The Complete Step-By-Step Guide 2022

So you want to sell online. You’re probably overwhelmed — the internet has too much information on how to sell online. Good thing you found this. This is the most practical, easy-to-follow yet comprehensive guide there is. Read on.

There are millions of online sellers worldwide, but it’s not too late to become one too.

You don’t have to be a digital creative, a techie, or a true-blood entrepreneur to make it big online.

All it takes is a burning desire for the dream — and a clear-cut guide that will show you the way to do this (this is it).

Retail e-commerce sales worldwide are expected to grow by 50%, reaching 7.4 trillion dollars in 2025. So yeah, your future is looking bright!

Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been selling online for a while, these 8 simple steps will help you cash in on the eComm industry.

We’ll show you:

How To Sell Online in 8 Simple Steps

So it’s clearer for you, let’s go through a step-by-step thought process that will help you to sell online.

And by selling online, we don’t mean opening up an online store and telling your family and friends you’re already an entrepreneur.

We want you to get money in your bank right after you open up your first online store. Ready?

Let’s go.

1. Choose a product idea

Your business needs a product. And when it comes to selling, it’s all about making putting the right offer (what you sell) in front of the right audience.

In short, the right offer can make all the difference in your success. So spend time on this. Most people don’t take this part seriously and that’s why they fail.

Your product idea can be classified into physical products, services, and info products.

Ideas for Products Ideas for Services Other Ideas
Plants and gardening supplies (popular lately) Consultation Info products like courses
Any food items Facebook ads services Instagram filters and presets
Weird items like bacon bandages Dog walking Drum kits, audio files

And when it comes to physical products, you can either go for:

  • Own products – these are products you create yourself
  • Dropshipped products – these are products sold by a third-party supplier (you won’t have to keep an inventory yourself)

Each type of product has its own pros and cons:

Type of product Pros Cons
Physical – Displayed easily to customers
– Simple to be sold online
– Requires time for shipping and inventory
– Hard to scale, needs space
Service – Flexibility
– Low cost to start
– Home-based work is possible
– Coping with steep learning curves
– Hard to scale
Info – No inventory to maintain
– Infinites sales
– Developing products takes time and expertise
– Competitive environment

Your first step should be finding out what you’re good at, what you want to sell, and what path you want to take.

Let’s say you’re a skincare enthusiast who wants to sell your own handmade soaps.

2. Study the market

The next thing that you should do is go out there and study the handmade soap market.

A simple “handmade soap” query gives you clues on the top online stores selling this. Pick the ones with the most customer reviews.

How To Sell Online in 8 Simple Steps (Complete Guide 2022) handmade soaps on Amazon

You can also go to your socials to see if there are local soap stores that are getting attention.

A favorite IG hack is to use the hashtag combination: “#” + product “soap” + place “India”. When you key in #soapsindia for example, you get 7,000+ results — a great way to start your research.

How To Sell Online in 8 Simple Steps (Complete Guide 2022) Instagram soapsindia

  • Branding (What’s their positioning? What are their soaps known for?)
  • Target market (Who are they selling to? Is it GenZ? Breastfeeding moms?)
  • Where do they sell? (Do they have a website? Do they sell on IG and/or FB?)
  • Market share (Is there enough demand for this product? You can use eComm analytics tools like Split Dragon for this)
  • Pricing (What’s their price range for their products? Do they offer bundles or promos once in a while?)

Ultimately, your goal in doing the competitor analysis is to identify the weak point in the market.

Use the following sites to confirm demand for your product idea. These include:

3. Make your offer stand out

Your offer should be different from the rest of the offers existing in the market — this is how you can stand out.

Going niche is what will make your target market notice you. A niche is a “special area of demand for a product or service”. It’s your USP.

USP stands for unique selling proposition. In short, it answers what makes you different and what makes you the best option for your target market.

USP meaning

It is a rewarding (yet challenging) process.

Normally, business owners want to go BIG right away. They want to do a lot instead of thinking small and niche.

When it comes to gaps in the market, it’s always better to think small. The more specific your product is, the more likely you’ll be able to target your market effectively.

For example, you’re a skincare enthusiast so you plan to sell your own handmade soap. But how there are tons of handmade items sold online.

How can you make yours different?

You’ve done the first step of studying the market landscape. The next thing to do is to talk to your potential customers and find out what they like, what they don’t like, and what else are they looking for.

Say you found out that GenZs are huge environmental supporters. You can add a touch of sustainability to your handmade soap so you can sell them to GenZs then.

And there you have it, your USP: sustainable handmade facial soaps for GenZ women.

It’s a niche. Your target is clear. You‘re filling a gap in the market.

