How to Start Selling Online

How to Start Selling Online: From the Occasional Item to Your Own Full Online Shop.

When it comes to selling items online, the way you go about it depends on your circumstances. Are you selling one or two items, regularly buying and selling or an already established shop?

One or Two Items

If you just looking to sell a few second-hand items, then you could consider Ebay or other local listings, for example, Gumtree.

Regular Buying and Selling

If you are planning on buying and selling items on a regular basis, then you could investigate setting up an Ebay shop or looking into the Amazon marketplace. Other sales platforms are available, make sure you research the cost – they typically take a percentage of sales value.

Your Own Online Shop

If you are a shop that currently sells in the offline world and you are looking to start selling your goods online – there are many e-commerce systems that vary in price and functionality.

Selling Online
Start your online shop

Blog or CMS Add-Ons

Some content management systems have add-ons that enable e-commerce. But they don’t tend to offer a complete shop online.

Online E-Commerce Services

A specialist online shop provider will usually charge an ongoing monthly fee (and sometimes transaction costs). They provide a robust fully functioning online shop.

There are many of these types of self-service systems about. You will tend to need a decent level of technical knowledge and support is very often call centre or live chat based.

These self-service systems are great for the higher volume shops that can justify the ongoing monthly price. They will also have an in-house resource to set-up and customise the shop from the offset.

A typical local shop with limited time and experience of setting up online systems might sometimes struggle to get their e-commerce shop online. For stores looking to first service their local market, these systems are probably a little too pricey. They are also not as customisable as a coded system.

Online Customer Solutions specialise in helping smaller shops start selling online. We are experts at implementing e-commerce websites based on the OpenCart platform. This allows a bespoke solution for a one-off price, excellent support and training and ongoing help if needed. Our aim is to grow your business by providing the right online system.

E-commerce websites can be set-up from £750 + hosting (£65 p/a) + design (£80), if you are interested please contact us using this form.

How to Start Selling Online with an E-Commerce Website.

With the right partner, running an e-commerce website is simpler than you may think. After the implementation and customisation, there are a number of tasks that need to be done to get your e-commerce website working:

Adding Products and Stock Level Control.

Using a simple web page, you will be able to give your product a name, price, stock level, images and many other attributes to present your items in their best light.

Taking Payment.

The simplest and most secure way of taking online payments is to use a payment gateway. Online Customer Solutions recommend PayPal, but there are other systems that can be just as easily integrated.

Shipping Options.

For a local shop then click-and-collect might be the most simple shipping option. But printing shipping labels and estimating shipping fees is all built in. All you have to do is wrap the items and post! (For higher volume retailers there are other shipping integration and fulfilment options).

Returns Management.

Built in already is how to handle returns and refunds. Just set your policy terms and conditions and it won’t be something you haven’t dealt with before in your offline shop.


The advantage of having an online shop is that you get to capture email addresses. Apart from being able to automatically send order confirmations, you can update the customer when and item has been shipped.


Once you have people’s opt-in and email address you can keep in touch with them. Let them know about special offers, vouchers or just regular marketing updates. For example, new products or seasonal trends. Enable customers to set-up wish lists, write reviews and share their experience with social media sites.

Also built in is Search Engine Optimisation. Describe your products well. Enter a few bits of information and the system will help you start appearing in the Google search results.

Financial Reporting.

Keep up-to-date with the number of customers, orders and sales. Which items are selling the best? Which items are being viewed but not bought? Who are your best customers and how can you incentivise them to buy more. All built-in.

How to Start Selling Online with Your Own E-Commerce Shop.

An e-commerce website is a fantastic next step for a local business.

Contact us today for how we can help grow your business and get you selling online.

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Local Business Growth via Traditional Values & Online Marketing.

Online Mobile Marketing and Local Business Growth

Many customers in 2016 access the internet exclusively through mobile. Attracting these people to your business means adopting mobile as a marketing platform. Social media and a mobile friendly website are essential. Highly valued customers research and buy online. Achieve local business growth by attracting them to your store.

