If you have a line of sports merchandise or gear that you’d like to promote and sell to athletes and fans alike, then you may just want to build an eCommerce business. It’s much cheaper to start than opening up a store because of low overheads, and it’s easier to manage because of software automation.
Additionally, making money online may be as profitable or more profitable than a small store because of the Internet’s national and global reach.
Making Money Online vs. Brick & Mortar
Buying an eCommerce store is far more sensible than buying a brick-and-mortar store. Understand that the lowest cost of opening your own small retail shop will be a about $30,000 while the cost of opening up your own eCommerce store will be about half that much to carry a line of about 10,000 products. Not only is the price slashed in half, but the income can be the same or more.
Since you have very few or no employees, you have low overheads and you can automate many things, your profits will be high. What’s more, there are no opening or closing times nor geographical barriers. All things considered, this is just another reason making money online with your eCommerce venture may actually prove to be more profitable than owning and running a physical store.
On your eCommerce sporting goods website, you can sell high-priced equipment or popular apparel. What you sell depends on a blend between your own personal interests and what people like to buy. The main thing is that you are a highly niche-focused specialized online store. This means that you don’t compete with giant retailers like Nike or Adidas who have the rights to a whole league, but you can come up with your own specialty.
Buy When You Sell
Since the products will be drop-shipped, you only have to pay for them out of the money the customers pay you. Your profit is the price difference between your buying and selling costs.
You can either make your profits by having a low markup and a high volume of sales like a grocery store, or you can make your profits from a high markup and a low volume of sales like a boutique store. Unless you are selling items that are cheap to manufacture and just fly off the shelves, then the boutique retail model will work best.
This is certainly not the case with having a physical store, where you must have some items in inventory for immediate sale. Even if you are able to arrange to have them on a consignment or vendor-managed inventory basis, there are still associated costs.
5 Tips for eCommerce Success
If you do choose an eCommerce website that is still no guarantee of success, but your chances of making money online will increase exponentially if you apply these 5 cardinal rules of retail best practices:
1. Trust the retail wisdom of the ages. Since the days of early Babylon, retailers have concluded that the customer is always right.
2. Know your customers. Unless you can appeal to a target market, you will not enjoy high profit margins. You must get the answers to a few fundamental questions to sell well.
- Why do people come to your website?
- How did they find you?
- What do they do once they land on your website?
- What do they want to do but can’t do?
By finding the answer to these questions through usability testing, you’ll be able to anticipate their needs. Their delight will be your profit.
3. Customize your merchandise. Since you are a sports store, people will want to buy things they can wear or hold. You can customize your merchandise to meet these needs. If, for example, you’re a sports store selling baseball gloves, consider installing a useful glove customizer on one of your web-pages, much like the wizards that allow car insurance shoppers to decide which insurer gives them the best policy for the lowest rates. Your wizard, however, will allow them to choose pattern/style, web, leather, color, welting, lace and back style. Imagine getting this level of personalized service from a physical retail store.
4. Create a user-friendly website. In much the same way that you discovered what people want so that you could give it to them, you should also make sure that people can easily get around your website. User experience can be improved by doing split testing on everything from your navigation bar to your color scheme. Isolate the items that make your website a good user experience and throw out everything that does not work.
5.Make your website easy to find. To do this you have to learn all about marketing online, ranging from improving search from the major search engines to developing a warm, engaging presence on social media.
Making Money Online Could Be YOUR Niche!
If you are a sports enthusiast who would like to merchandise sports equipment or gear, then you would be better off choosing an eCommerce platform over a brick-and-mortar business. Specialize in a niche because you can’t hope to compete against manufacturers like Nike or retail giants like Sports Authority. Once you’ve got your website set up, tweak it to make it appeal to buyers needs and make it user-friendly enough for them to enjoy a delightful shopping experience. Finally, become an expert at search engine optimization and social media marketing to get people to flock to your eCommerce business and start making money online.