4. Build your brand

Now that you have a product, a target market, and a USP, it’s time for the fun part: building your eCommerce brand!

Start with…

Your vision

Brands that stand the test of time are those built with a clear vision. When you have an idea about what success will look like, it’s easier to stay focused.

Consider what your brand intends to accomplish. The brand vision you set for your company is what you aim to create.

Example: Sustainable skincare that benefits both young women and the planet.

Your values

Your brand’s identity could very well come down to core values. Not necessarily your personal values, but more on the brands.

The key to strengthening your brand value is being able to represent your brand personality in everything that you do and say, whether it be through the tone of voice or content creation methods like social media posts.

To find your brand values, answer these questions.

  1. Which brands do you like best? It means that you share the same values.
  2. How do you want future customers to describe you? From there, pick your strengths.
  3. What are the three most important things to you? Highlight your priorities.

Your brand voice

When you know what your brand’s voice sounds like, clients can tell that they are dealing with someone who truly gets them.

The voice of a company is important in establishing an instant connection and conveying the right impression to customers. The more distinctive it is, the better – after all, nobody wants just another faceless corporate behemoth.

So how do you find your tone? It all boils down to your vision and values.

It could be humorous, encouraging, formal, smart, and more. It could be even a little mischievous if you want.

Your visuals

A brand visual is a picture or animation that represents the personality of your business. Brand visuals can be anything from logos, to images on social media pages and even infographics.

A brand logo can be the first thing that people notice about your business, so it’s important to choose one wisely. The way in which you design and execute this will largely depend on what kind of image or tone you’re going for with your company.

You don’t need to be a graphic designer yourself. You can find talented people on freelancing platforms, like Fiverr, who will create an original logo for you starting at $5 in a matter of days – or even hours.

Your business model

Now, it might be daunting to decide on your business structure right away. It’s helpful to learn about the 3 basic online business models. You can just pattern it from there.

1. B2C: Business-to-Consumer

How To Sell Online in 8 Simple Steps (Complete Guide 2022) B2C

These companies sell goods or services to the general public. They sell online through their website or any other online platform.

Example: Amazon, eBay, or any online store.

2. C2B: Consumer to Business

How To Sell Online in 8 Simple Steps (Complete Guide 2022) C2B

In this model, the consumer creates value. The businesses then consume that value. A consumer can either sell their services or goods via websites or platforms.

Example: Freelancers for hire, Independent consultants.

3. C2C: Consumer-to-Consumer

How To Sell Online in 8 Simple Steps (Complete Guide 2022) C2C

This happens when a consumer sells an item to a fellow consumer. You can think of it as direct selling. For example, you post your used clothing on your social media to sell it. Another person might be interested in buying it.

Example: Facebook marketplace.

More often than not, most businesses are B2C by default. You choose to sell to individuals, that’s why.

5. Figure outsourcing, logistics, shipping, etc.

Now comes the unsexy part of the business. Ugh, these are the boring stuff that you need to deal with:

Finding the best suppliers in your area

We’ve all heard the old adage “buy local.”

Now, it’s more important than ever to find a supplier near you. That way your products won’t have long transport times and can be delivered faster.

If it’s not possible, then the internet saves the day.

With the help of the internet, finding reliable and trustworthy suppliers has never been easier. There are many sites out there that offer this service to buyers all over the world if you’re looking for something specific or just want some general idea of where your best options are

Even traditional businesses are expanding online and if you’re in luck, you’ll find a trustworthy supply partner that has years of experience in the market.

Optimizing and timing your supply deliveries

The most important thing to do when setting up an online store is to optimize and time your supply deliveries.

If you want a seamless experience for customers, then there’s nothing more crucial than making sure that everything goes according to plan in terms of getting products delivered promptly without any hiccups or delays.

Inventory management is the foundation of optimization, so it should be at or near to the top of your list when you’re aiming for efficiency.

Maintaining the equipment you use

Online trading is all about keeping up appearances.

If your equipment isn’t working properly, it can give the impression that you’re not as committed to your craft– which might lead potential buyers away.

Make sure your equipment is taken care of in order for you to continue trading without pause or interruption.

Figuring out the delivery process

Start by writing down how you would like to fulfill orders.

It is possible to dropship. Dropshipping is a great way to get things done without having to worry about shipping.

You may also choose to self-fulfill or partially self-fulfill by storing the products in a warehouse and shipping them directly to the customer.

Also, a third-party fulfillment company can ship all your products on your behalf.

Exploring how to best store your products

There are many ways to handle this process, depending on the unique needs of your company and what works best in terms of fulfilling those obligations quickly while also keeping costs low.

And as mentioned above, there are many types of storage and shipping processes. This could be an external warehouse or retail location that stores the inventory for you.

