by Rebecca Clark
The Internet has opened a whole host of doors for creators, allowing people to sell crafts, art, clothing, and nearly any other product you can think of online. With the capability to reach a global audience, third-party online marketplaces make it so much easier to for entrepreneurs to get their products out to customers.
Whether you’re just venturing into opening your own online business or have used the Internet to sell your products for a while, there are plenty of websites you can use to host your online shop. Here are three different options depending on your experience level:
When you think of online shopping, you think of Amazon(1), which is why it’s a great website to use if you want to start building your online presence as a seller. According to Amazon, they have over 95 million monthly users, a huge audience for your products to potentially reach. For a monthly fee, Amazon handles all of the “heavy lifting,” including packing and shipping products and managing customer service and returns. This feature allows entrepreneurs to focus entirely on growing their business and creating quality products.
Etsy(2) allows entrepreneurs to build a customized online store where they can sell a variety of different products. The website gives users access to manage their products, payments, and interactions with customers. They also offer a service called Etsy Wholesale, where sellers can apply to have their products sold in some retail stores. Etsy also provides educational supplements and newsletters for sellers to increase their knowledge of running an online business. For people wanting to expand their business and learn more about best practices, Etsy is a good place to begin.
Shopify(3) is a full-service ecommerce solution that allows users to manage their products, payments, SEO, and overall shop from front-end and back-end standpoints. This website gives entrepreneurs the ability to write their own code, designing a unique and customized storefront completely on their own. Users also have access to Google AdWords and detailed analytics of their store’s performance. Although many people who take advantage of these features are experienced online sellers, Shopify has consultants available 24/7 to assist with any questions they may have. Having your own domain name gives your store a more professional feel and credibility. Shopify is a great tool for people with experience in managing an online business and wanting to take theirs to the next level.
Opening your own business to sell clothes, handmade crafts, jewelry, photography, quilts, prints, and nearly any other imaginable product does not have to be difficult. With only a few clicks, you can be on your way to opening your own business using online marketplaces like the ones mentioned above.
Rebecca Clark is a recent graduate of Miami University with degrees in English literature and professional writing. She enjoys reading, writing, and traveling, and hopes to one day become a book editor