personalised page or website for your online business. Whenever possible, make sure to keep your branding activities consistent between both your physical store as well as your online stores.
  • Make sure your product photos are of high quality. Keep a tab on the following:
    • Bright lighting
    • Staging
    • Neutral backdrops
  • Ensure to proofread your product descriptions before they are posted online.
  • Keep a tab on the 5 W’s when you write product descriptions:
    • What it is
    • Who will love it
    • Where you can use it
    • Why you need it
    • When it will come in handy
The entire world may be reeling at the moment after the coronavirus takeover. However, this does not mean you will take a step back and let your business collapse. A few brands are still being able to make consistent sales. Therefore, all you need to do now is try new ideas and do everything possible to ensure your business is one that succeeds.