A dropshipping company takes care of all aspects involved with delivering goods from manufacturer to customer (often including packing up the products if needed), then sends order confirmation once shipped out.

Finally, third-party fulfillment organizations can also handle package storage for you.

Looking for couriers to work with

When it comes to shipping your items, keep in mind the importance of finding a courier company that is dependable.

Here are 7 factors that you should look into when picking the right courier for your business:

  • Reputation status
  • Scope of Coverage
  • Charges for shipping
  • Timeliness of delivery
  • Package tracking
  • Negotiating the best contracts with partner vendors
  • When you’re looking to buy or sell a home, it pays to do research.

Remember, negotiation is an opportunity for both parties to win. Flip through hundreds of bids and negotiate terms before finalizing your deal with the perfect party for your business.

6. Build your eCommerce website/online store.

At this point, you want to start setting up your store!

But where do you want to set up first?

Social media is a good place to market, but it’s just a platform for marketing. There are no direct checkouts on social media and most often than not, you’ll be required to connect to your online store to continue the processing.

If you want it easy, choose Dukaan.

Even your non-techie grandma can do it.

Dukaan – The easiest platform to start selling online

Dukaan is the simplest platform to get started with and scale your online business. It provides everything you need to run a successful online store, from custom domains, to plug-in integration, and more.

Getting started with Dukaan is easy. Simply create an account and select the plan that best suits your business needs. Then, add your products, fulfill orders, and start selling online all in less than 30 seconds.

How To Sell Online in 8 Simple Steps (Complete Guide 2022) dukaan logo 1

Launch, scale and manage your online business with just $11.99 on Dukaan. Annual plans start at $99.99 only.

For beginners, who are struggling to learn how to sell online, Dukaan has step-by-step guides and video tutorials to help you get started with selling online here on the YouTube channel.

Here are some additional actionable tips to include when building your eCommerce site:

Mind your homepage – You can’t create an online store without thinking about the homepage. It’s where you’ll showcase your best stuff and make it easy for customers to buy from.

Include CTAs – It is important that readers know what they have to know and need to do from the headline. Give it urgency while clearly defining how this will benefit them and their customers.

Be sure to include components such as:

  • Scrolling images
  • Adding items to the cart
  • Subscription forms
  • Buttons and thumbnails for products

Seamless checkout – For your business to be successful, you need a great checkout experience. This means investing in customer conversion and reduction rates so that people don’t bounce when they’re checking out.

7. Launch your business

Now it’s time to launch your MVP so you can start selling.


You might be tempted to just launch using a Facebook page or invest in a custom website right away.

But going with an online platform like Dukaan is an affordable and faster way to go to market.

Getting your own website or online store is the most expensive route, but you’ll get total freedom in return — from how your store looks, which payment gateways you want to use, and the entire customer journey.

Consider the costs below.

(We won’t cover the cost of production, inventory, logistics, and packaging because that would make everything complicated.)

  Online platforms Marketplace Custom Website Social Media
Domain Name $0.99-$20/year No need $0.99-$20/year No need
Hosting/Platform fees $10-$50 a month (there’s a free version) No need $3.50-$250/month No need
Payment processing 2-15% of revenue 2-45% of revenue 1%-3% (3rd party payment fees) 1%-3% (3rd party payment fees)
Website theme Has built-in themes Has built-in themes $50-$200 No need
Website designer No need No need $300-$5000 No need
Starting capital required $100 $0 $1000 $0

Note that the starting capital here only covers the platform. Don’t forget to add your product costs and other expenses to produce and fulfill the orders.

The key takeaway here is this.

If you are planning to launch an eCommerce site fast, go with a marketing platform. You’ll worry less about implementation and focus on the actual launch.

You might want to include these launching and promotion ideas to boost your sales. You can:

  • Give away free trials
  • Ship free of charge
  • Offer limited-time promotions
  • Launch flash sales
  • Organize contests and giveaways

3 eCommerce launch examples

1. Harry’s online store

In order to maximize your return on investment, you need to create a targeted audience for the specific product that you are launching. Take it from Harry’s online store, for example.

New York-based Harry’s is a mail-order manufacturer and seller of shaving equipment.

As a means of launching their grooming brand, they decided that referral marketing would be the most powerful method.

It took just one week for the company to gather 100,000 emails.

2. Fairway & Greene

Fairway & Greene has been able to take advantage of the 2022 U.S Open Golf National Championship by releasing a line of products in collaboration with this major tournament– an excellent idea for launching products.

They also have a user-friendly website. As well, they offer a quick view option, making browsing easier instead of scrolling through long lists.. Additionally, there is social proof by having labels telling you how many other customers bought this particular product.

