How to Start Selling Online


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The last few months have shown businesses that it’s almost impossible to avoid digital if you want to stay afloat. Whether you’re selling plants or teaching yoga or offering tours, there’s no way to save the work you love but to start selling online.

The good news is that people who typically visit your offline store are desperately looking for the goods they need online. Online sales have increased in volume and frequency. So it’s up to you — will you meet consumers’ new expectations?

If you invest in online sales and marketing today, you’ll be able to enter the post-coronavirus world with a new audience, a new sales process, and a modernized business. Let’s start with analyzing how the coronavirus pandemic has changed business and what you need to do to start selling online.

What did quarantine change?

1. Forget about your plans for 2020 that you developed in January.

Even online businesses are feeling the changes and are watching their plans get ruined. There’s no way to keep the same pace by applying the same tools and achieve the same sales volume. Like during natural disasters, all plans mean nothing for both big and small businesses. The aim is to adapt and stabilize the situation. That’s why everyone’s first reaction was to cut all costs — advertising, events, etc. But those who have dared to come out of that mode faster have acquired more customers than others because customers didn’t stop buying.

2. The way people buy has changed, and the meaning of “normal” consumption has changed too.

This is the most significant opportunity of the current moment. People have changed how they live and what they think about the future and what they need in their lives. So they’ve changed their behavior. Look at this list of changes to consumer habits and think about how it could affect your business:

– People buy more items at once, and necessities have the highest priority.
– Home delivery matters.
– People are postponing expensive purchases.
– Remote work has become popular. People are spending less on trips to work and are trying their best to self- educate.
– Offline stores have come to be seen as sources of danger.

Most companies have dealt with these changes by launching home delivery, online shopping applications, or other online services.

3. To sell online, you must advertise online.

To launch ads smartly, you should apply marketing analytics to control your budget. Otherwise, you’ll lose your money due to competition and a lack of experience.

To start selling online, you need:

A website

Use a website builder to quickly launch your online store with purchase and delivery options if you have no time and resources to build it from scratch. The most popular e-commerce website builders are:
– Wix
– Tilda Publishing
– WordPress

Call tracking

Most people who are newbies at online shopping want more communication with an actual salesperson.That’s why your call tracking system must be connected to your website to improve your customer support. The most popular call tracking services are:
– CloudTalk
– Clixtell
– EngageBay

CRM system

Use a CRM system to save data about your customers — where they make their purchases, when their birthdays are, etc. Save all your customer data in one safe CRM system. This will help you consolidate your knowledge about customers. Here are some examples of CRMs:
– Bitrix24
– Pipedrive
– Salesflare


Once your website is ready, you need to invite a new audience to visit your store with the help of advertising:

1. Set clear and measurable advertising goals.
2. Generate traffic to your website.
3. Set up your remarketing strategy. Involving your current customers is cheaper than looking for a new audience.
4. Periodically control your KPIs.

You’ll get your first advertising data this way. Apply your marketing analytics to:

– save your positions among competitors and measure the success of your campaigns
– find out quickly if your advertising brings real profit
– change your advertising strategy in a timely manner.

For beginners, we recommend reading detailed instructions on how to measure the effectiveness of online advertising considering RPC, CTR, CPC, CPA, and ROAS.

To adapt marketing analytics with Google Analytics for measuring the effectiveness of online ads, you should take a few steps:

1. Install tracking codes and set up Google Analytics
If you’ve just launched online, Google Analytics is your best choice. Use Google Tag Manager to add code snippets to install tracking codes. This will help you improve your website loading time and track all events correctly, and you can set up Google Analytics in just half an hour.

2. Track and measure your ads with UTM tags
Configure and use UTM tags to determine which advertising campaigns are working better than others.

3. Analyze the efficiency of advertising services with cost data
Google Analytics will automatically transfer data from Google Ads. But data from other sources has to be uploaded separately. At the start, you can download data manually if you have only a few ad sources. But to save time and avoid human errors, you should automate all marketing processes.

4. Use the ROAS report
The return on ad spend, or ROAS, varies from business to business. The main thing is it must be higher than 100%. If ROAS is above 100%, you have a profit.

To find out the efficiency of each advertising source or channel, use the Acquisition – All Traffic – Source/Medium report:

Long story short, for this report, the higher the values are (except for the bounce rate, of course), the better the website is for visitors. It’s a good practice to monitor ROAS at least once a week. If you spend a lot on advertising, check it every day.

If you measure the profitability of your ads, you need the Acquisition – Campaigns – Cost Analysis report:

But if you use many advertising services, you need to set up cost data import in Google Analytics. Otherwise, the report will be incorrect.

The most important thing is to find out whether advertising is profitable by comparing costs and revenue generated by ad campaigns.

Key takeaways

– As our experience shows, you have to adjust quickly to grow even in hard times.
– Launch your business online. Even with mistakes and troubles, you’ll get a website to connect with people who need your goods and services.
– Pay attention to advertising and ad costs. Use a single service to measure costs and revenue, track changes, and turn off inefficient campaigns before they exhaust your budget.
– Marketing analytics is your competitive advantage in a time of crisis.

Margaret Kashuba
Margaret Kashuba is a Chief Marketing Officer of OWOX BI, marketing analytics service that consolidates data from disparate systems, evaluates the performance of advertising campaigns, and quickly builds the reports you need. OWOX developed an easy to use product that allows marketers to get any reports without SQL syntax with the help of a report builder.


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