Sell Your Products Online: Bootstrap an Online Store

Ready to sell products online but too caught up in the day-to-day tasks of marketing and management to build your online store?

We get it. As one-woman businesses, we’ve all been there. Our time is extremely valuable. We don’t have the space in our schedule — or the skills — to create an online store, especially when eCommerce is just plain intimidating.

There are a lot of moving parts to e-commerce: confirming secure transactions, solidifying payment methods, sorting out product delivery, and handling customer service, among others.

Overwhelmed yet? Don’t be. While there are plenty of e-commerce platforms you can choose from to build your own online store, I have great news for you: there are fast, affordable, and easy ways to sell your products online without the backend hassle. In fact, you could be selling your products in less than an hour!

Sell Your Digital Products Online

Digital products are one of the easiest and most cost-effective products to create. One of the biggest perks: you don’t have to concern yourself with inventory management. Another perk? There are a variety of digital products you can create. You could:

  • write a how-to eBook
  • create a video tutorial
  • record audio coaching sessions

Those are just a few examples. Selling digital products is a great way to grow your brand’s image and highlight your expertise, while making some extra money.

My suggestion for getting started: in less than an hour of your time (once your product is created), you can create a customized Selz store and start selling your digital masterpieces. Selz’ newest app, StorePro, allows users to create an online store using one of their professional themes. Plus, customers can shop from any tablet or smartphone. Setting up a Selz store is free, and they only charge a small percentage of each sale. One of the best parts about Selz is you don’t need any technical skills. They handle the entire sales process.

See it in action: Sofia Cope sells her Pretty Procrastinator Planner using Selz, which is an undated printable planner designed for busy women.

Pretty Procrastinator Planner Selz

Sell Your Own Line of Merchandise Online

One drawback when creating a line of brand merchandise is the enormous cost of selling it. This includes buying inventory, paying set-up and printing fees, and more. It can cost thousands of dollars, with no guarantee that it will sell, typically making it cost-prohibitive for most solo businesses. However, there’s a solution — if you’ve got a great design or brand logo, you can create an entire line of merchandise without any upfront costs.

My suggestion for getting started: Zazzle allows users to create an entire line of merchandise, and sell if from your own Zazzle shop. You can customize a variety of products, including t-shirts, paper items, baby products, business items, and pet products. Simply apply your unique design to any product you choose, and Zazzle handles printing, shipping, and the entire sales transaction. Zazzle charges a royalty for each sale, but you don’t have to worry about having leftover inventory or shipping costs. You don’t need any special skills to create a product or set up a Zazzle store. It’s a great choice for any solo business!

See it in action: Artist Melanie Taylor sells hundreds of unique products — from tote and messenger bags to mugs and iPad cases in her Zazzle store, The Creative Taylor.

Creative Taylor on Zazzle

Take Your Local Shop Online

If you run an offline business, you may not realize you can easily sell your products online. You’ll give your local customers a new way to buy your products, plus you can attract new customers outside your area.

My suggestion for getting started: Square allows users to create a professional online shop for their products. They cater to a variety of businesses, including food & beverage, retail, beauty, and health & fitness. It doesn’t cost anything to create a Square shop, and Square charges a small transaction fee per sale. You don’t need any special skills, and they handle the entire sales transaction. Square also has helpful features for offline businesses, including an appointment feature where customers can book an appointment with you online. Plus, your store will get listed in the Square Market, which may attract new customers.

See it in action: Alison Comfort is the owner of House of Moss, and sells creates miniature woodland-themed felted wool items from her Square store.

House of Moss Square shop

Anyone Can Bootstrap an Online Store!

In all of the above examples, One Woman Shops are selling digital products, merchandise, and physical goods online with no tech skills necessary and very little investment.

You don’t need to invest in inventory, an ecommerce website, or learn coding. You can easily bootstrap an online store by using an eCommerce framework like Zazzle, Selz or Square. For any solo business woman, using one of these platforms takes the risk out of eCommerce – and leaves the overwhelming aspects of selling products online to the experts.

Spend your time focusing on growing your business, and creating products you love. Remember, running a solo business is challenging – but creating an online store doesn’t need to be.

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Liesha Petrovich is the creator of Micro Business Essentials, a unique business blog exclusively for micro businesses.  If you’re looking for fast, affordable, and effective tips to help your business grow, click here to grab a copy of Micro Business Essentials Toolkit: Free and Low Cost Resources.

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2 Comments on Sell Your Products Online: Bootstrap an Online Store

  1. Nela
    November 24, 2014 at 7:06 pm (3 years ago)

    Everyone keeps talking about digital products, but barely anyone talks about a new EU tax law that will disrupt the digital marketplace worldwide (basically, everyone who is theoretically able to sell to EU citizens).

    I would advise everyone currently selling digital products, or planning to sell them, to search for EU VAT 2015 and make an informed decision.

    Reply
    • One Woman Shop
      December 1, 2014 at 10:14 am (3 years ago)

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, Nela. We’ll be sure to look into the EU tax law ourselves!

      Reply

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