So you want to sell online…

It seems with shopping mall landlords continuing to rack up huge rentals for shopping malls and Covid rendering malls a no go zone, everyone wants to get in on the online selling action. Online sales grew by a massive margins in SA in the past year, with the # of Shopify stores doubling and WooCommerce stores increasing by 1 third. Takealot sales increased by a reported 100% – not too bad.

So how do you go from no plan to having a super fast amazing website with a million followers and likes on social media? There’s a lot that goes on, but here are a few basic steps to starting your journey.

Step 1

Find the niche you are looking for that is not already dominated by the big players or offer a unique selling point that sets your offering apart

Step 2

Identify the product range and find suppliers who have the product, whether they are local or international. Set your prices to be competitive with the market and will make you the required profit to cover the cost of the product, courier costs in getting it to the customer, transactional costs and any operational costs incurred such as warehousing, admin and marketing costs.

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Step 3

Identify the online e-commerce cart to use – there are plenty of options available depending on your skills set and what features you are looking for. There are various free to use, several options running a pay upfront model and then some subscriptions models to choose from. The big players here being Woocommerce with around 50,000 stores in SA and Shopify with around 12,500. The key differences between the 2 being you need to host your WooCommerce website as it is built on wordpress whilst you pay Shopify a monthly subscription and they look after the hosting for you.

WooCommerce tends to require more developer support to get up and running and to maintain all the add ons and updates, and obviously there is a cost involved. Shopify is super easy to use and you can get a store up and running literally within a few days. There are plenty of designer to assist you setting up all e commerce carts, whichever you decide to go with.

Step 4

Develop a sound marketing plan and learn as much about digital marketing as you can. Its easy to blow a ton of cash at marketing and get very poor results. There are great digital marketing companies in SA to help on this front. Make sure you are constantly reviewing your spend, Cost of Acquisition and regularly updating your content to attract visitors to your site.

Step 5

List your product on the various market places, Takealot is by far the largest in SA, accounting for around 1/3 of all ecommerce traffic. One need only look at Amazon which accounts for over half of all ecommerce in the USA and is the USA’s single largest retailer by turnover, to see where the online action is happening. Look at the South East Asia and you see the same trend. Australia and the UK – same trend.

The ShopGlu Takealot connector will make trading on Takealot a breeze by linking up to your Shopify and WooCommerce stores. Chat to us to see how it can help your store.