Social Media for Business Growth

Many customers these days expect businesses to be on Facebook. Even local businesses – even micro businesses. And it is not only to raise awareness and sell products.

Facebook is increasingly a social media platform for researching small business products or services. Reviews on social sites are more important than any other piece of information. People rely on them when deciding whether or not to use a business.

This doesn’t just apply to Facebook. Online reviews on any site help people judge local businesses. Google Business is especially useful for reviews. Positive feedback can help your PPC and SEO campaign as well as help credibility. Ask your customers for reviews!

Deals and Discounts

Combine a love of mobile and heavy use of social media with the love of a deal. Running a discount offer on Facebook linked you your website can quickly gather momentum increasing local business growth.

Emailing your customer base with an offer can also boost short-term business growth. Many people still prefer email messages over any other type of marketing communication when they’re on the go

Traditional Values: Local Partnerships

Partnering with local associations can help spread the word out about your company. Local schools or festivals are particularly good. This can generate social media content and attention.

Donations to good causes make you look good in front of your existing customers and helps you find new ones. Obviously, you aren’t doing this just for the business benefits. Doing good in your community has its own rewards!

Be good to your employees

The social media megaphone can really help you if your employees feel appreciated and valued. Being good to your employees will cause others to view your business more favourably.

Putting it all together

Achieving local business growth means you have to have the right mindset. Many people are already predisposed to favour local businesses.

  • Be true to your small business ethics.
  • Partner with other local businesses and associations.
  • Value and appreciate your employees.
  • Share what you’re doing on social media and your website.

This all assumes, of course, that you have a mobile friendly website and keep your social media updated?

Find out more

Online marketing company in Cheadle : Online Customer Solutions, provide websites, SEO and online services to help businesses grow.

Contact us today.

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Small Business Lead Generation

Lead Generation – Grow Your Small Business.

Small business lead generation from Online Customer Solutions. Online marketing and web development company that specialise in small and medium business growth.

We help refine (or create) your website and target customers that are looking for your products or services. If needed, we can help make your site more user friendly and optimise it for search results. This results inmore inbound leads for your small business.

We create a customised online marketing strategy that encompases paid search and SEO services. And also includes: Social Media, Content and E-mail Marketing. It’s a complete service to help generate more leads for small businesses without the huge marketing budgets of the larger companies.

Read more about online lead generation here.

Your website is the perfect platform for capturing customer details. Increasing web visitors now can snowball. Talk to your customers and offer: seasonal promotions, exclusive discounts informative articles.

Search engine optimisation techniques mean that people looking for your service will be able to find you before your competitors. Social media campaigns and conversion rate optimisation means you make a big splash and make the most of every opportunity.

Small Business Lead Generation

Your company’s sales growth involves understanding your customers’ needs and presenting your services in a way that simply fulfills those needs. Cost efficient sales leads are essential to business growth.

Many companies often use high-cost staff with basic lead generation knowledge to assist with building your business. Expensive city-based agencies can cost thousands and generate hardly any results. Here at Online Customer Solutions, we take the time to fully understand your company and your products. Our experts are at the forefront of online marketing and specialists at helping small businesses grow. State of the art tools and innovative techniques can result in cost-effective lead generation and help your business grow.

Find out more

Contact us today

Based in SK8 , just south of Manchester in the UK, Online Customer Solutions provide services including lead generation for small businesses.


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Small Business Website Essentials

An online presence is crucial to a small business. A good business website will attract visitors and convert them into paying customers.

Small Businesses account for more than £650bn of GDP. There are over 4.5M small businesses employing less than 9 people.

Small companies fighting hard to attract the attention of would-be customers. A quality website is essential if you want your business to punch above its weight.

Most small business website sites aren’t fit for purpose in today’s digital world. Sites that are based on out-of-date technology. “Static”, limited to five pages, and offer no content management. Being able to post photos and publishing reviews is essential.

Small business websites rank very low on a Google search. Even when they do attract visitors, they rarely convert them to paying customers as they project a poor image online. These businesses missing huge opportunities to grow.

