6 Important Steps When You Start Online Selling in the Philippines

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There’s no denying it: many Filipinos are shifting their buying habits to e-commerce platforms, driven largely by the convenience of shopping easily on a smartphone or desktop computer and having it delivered straight to home within just a few days. Because of this, many Filipinos are now keen on online selling.

So, there’s just a consensus among the domestic shopping public that buying things online is a more convenient and time-saving process. The last two years of the pandemic only accelerated this shift, given that most people at that time had few options to get their essentials.

That’s where you come in as a seller. Having acknowledged the changing habits of Filipinos who now prefer to buy stuff online, you can take advantage of the opportunity to serve a growing demographic of online shoppers. Basically, anything can be bought online now, and there are thousands of small entrepreneurs on e-commerce platforms selling items from everyday items to more specialized ones.

Here is a simple yet effective guide on how to sell online. Whether you don’t have any experience selling online or you already have some, these tips should provide you with the basics to make sure your online entrepreneurship goals are achieved.

Why you want to sell

If there’s anything you need to know, it’s why you want to do this in the first place. Even those who already have an existing online selling business need to have a compelling reason to jump on the bandwagon. It’s already a given that you want to earn money, and that is usually the underlying reason for all businesses. But what differentiates a good entrepreneur from the rest is one who can answer first why this business needs to exist.

You can say that you are addressing the need of a particular community and you can find those specific products. If you’re the sociable type, maybe you can say you want to build a network of friends through selling items that you also like. Or you can be selling because you have free time.

Whatever the reason, it should be your driving force to start and continue your entrepreneurial journey. 

What you are selling

Once you know why you’re selling online, you can begin scouting the products you want to sell. It’s easy enough to find B2B platforms where you can source your supplier, but you also need to answer a few important questions, especially if the product you sell reflects your beliefs in doing this business. 

You must also check out the competition. The last thing you want is to enter your product online, only to find out there are already 100 other sellers of the same item. To avoid this, you must know your product’s unique selling point (the feature of the product that sets it apart from others). 

Equally important is the product’s quality. This means thoroughly checking if it follows quality standards. You don’t want to sell items online that get damaged easily. Remember that in the world of e-commerce, a simple bad experience by one customer can snowball into something worse.

Where are your suppliers

If there’s one thing that the property industry can teach any online seller, it’s “location, location, location.” That means knowing where to source your products.  You must do your own due diligence on where you will get your products, how to transport them, and the cost that comes with them. 

If you’re selling homemade products, you still need to know where to get your raw materials (or ingredients if it’s food). 

When do you sell

Time is always a factor in anything that you do, and that becomes even more apparent in selling online. Many products are in-demand all year round so there are always buyers for them. Food, clothes, shoes, personal accessories, and electronic devices are in the market all the time.

But there are moments when certain items become trendy for various reasons. This is where you, as the seller, must be aware of these trends and try to capitalize on them by filling your inventory for the anticipated demand.

To successfully gauge when to sell, you must do your own market research. Social media is probably the first thing you’ll be looking at for trends. Looking at the performance of specific items in shops on online selling platforms such as Shopee, Lazada, and Zalora is also a good way to check trends.

You can expand your search by using online trend monitoring tools provided by e-commerce merchant service providers, some of which also help automate your online selling strategies. Some of these online tools are for free, but you can also customize them for a fee based on your needs. 

Who is your customer

Like answering why you also need to know who your potential customers are. Once you start selling, you must understand their needs, opinions, and expectations. That way, you can learn to address their needs and calibrate your products to fit their needs.

As mentioned in the previous section, you can also use social media and the comments of buyers on e-commerce platforms to help you know more about your potential customers. Some provide feedback based on their experience with similar products that you intend to sell and even give insights on how they want the product to be. 

If you’re already a seller, you need to be more hands-on in managing customer feedback. Expect a lot of criticisms but always listen to what they say and see if these comments are valid. Only then can you try to make changes to your products. 

How do you deliver your products?

It’s common for online sellers to partner with a local fulfillment company to deliver their products to customers. You have to be partnered with a good delivery firm that would ensure that your products get to customers on time and in great condition. 

The best ones also provide low-priced warehousing services so you don’t have to worry about where to put your products. This way, you’ll only need to focus on managing your customer purchases. 

Ready to try online selling?

Selling online seems an easy way to make money, especially for many people who wish to build their own business at home, and is a good way to reach a larger population who prefer the convenience of having something delivered where they are. 

As a seller, you must have the right motivations, up-to-date customer insights, and proper tools for product management are sure ways to reach your goals as a digital entrepreneur.

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