Selling Physical Products from your web site

(An Online Store)...


Let me state up front that of all the different techniques I describe on this site, this is the area where I have the least experience.

Within the next 6 months I shall open a store; at this time some of my research is complete, so I can share this with you.

99% Of Sellers Get It Wrong From The Start

The first thing to realize is that 99% of all the people who open an online store, do almost every aspect of it wrong, from the get-go.

Visit almost any selling website on the ‘Net that's run by "amateurs" you know, and use the Google Toolbar (see “the Tools of the Trade" section for the download link) to confirm that the site has no page Rank (PR0) and the Alexa Toolbar (again, see Tools of the Trade) to check the ranking of the site in terms of traffic … and don’t be surprised to find the site barely ranks in the top 1,000,000,  2,000,000 or even 4,000,000. These people probably didn't perform a minute's keyword research before choosing and registering a domain name, and designing and building their site.

No research ... no optimization. No optimization ... no traffic from the free search engines.

Back To Fundamentals

In fact, the Internet Marketing fundamentals don’t change from the topics we’ve covered on earlier pages where we discussed the Affiliate Marketing opportunity, and Information Products opportunity, for example.

For instance: you still have to drive traffic to your site before you can make a sale.

  • Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, which I describe in some detail in this section of the Googlecash page, is still the best way to get almost-instant traffic to your store ... at a price. To make sure this price isn't too high, you still need to calculate the average visitor value, as I describe on this section of the Information Products page.
  • "Free" traffic (it just costs your time, in reality) is still extremely attractive; it can dwarf PPC traffic if you get a decent ranking for key web pages with one of the major Search Engines.
  • And, to get a good ranking in the Search Engines, you still have to perform the same type of Keyword research I describe in this section of the Googlecash opportunity, and this section of the Tools of the Trade page.

Some Old Stuff ... but More New

However, there are some other elements involved in a site selling physical products that we haven’t needed to cover so far. For example, when I talked about selling Information (how-to) Products, in a digital format for immediate downloading, I recommended Clickbank as a service that handles all the credit card processing, etc. But Clickbank won’t handle sales of physical products. So we have to get into some new areas, as well as some familiar ones (if you've read some of the other pages on this site).

  1. You still need to register a domain name and have your web site hosted somewhere, of course.
  2. You need to have a website that shows off the products you’re selling.
  3. You need to have a merchant account to handle credit card processing on-line.
  4. You need to have a “shopping cart” system to enable people to browse your site, add products to the shopping cart, then check-out and pay for them.
  5. You need to have some autoresponders in place, to say “thank you” and to e-mail to people who have already bought, to induce them to buy more.
  6. You need to have a source for the products you sell.
  7. In addition to keyword research, you need to perform the research to learn which products are genuinely going to sell.

Where to Start?

I found myself torn between two alternatives when I was doing my research.

Earlier, in the Affiliate Marketing section, I mentioned Ken Evoy’s Site Build It service. It’s an incredible service, with a value-for-money that is extraordinary. For an annual fee of a just under US$300, you get access to an integrated suite of tools that would cost you a thousand or more to buy, without integration. Keyword research. Domain registration. Web hosting. Web development tools. Search Engine optimization and intelligent page submission. Comprehensive tracking and statistics reporting. Autoresponders. Pay-per-Click bid support. All aimed at newbies with no experience whatsoever, and the service is accompanied by high-quality user documentation and on-line customer service.

Last year, Site Build It added a “SiteSell” capability, and they did it in a very smart way. Their basic service still provided for the hosting of a site and the benefits of all the usual SBI tools. But they also worked with one of the leading Shopping Cart software companies to integrate their service into the SBI system. They used the services of one of the top store-design businesses, to help you make the site as professional as you could want. And, they allied with some transaction processing partners to handle credit card processing, etc.

My wife used SBI as her entry point into Internet Marketing, and we remain impressed. If you want to know more about the “store” opportunity within SBI, visit the SiteSell Web Site. You'll learn a lot just from the description of what they do. 

However, the alternative is VERY atractive, too - a Yahoo store. I have heard of some people who take advantage of the Yahoo store option, and get it right, making a LOT of money through their store;  7 figures (which I consider "a lot," even if you don't). You can learn about the opportunities if you visit the Yahoo Small Business web site.


Where would I personally start?

Well … I’d start by reading the material I’ve indicated for the SBI and Yahoo opportunities. But then, if I was still interested, I’d plunk down some cash to buy a  course called Online Store Profits. Read the sales letter; it’s soup-to-nuts coverage of EXACTLY what to do to get to the point of a nicely profitable on-line store, using text, animations, video, and screen-capture videos, and I can’t recommend it too highly. It will be my bible when I build my store in a few months time. The authors point out that when they started, "blind," it took them 5 months to finally crack a profit, during which time they were paying $1500+ for hosting, etc ... and the value of the book in their eyes is that you should be able to turn a profit in the first month.

It covers how to find what products are “hot,” and how to buy them at a low price. How to source products, how to avoid carrying inventory. How to create the yahoo store. How to get traffic. And much, much more.

As I say, I'll be putting a store in place in the near future; I'll add a lot more about my experiences at that time.


Good Hunting!