Many businesses want to do more in this area – but most don’t know how they can start the process without spending thousands of pounds.

Small Business Website Essentials

A new dynamic and up-to-date website will be more relevant to a visitor. It will also give repeat visitors a reason to return. News, specials and testimonials are a few ways of making a website more exciting and dynamic. And best of all, updating your content regularly makes it more search-engine friendly.

A professionally designed website makes all the difference. This doesn’t have to cost a fortune though as there are website templates that look fantastic and can be customised to match your company brand and logo.

With millions of websites in the UK alone, you must make your website visible to your customers. The way to do this is to climb search engine results.

If your website hasn’t been optimised to help it up the rankings, you can’t independently reach out and help potential customers find you. Despite having a website, you’re still working off-line!

Find out more

Online marketing company in Cheadle : Online Customer Solutions, provide websites, SEO and online services to help businesses grow. We work worldwide with businesses small and largeContact us today.

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Make Sales Online – E-commerce solutions

Whether you are starting a new business or just a new website, Online Customer Solutions (OCS) can provide everything you need to make sales online.

E-commerce used to be very expensive and take a long time to setup and manage. Small businesses used to spend a fortune (£20k +) getting their shop online. These days there are a number of low-cost platforms that not just save a lot of money, but also provide an exceptional solution.

Solutions include as Paypal, WordPress, Shopify, WooCommerce (WordPress), Magento and OpenCart.

Read more about how to start selling online here.

OCS recommend OpenCart. It is flexible, powerful, open source and has a solid support system via a large number of users. It is a low-cost solution enabling small businesses to make sales online.

The number of features out of the box is huge. All the standard stuff is there; account setup, stock control, order and payment processing (via extensions), email confirmations etc. It is completely customisable, ensuring that it looks exactly as you want.

There are also nice extras including wish lists, newsletter management, built-in affiliate system gift vouchers and much more. 

Setup costs start at £250, and running costs (which includes hosting, management, ongoing support) starts at £50 per month.

Monthly costs depend on how much help you want. OCS can also setup and manage your online marketing and provide help and advice when it comes to social media, content and affiliate marketing.

Make Sales Online

Online Customer Solutions can provide everything you need to make sales online. OCS have many years of development and online marketing experience and can install, setup, manage and market your e-commerce site. We can also provide training.

Based just south of Manchester in the UK, Online Customer Solutions provide solutions to a range of business, but specialise in helping small businesses grow.

Find out more

Contact us today, we can advise and provide a range of services, from setting up a website, to improving online marketing and conversions.

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Increase Small Business Sales

Every small business is looking for ways to increase sales. Marketing, especially online marketing, is essential. Many small businesses rely on word of mouth when starting out. But after the first few customers and you are sure you have a business that could work, you need to start extending your reach. Can you business deliver beyond your local area? Do you make products that you could ship to the rest of the country, or even the world?

Online Marketing spans a number of areas including:

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – Make sure people who are looking for your site can find it!
  • Social Media Marketing – for example Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
  • Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC) – Advertise, for example, on Google or Facebook.
  • Content Marketing – Do you have a blog that you could use to update people on your business?

Online Customer (OCS) specialise in working with small and medium businesses to help them grow.

OCS can setup and run everything, but sometimes – to keep costs down – clients are happy to take over the running of some of the services. OCS set everything up – for example a new website, PPC campaign or social media profile, but then provide low cost ongoing support.

Some tips to increase small business sales:

  1. Make sure you deliver a great service to your customers.
  2. Ensure your website is authoritative, trustworthy and expert.
  3. Build a local presence using social media.
  4. Ask your customers to write online reviews.
  5. Use online advertising to promote your business.
  6. Keep in-touch with your customers.
  7. Research your competitors, make sure you are offering value for money.

Online Customer Solutions can help with all the above (except number 1 – that’s up to you!)

Find out more

Located just south of Manchester in the UK, Online Customer Solutions provide services to a range of business, but specialise in helping small businesses grow.

Contact us today, we can advise and provide a range of services, from setting up a website, to improving online marketing and conversions.

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