Online sales: where to start?

Online sales: where to start?

If you are starting to explore the world of online sales , you probably have doubts about logistics, payments and the platform you are going to use.

Would it be better to start selling on Instagram or Mercado Libre? Should you create an online store? How do I ship the products to other provinces? Do I send my CBU to the clients and have the money transferred to me?

They are perfectly reasonable questions and in this article we are going to answer the elementary questions to help you take the first step on this path of entrepreneurship .

To start selling online you have to define:

  1. what product or service are you going to offer,
  2. who are you going to sell it to,
  3. where are you going to sell it.

Depending on the answers to these three questions, you only have to establish how you are going to attract your first customers , by what means you are going to charge them and in what way you are going to make the shipments.

Let us begin!

What to sell

In this first point there are as many answers as there are entrepreneurs .

If you have already resolved what you want to sell because you are an artist who wants to market their works or you already sell products in a physical store and you would only like to offer the same online, you can go directly to the next subtitle referring to the audience you want to conquer.

Now, if you came to this article wanting to diversify your income and undertake, but you are not clear about the product or service, you may be interested to know that, according to a study by the Argentine Chamber of Electronic Commerce (CACE), the 10 categories that were sold the most online in Argentina during 2020 were:

  1. Clothing and sporting goods
  2. Clothing (not sports)
  3. Food and drinks
  4. Cell phones and telephones
  5. computing
  6. Appliances and Air Conditioners
  7. Audiovisual content and Software
  8. Electronics, audio, video and TV
  9. Education: courses, careers, seminars, etc.
  10. Home, furniture and garden

As you see in the list, in addition to physical products, you can also take advantage of your knowledge and offer your services as advice or create your own online course with different topics, modules and levels.

How to define the ideal customer?

As tempting as it may be to think of a business where the customer is “almost any human being,” it is best to focus on a well-defined buyer persona .

Of course there are products that can respond to massive interests such as an app in the best Facebook style, but don’t forget that there are those who prefer Twitter. In that sense, you can be as creative and ambitious as you want, but even Mark Zuckerberg – founder of Facebook – defined an ideal customer when launching his idea.

If you haven’t started selling yet, you can have a preliminary version of your buyer persona by following these steps:

  1. Study your competitors to know who their customers are today.
  2. Access audience studies related to your field. For example, if you want to sell clothes online, a good source of information is the Argentine Industrial Clothing Chamber .
  3. Analyze the statistics of your brand’s social networks , in case you already have a presence on those channels.

If you have already started selling online but have not yet defined your ideal client, to the three previous steps you can add interviews with your current clients to get to know them better.

8 online sales platforms

These options that we share below are also usually called online sales channels and, despite being quite differentiated, it is possible to offer your products and services in more than one, as they are not mutually exclusive.

The purpose of this list is to provide you with an introduction to each platform; If you want to delve into them, click on the specialized guides and the banners that you will find at the end of each one.

1. Own online store

It is a personalized virtual showcase where you display and sell your products or services.

With your e-commerce you can:

  • Have a business available 24/7.
  • Sell ​​to any part of the country and the world.
  • Appear in Google when a person does a search related to what you sell.
  • Professionalize your brand.

To create an online store, you can request a personalized design and programming service or use an e-commerce platform such as Trendenube , which has templates that you will be able to adjust to your style, without the need for technical knowledge.

2. Marketplaces

marketplace is a website that connects buyers with sellers to conduct a business transaction. Imagine this online sales platform as a large shopping center where you can find various brands, products and prices.

To start selling in a marketplace you have to open an account on the platform and publish photos and descriptions of your products .

Through this channel, it is possible:

  • Take advantage of the visibility of the platform; think of marketplaces like Mercado Libre that receive millions of users daily.
  • Easily publish your products.
  • Sell ​​more than one product in each purchase order.

3. Instagram

How many entrepreneurs do you know who started selling through this social network? If your first impulse was to open an Instagram profile for your brand , you have a very good intuition, as it is a platform that has more than 4.6 million monthly active users who spend 17.3 hours a month consuming its content.

To sell on Instagram you need:

  • Have a company profile on the social network.
  • Post relevant content for your followers.
  • Get quality followers.
  • Offer your products through Instagram Shopping.

4. Facebook

Did you know that this is the most used social network in the world ? In Argentina alone, it has 4.8 million active users per month who spend 19.3 hours a month on the platform.

