Tips and Advice

Best online sales channels for your shop

23 January 2022 / per Cerdá Group

The different sales channels give you the possibility to reach different categories of people with different degrees of efficiency. While older people, for example, tend to shop in retail stores and pay in cash, young people now buy almost exclusively online and pay by credit card.


Keep reading: What do you need according to the type of client you are


Online and offline sales channels

You don't have to choose between online and offline sales channels: you can take advantage of both.

It is true, however, that if the products you sell are dedicated to the elderly, it is useless to open an e-commerce store. If, on the other hand, your target is all young, then tapping into online sales channels will certainly increase your sales.

However, the sales channels are not only distinguished in online and offline channels.


What are sales channels

A sales channel is a way in which you reach your customers and sell your products. Within the online mode of reaching customers and selling products, there are many channels available to you. This is why, once you have decided that online commerce is right for you, it is important that you ask yourself which are the best online sales channels for your business.

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Types of online sales channels available to you

Asking what are the online sales channels at your disposal means wondering how many ways there are to sell your products online.


1. Your online store

A first possibility is given by opening your own e-commerce. In the end, opening an online store - even though you are already managing a physical store (see the best strategies to digitalize your business)  -  means opening an independent website; you can do it yourself - using platforms like WordPress and WooCommerce that allow you to create and manage an e-commerce even if you are not an IT expert - or you can rely on a web designer.

The main advantage of this online sales channel is that it is independent: you don't have to submit to Amazon's algorithms, for example, nor do you have to deal with all the competition that exists in these marketplaces.

The disadvantage, however, is that you will have to build your entire audience by yourself, without being able to count on what, going back to the example of Amazon, these platforms already have their own.


Discover: 7 top ecommerce trends for 2022


2. Use an existing marketplace

When you decide to sell online, you can also sell your products on an existing marketplace such as eBay or Amazon.

Within these sites, you can go and create your virtual store so that the consumer can still identify your identity and your brand. The disadvantage of this option, however, is precisely this: your independent identity is not as strong as it is with an independent e-commerce. Furthermore, you will have to comply with the regulations, fees, and algorithms of the platforms you use.

The advantage of this option is instead that of being able to count on an already existing audience that uses these platforms on a daily basis.



3. Affiliate programs

With affiliate programs, you can have other people promoting your products. Here's how it works:

  • When a person signs up for your affiliate program, you provide them with links to products through which customers can make purchases, and through which you (or rather, the system) can identify which affiliate the link corresponds to;
  • When a sale is made through affiliate links, you will need to pay your affiliate a commission for each product sold.

In this way, you will be able to count on a network of people and users (mainly from the web) who promote and sell your products in all respects, even if you do not ship any stock to them. This is the main advantage. The disadvantage is that it is a somewhat complex system, and if you do not have computer skills it is difficult to set up: you will certainly have to rely on a professional.


4. Google Shopping

More than a sales channel, Google Shopping is a channel for promoting your products. We still put it on our list because it is considered one of the most effective sales channels.

When a person searches for a product online, usually the first thing they give is to type the name of the product into the Google search bar. Google responds with a shortlist of products, displaying the image of the product, the price, and the name of the website at which it is available.


It may interest you: 5 creative sales promotion ideas for 2021


5. Social Media

Social media have long been known and used as a channel to promote products, but for some time now they have become real sales channels.

The most significant example is given by Facebook which has opened its Marketplace. It is a platform within Facebook where anyone can sell new and used products.

You can therefore take advantage of social networks like Facebook both to promote your brand, your store, and your products but also to sell your new or used products.


What is the best online sales channel for you?

Now that you know what the best online sales channels are available to you, it's time to decide which one is best for you. To make your choice, keep in mind that:

There is no absolute best sales channel, but there is the one that best suits your needs and your audience;

You don't have to choose a single online sales channel, but take advantage of all those that seem appropriate to you

Online sales channels should not replace offline ones. In fact, one of the most effective strategies is to combine an e-commerce with your traditional physical store.



How to decide

How to understand which is the best online sales channel for you? There are some aspects to take into consideration, the first of which is certainly the public.

1. Target audience

First of all, you have to ask yourself what your target audience is and, therefore, how to reach them in the best way.

2. Budget and knowledge

The second point you need to think about is the resources at your disposal. If, in addition to being a salesman, you are an IT expert, or have strong enough foundations to be able to learn what you do not yet know, you can think of dealing with online sales channels by yourself, even the most complex ones such as the affiliate program: in this case, the initial investment to open yourself to all the online channels you want is minimal.

If, on the other hand, you need the help of professionals, you will have to start taking into account your budget. The most expensive system will be the most complex or that of the affiliate programs. In addition, the affiliate programs still rely on an online store, so the first move must necessarily be the opening of an independent online store.

3. Platform resources

If you choose to use third-party platforms, also consider the resources that the platform makes available to you. For example, Amazon doesn't allow regional customization, but Facebook does - you can promote your products to people who live around your physical store, for example.


Keep reading: How to use licensing products to increase your online sales?


Online channels to increase your sales!

As we have seen, the web offers many opportunities, even to those without computer skills. One aspect that should not be underestimated is the cost of these sales channels. This cost can be amortized very well if you are in charge of creating and managing the content. But what if you don't have time or are not able to?

You can hire someone, and the budget aspect becomes more important then. However, if it’s true that this option is more expensive, it is also true that online sales channels designed and managed by professionals can be much more effective: this is also an aspect that you must evaluate when choosing the best online sales channel for your products.

Finally, always keep in mind that online sales channels don’t have to replace your old ones. You can combine the two types of sales channels to optimize your business and increase your sales. If you have any doubts, take a look at Cerdá Services! We help you to grow your business.

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