4 Top Tips for Starting an Online Retail Business

Whether it's crocheting, painting, sculpting or fashion design, many of us have hidden talents that our day jobs don't let us explore. However, online retail may provide an opportunity to put those talents to work and earn some money for your hobbies.

Thanks to the growth of companies like Etsy, Amazon and eBay, it's now easier than ever for you to showcase your skills and start your own online retail business. That's why I've put together this list of four top tips for starting an online retail business so that you can begin your foray into the digital marketplace with a bang.

1. Equip Yourself with the Right Seller Tools

It may sound odd at first, but the most successful online businesses aren't necessarily the ones with the best products. Often, they're the ones who know the most about their marketplace — who the competitors are, where the demand is, and how to reach their audiences.

Therefore, if you want to get serious about selling your product, you must have the right seller tools to tell you all the marketplace information you need. I'd recommend a visit to Project FBA's websitefor some great advice on what the hottest Amazon seller tools are right now.

2. Know Your Audience

It's no good putting your product up online if you have no idea who's going to buy it. Before you even get started, it's vital to work out who your target marketplace demographic is. How old are they? Where do they live? What's their disposable income? What are their tastes?

Once you've started to find answers to these questions, you can start targeting your audience with adverts to test your theory. It's OK if your customer profile turns out to be different from what you planned, but make sure you attenuate your advertising model accordingly.

3. Know What's Hot

Fashions, tastes and trends move faster than ever in the online world, and the hottest ‘in’ thing one week can be ‘so last century’ another week. So if you want to keep your business going strong, you need to stay ahead of the fashion curve.

Follow the social media influencers. Keep your eye on the fashion magazines and stroll your local high street once in a while. If you get in with the right crowds, you might even be able to get an influencer to promote your product.

4. Get Snappy

In the online world, where you can only look and not touch, your products are only as good as the pictures that advertise them. So if you want your product to do well online, it's got to look the part.

Once you're happy with your product, I'd recommend capturing its best sides with a high-end camera, using a photo studio lightbox kit to illuminate the design. The extra sparkle that these lights provide, coupled with the precision detail of the camera, could be the difference between someone deciding to buy your product or shop elsewhere.

Get Creative and Get Selling

If you know where your talents lie, following these steps should put you on the right footing to run a successful online business. Remember, your idea might only make up 10% of your journey to success. You also need a strategy, an acute business awareness and a passion to hunt for success. 

There's never been a more opportune time to enter the online retail space. What happens next is up to you.