Selling on social media may be easy, but you’re missing out on a lot if you aren’t setting up an online store!
Selling has never been easier. Nowadays, there are so many ways to sell online. All it really takes is a product, minimal marketing, and a platform. E-commerce is one of the best ways to sell because it’s cheaper, takes less time and effort to start, can be done from the comfort of your own home, and doesn’t require more than one person. With that said, there are a number of platforms on which people sell online.
The simplest and most straightforward of these platforms are, of course, Facebook and Instagram. It’s usually as simple as posting about a product and waiting for people to like, comment on and share your post. From there, inquiries can be made through direct messages or comments, payment can be made through bank transfers or a face-to-face meetup, and delivery and logistics can be agreed upon and carried through.
But while Facebook and Instagram are easy platforms to start with, they’re not the best options for running an actual business on. The award for Best E-Commerce Format still goes to the online store.
We’re here to convince you that online stores are just as understandable, user-friendly, and adaptable as any social media site, but better than social media in a few ways. Just take a look at these online store facts:
- Online stores are made for selling. Unlike social media, online stores are platforms where sellers go to sell and buyers go to buy. You can expect people on these platforms to be more likely to purchase rather than just browse, because that’s precisely what they came for.
- Online stores have structure. For buyers and sellers on Facebook or Instagram, transactions are usually done on a personal basis—sellers speak to each customer via direct messages or comments, and each transaction is unique. There’s a lot of manual and time-consuming work involved. This is fine, but it doesn’t really work once you’ve got more customers lining up. Online stores allow you to manage orders and handle even product delivery with just a few clicks, because everything is organized.
- Online stores are customizable. Instagram and Facebook have fixed formats for their posts, which means there’s only so much customization you can do. At most, you can take a good product shot and design it to your heart’s content. But with online stores, you can do this and then some. You’re practically building a website—the design, format and feel of the store is all yours, and so are all the photos, content and marketing ploys.
- Online stores are easy to use. As we said in the beginning of this article, selling has never been easier. This is in large part because e-commerce platforms are more user-friendly than ever before. You don’t need to know a line of coding to make your store’s webpage, and the most popular platforms are also the easiest to understand and walk through!
- Online stores give you data in real-time. This is a crucial benefit that does wonders for your business. Getting data in real time means you know which products sell, which marketing strategies work, and which people are buying your products. You can learn more about your target market, study their spending habits and know when to double down on product development or increase supply. Most of all, you can keep track of your business’ earnings and expenses, and make adjustments without waiting for a weekly, monthly or annual report.
- Online stores allow you to reach more customers. E-commerce platforms often have add-ons you can purchase that improve your store’s visibility, advertising process or knowledge of the market. (Bonus: There are also add-ons that help you customize your store, organize your logistics, find suppliers, and more!) These plugins can help you reach a wider market than your Followers list, and target the people who would be interested in your product.
- Online stores are growing in popularity. Why not strike while the iron is hot? Buying things online is definitely becoming more popular, especially in the Philippines, now that the general public has discovered just how convenient it is. The list of products that can be provided by an online seller is growing everyday, and your company just might be the lucky one that brings on the next big trend.
- Online stores have mastered the technology behind selling. Going back to our first point, because online stores are made for selling, the researchers and developers behind e-commerce sites have nearly perfected online selling platforms. They’ve fixed bugs, secured pathways, and enhanced the whole process so that you know you’re in for a safe, beneficial and—dare we say—enjoyable time building, using and maintaining your online store.
If you’re selling on Instagram or Facebook and already making a splash, the logical next step is setting up an online store (or if you’ve got a product that you think will sell, you can skip the social media step altogether and dive right into setting up your shop!). Not only is it just as easy to run an online business through an e-commerce platform, it’s more beneficial, too!
Eager to start your own online store? That’s the spirit! Try Shopify, the world’s leading e-commerce platform, today!