Perhaps the best way to sell products online with WordPress…
...is to learn the basics about how to sell products with any website first.
I know that sounds kind of redundant and cliché, but you’d be surprised how many people in the world don’t even know what WordPress is, let alone that its just another type of website. Therefore, the primary reason I’m writing this article is for those people that don’t have that basic understanding.
If you are one of those people I’m speaking of, believe me when I say, you are not alone! Thousands of people come to the internet every day (literally like 10,000 a day or 8 people per second!). So it’s not something that everyone just knows how to do naturally.
There is this Elaborate, Drawn-Out Process Involved (?)
You can’t just step out onto the internet scene and sell stuff. Why? Because, its not like a brick and mortar shop where you just buy a building, open up a store, install some lighting and a sign, buy some inventory, set some prices… then walk outside, open your doors and begin to …um…wait a minute… [smh]
Maybe that’s exactly what it’s like? Maybe it really is that simple? But how can we compare the process required to open a “Mom & Pop Shop* with the techniques we need to apply when opening an online storefront or website?
Well, let’s compare…
- Both require a place to do business
- Both require something to sell
- Both require customers
- Both require marketing strategies
- Both rely on advertising
- Both can have sales promotions
- Both cost money to operate
- Both are expected to make a profit
Scenario #1: Mom & Pop’s Retail Shop
Inside a physical store, you would normally have to walk around and gather what it is you want to buy, put the products that are being sold into a ‘ol jalopy of a shopping cart (yes, the one with one wheel that always wants to take you on a beeline to aisle 6 which knocks a bottle of juice to the floor, causing your neighbor’s son to be called into action to clean up your mess). Or you just swing into action with one of the more convenient hand held pieces of carry-along luggage they offer you at that door, you know, the one’s with the handles that always seem to get your thumb and index finger into a Chinese scissor hold.
Either way, you’re likely in your p.j.’s from the night before with two different colored socks and a hat on your head to cover the rat’s nest you failed to groom that morning. Sound familiar?
Selling products online with WordPress isn’t all that much different
Scenario #2: One-Stop Online Shop (like Etsy.com)
Let’s say you’re the consumer in the first, obviously made-up fiasco (sic), and we’re gonna drop you free-falling into a case study to see just how well you fair in the arena of online consumerism. Well, we can pretty much get you up to speed by just letting you do your thing. This time you’ll be tested via an “at home assignment” and we’ll just point you to the shopping-online-123-dot-com website and let you go. Here’s what’s likely to happen…
It’s nine a.m. and you figure it’s time to climb out of bed that morning. You decide the smell of your p.j.’s is still tolerable so with the one sock remaining half on your foot after your 3 a.m. trip to the bathroom you find an accompaniment in the laundry basket from yesterday. Problems solved, off to make coffee.
On the way to the kitchen, you place your Tiger’s baseball cap back onto your greasy head because you’re a mess for the third day in a row now. There’s no one in the house today anyway, so what does it matter? You get the morning paper.
After making coffee, you attempt to roll that hand-me-down 1960’s coffee cart from grandma’s house over to the computer desk. But, of course, the wheel is stuck again and you manage to spill three-quarters of a pot of Maxwell House all over the sports section of today’s newspaper.
How are we doing so far? (I know, kind of ironic isn’t it?!)
We haven’t even made it to the store yet…
Regardless of where we are in this “experiment”, as you can see, the “experience” is somewhat the same. And from there it really doesn’t change much.
- You climb into a desk chair vs. a car seat.
- You start your computer vs. your automobile.
- You open a window vs. the door to a store
- You browse a row of products on a page vs an stack of products on a shelf.
- You put your products into an online cart vs. putting your peanut butter and eggs into a basket
- You check out with a green “Check Out Now” button vs. handing a cashier your credit card.
So is there really anything new we have to learn here to understand how to sell products online with a website? Not really, but there are other aspects involved that ARE different than what we do in a physical store.
What do you use to sell products online?
There are several methods used by online marketers to sell people in their marketplace. Some use websites that are set up specifically for delivering electronic good and services like ebooks or info-training, DVD’s and the like. Others sell memberships to sites that are there to help them achieve a goal, perhaps receive counseling, stop smoking, learn a trade. Others have “storefront” sites that display products one can buy simply by browsing and clicking on the items they want, much like in our scenario above. There are even those sites like eBay and Etsy that utilize “auction” formats that allow selling of all types of things by everyday people like you and me. Some of these sites are “old school” websites that are still kicking out the product.
Then there are the rest of us, affiliates like myself. We tell crazy stories about how people selling stuff online, as a means to attract attention to our websites and products, all the while delivering some form of value to our consumers, so they will not only walk away with what they came for, but perhaps with a little extra that made them feel like a special kind of customer!
That’s the way I like to do the dance of selling stuff online with WordPress. If that seems like something you’d be interested in doing as a means to earn a living on the world wide web, then there are four simple steps you need to follow in order to do so.
Thanks for reading this evening’s public service advertisement! We’ll see you at our next big sales event!
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