On Facebook, the largest number of people belong to the group of millennials (25 to 34 years old) and generation X (35 to 55 years old).

To sell on Facebook you have to:

  • Create a page other than a common profile.
  • Create a store within the social network, which you can integrate with your e-commerce.
  • Link collections with Instagram to take advantage of the potential of both social networks.

5. WhatsApp

Through the “Business” function, WhatsApp allows businesses to insert business information in their profile status , create automatic responses and separate conversations by topic.

Although it is a platform that is often used as a customer service channel , you can create distribution lists and send exclusive promotions that help increase your sales.

To create a profile in WhatsApp Business you have to access the application store of your smartphone (Android or iOS) and follow these steps:

  1. Install the app;
  2. confirm your phone number to create an account;
  3. inform the name of your brand and the category of your business and click on “Advance”;
  4. finally, in “More options” (three dots icon on Android) or “Settings” (gear icon ⚙️ on iPhone)> Settings, I included some extra information such as address and hours of operation.

6. E-mail marketing

Let’s suppose that before you started selling online, you already had a physical store and, for years, you were storing the personal emails of your customers and suppliers. The strategy of sending biweekly newsletters with information of interest about your business and exclusive offers can be very effective in achieving online sales.

To start doing your email marketing campaigns , we recommend:

  1. Put together a communication strategy, where you define the type of content you are going to share, as well as the frequency.
  2. Choose an email marketing tool .
  3. Analyze the results and apply improvements in case you are not achieving your sales objectives.

7. Sites for the sale of services

If your interest in undertaking is focused on monetizing your knowledge , but you still do not dare to create a personal website, you have the option of uploading your profile on these sites and working as a freelancer (that is, independently):

  • Workana
  • Upwork
  • Fiverr
  • Udemy
  • Tutellus

Keep in mind that these platforms usually charge commissions and work under a reputation system : the more good recommendations, the more likely you are to understand that projects will be assigned to you.

8. Online classifieds

Although it seems a remote or less massive option than the previous ones, classifieds have a presence on the web and can be a site to consider for your online sales .

In Argentina we can mention:

  • Second hand
  • Olx
  • Anuto

How to get clients?

The marketing strategies that you decide to apply to attract customers to your business will depend on the online sales platforms that you have selected.

Let’s take the example of the three most used channels:

  1. If you have an online store , you can create a blog that allows you to appear among the first Google results for keywords related to your business and invest in Google Ads campaigns (Google advertisements).
  2. When selling through marketplaces , you have to optimize and update your posts so that they stand out from your competition. It is also a plus to respond to all the comments that users make: this is very well seen by potential clients.
  3. In case you sell on social networks , we recommend you spread quality content and in various formats (photos, videos, stories, reels , etc.), make alliances with influencers , create giveaways and invest in advertising (such as Instagram Ads ).


How to organize payments and logistics?

As in the previous case, this aspect is closely linked to your sales channel or channels.

When setting up an online store with an e-commerce platform, you will have integrations with means of payment and shipping .

Through Tíanube you will be able to offer payments with debit and credit cards, fees, bank transfers and personalized alternatives. In the case of shipments , you can also integrate your online store easily and seamlessly with Correo Argentino, Andreani and a dozen apps, or configure a personalized method.

The marketplaces as Free Market also offer solutions for payment and shipping.

If you sell services , the platforms usually have special configurations so that you can share your courses, e-books or other digital products as soon as the payment is credited. Bonus: it is also possible to do it with Tíanube .

Now, if you only sell through social networks, email marketing or online classifieds, both the payment method and the logistics will depend 100% on you. You have to attend to your clients by private messages, share your bank details with each one and make the shipments on your own.

This whole process is usually more expensive in the medium and long term , as it takes a long time and the rates of the means of payment and shipping are usually better when they are established through an e-commerce platform.

Also think that online sales can multiply very quickly and spread to other provinces or countries, to the point that it would be almost impossible to manage if the collection and logistics processes are not automated.

Do you still have doubts?

Do not worry! At Tíanube we are willing to accompany entrepreneurs in each step of their process , so you can get in touch with us through the channel you want.

Finally, we want to share with you a very complete guide that complements this content, where you will find more tips for selling online, details on the legal aspects of online sales in Argentina and a special section for clothing businesses:


Keerthana brings a passion for high-quality content to the US Digital Data SEO team. As a PR + SEO Specialist, she leads the production of authoritative and engaging content to share with the world.

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