3. Under Armour

In a world where women’s sports are still seen as secondary to men’s, Under Armour’s viral campaign broke through barriers and changed that perception.

The overall launch theme was about overcoming critics and achieving goals. This message resonated deeply within their target audience of female athletes which resulted in 28% sales increases for UA products among females online after its release plus a 42% increase in website traffic.

As a result, the core idea of your product launch campaign will be based on the story you tell about it. This means that every piece, from ads to social media posts and everything in between should support this one theme – just like how all parts work together as part of an entire machine.

8. Generate sales over and over again

Now that you’re all set, let’s talk about proven ways to market and promote your products online.

But first, it’s essential to know how consumers are buying nowadays. They think differently now. They’ve gotten a lot smarter.

In the new age of retail, you’d expect your buyers to…

Go for more authentic content

56% of today’s consumers are influenced by posts shared by friends and family rather than branded content and ads. User-generated content like this one from @yourfavtelugu can make people buy more.

So if you want to sell online, gather your well-wishers and crowd, who can vouch for your products, first.

yourfavtelugu Tiktok account

Ask you about your payment options

Buyers are seeking convenience when buying online. These numbers are proof:

  • 79% are more likely to buy from retailers with flexible payments
  • 3 in 10 say they have got the buy-now, pay-later option when shopping online
  • 70% make impulse buys because of flexible payment options

Take away: Offer a smooth shopping experience with multiple payment options, on your online store. Selling online is different from offline sales. You have to have all your options ready when selling products online.

Be super keen about customer service

Focus on giving them the ultimate experience. Or else, you’d hear their frustrations on social media, especially on Twitter.

Kelly C. Day tweet

Meanwhile, ace customer support by learning the ins and outs of selling online here.

Get tickled by personalization

These birthday emails? Consumers love them!

70% of consumers say they like it a lot when brands offer a personalized experience.

personalized email on Birthday

Prefer sustainable brands

Buyers are becoming environmentally aware that they scrutinize your company, from your products to your packaging.

1 in 3 consumers is making conscious efforts to buy sustainable products online even if it’ll cost them more. And they ask fellow earth pros for recommendations online.

How To Sell Online in 8 Simple Steps (Complete Guide 2022) people buying sustainable products

And because of this changing landscape, there’s also been a noted shift in online businesses.

Now that you know how consumers think, here are common marketing strategies you can try:

Paid ads

Use data to strategically drive traffic to your online stores. Using paid ads without looking at your data is like wasting your ad budget — you won’t be able to tell if you had sales from the traffic you generated.

So how can you scale?

Data is the secret.

To do this, you can apply for Collaborative Performance Advertising Solution (CPAS) from your Shopee or Lazada Relationship Manager. Once you complete the requirements, they’ll give you access to a dedicated ad account with your store catalog on it. You’ll also see the results of your campaigns like this.


Genalyn Alvarez, a Facebook ads expert who helps eCom businesses scale, was able to get 12.45 ROI from FB ads because of this.

Email marketing

Email marketing is perfect for getting the first sale, getting repeat orders, and keeping existing customers.

According to Airon Dela Cruz who runs email marketing services for eCommerce business owners, 30 to 40% of his clients’ revenue comes from emails.

Most biz rely too much on client acquisition for revenue. And while that’s a good place to start, it’s not where it should end. A big opportunity lies in retention. That’s where emails can help make a customer buy more and often.

You can even get away with having automated emails only — one for welcoming new subscribers, another for thanking first-time buyers, and one for reminding those who have abandoned carts.Airon Dela Cruz

Influencer marketing

We all know that influencer marketing can help you get more sales, but how exactly can you reach out to influencers?

One effective way is through cold emails.

This is the go-to strategy of Sarah Natividad, an influencer marketing specialist. She gets 80-90% open rates on her cold emails and ends up giving her clients qualified influencers who are ready to market their products.

cold email opening rate

Here’s a tip: Write subject lines that pique interest.

Some ideas on how to do that:

  • Inject humor into the subject line
  • Highlight their pain points
  • Add a FOMO effect (deadlines work)

Chase your dreams. Start selling online.

Chase your dreams. Start selling online.

It may seem that the online world is overcrowded, but here’s the thing. In the online world, saturation is virtually nonexistent.

It doesn’t matter if you’re selling an ordinary product or if you have a weird business idea.

As long as buyers can find you and have ways to pay you, then you have a business.

Anything can happen with all these new opportunities out there waiting patiently for you to get moving.

And if you want to change your life like the online entrepreneurs we’ve featured here, then start that store today.

Selling online is easy today. All you need is a good business idea, a good product, and clarity on whom you are selling it to.

This duo has made millions right in the first year of inception, by selling their products online. If they can, you can too!

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