Selling online falls into 3 different categories.
- ONLINE SALES ONLY
- STANDARD WEBSITE WITH AN ORDER FORM
- STANDARD WEBSITE WITH A LINK TO ANOTHER STORE SUCH AS eBAY
With the first category, online sales only, it is best to use a a purpose built store front which lets you customise the look of the site but still offers the convenience of having it all set up ready to go, all you do is add the images, product information, shipping costs and prices. While this is a bit more expensive it saves time and hassles. The cost of the hosting is built into the price of the program. To do the same through a standard WordPress site requires the purchase of an SSL certificate and a shopping cart such as Woocommerce, and then you need to add your Australia Post account and your PayPal account and ensure they are all working nicely together. It can end up costing as much as the monthly fee to use a purpose built site.
Features to look for.
Look for the following features when choosing a hosted shopping cart for your business:
- Mobile optimisation
- Built-in marketing tools, including newsletter subscription management, discounts and vouchers
- Social media integration so you can sell on your website, Facebook, eBay and Google
- Real-time shipping calculations and flat rate shipping per order
- Abandoned cart-savers so you can remind customers to complete their purchase
- Inventory and order fulfillment management, data and customer lists, and reporting capabilities
The next category is a standard website with an order form. This is by far the easiest and cheapest but does require more hands on effort as you are required to send an invoice when you receive the order and then once you confirm payment has been received you send the item to the customer. Working out postage is easy if you have the weight of the item/s you are sending. Australia Post has an online calculator you can use. This option is great if you only have a few sales per week as you can give the customer the option of direct deposit and this saves on fees, which in turns save money for you and the customer. Plus the money goes directly into your bank account.
For customers who prefer to use a credit card you can invoice then directly from your PayPal account. The down side is each transaction incurs a fee which is based on a percentage of the amount being paid. This fee is quite high, it is 2.6% plus $0.30 of the amount you receive. For example, if you are sent $100.00 by credit card, the fee would be $2.90 ($2.60 + $0.30). Most sellers pass this additional fee onto their customers, while others split the costs.
The good part of PayPal is they have a section where you can set up an invoice for your customers and it takes all your payments. You are notified when the invoice is received and when it is paid. The annoying part is the money goes into your PayPal account, so you then have to sign into your account and transfer the money into your linked bank account. This adds a couple of days to the time before you receive the money. Alternately you can shop with the money in your PayPal account if you also buy online regularly.
The final category and by far the easiest is to have an eBay store and simply link to it via your website. There are how do guides for every part of this process on the eBay website but this link will get you started. Selling with eBay Stores
You can still display your items for sale on the website and just add a link from the images to the eBay store. Everything you need is located in one place, including links to Australia Post which will work out the shipping for you and you can even buy bulk discounted satchels to send your parcels to the customer. This method has been very successful and the costs are cheaper than PayPal direct.
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