In going to the effort of bringing your invention plans to fruition, it’s easy to think that the hardest part of your job as an inventor is over. However, the work has only just begun, as an invention that doesn’t sell is really just a failed prototype, right? In that spirit, here are some tips on how you can sell your own inventions online.
Step One: Look At The Legalities
When doing your legal homework, you should consider whether your invention is patentable (or made up of patentable materials). If you chose to maintain ownership of your invention, you will also need to study the legalities of selling your goods online.
You will need to look at your tax obligations, business status, record-keeping requirements, accounts, and much more. So make sure you research thoroughly before you open up shop.
Step Two: Research Your Customers
If you have created a sell sheet that stands out from the crowd, you will have already looked into:
- Your market
- Cost breakdowns
- Typical customers
- Product features and benefits
- Legal status
However, if you choose to sell your invention yourself, you will need to transform these findings into marketing messages that your customers will respond to.
Step Three: Plan Your Product Launch
Once you’ve built a profile of your typical customer (otherwise known as a buyer persona), you will need to create a marketing strategy for your product launch. Develop a content marketing strategy for publicity that concentrates on addressing your customers’ key concerns and needs.
Set up shop on marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy. Examine their terms and conditions and seek advice on optimizing your product descriptions to attract a higher volume of traffic — these are great places for initial experimentation and market research.
Step Four: Set Up Shop Online
You will also need an online ‘base’ for your business operations. For this, a paid ecommerce subscription service can help you when you’re starting out with your online store for the first time and you’ve only got a few hours spare. Another positive is that you’ll also have access to all of the web design and maintenance support you need to get you started. Sites like Shopify and Magento include various apps and plugins that will automate much of the store building process for you, but you still need to make some important decisions re branding, logos, menus, product copy etc.
If you want to, you can also sell on social platforms — social selling is increasingly popular. It’s probably best to be visible on as many different platforms and channels as possible.
Step Five: Analyze The Results And Make Improvements
Selling online is very metrics-based, so put your analytical skills to the test and get granular when it comes to benchmarking your store’s performance.
- Make sure you analyze the impact of your marketing campaigns by installing Google Analytics. There is a free Analytics course that is worth taking if you want to get serious about it.
- Use split-tests to validate ad copy and imagery. By split testing your ads (alternating headlines or images – or both), you can ensure that your marketing messages are converting website visitors into buyers successfully.
- You can also use post-sales marketing techniques, such as automated emails including targeted discounts. This will help to build brand loyalty and keep customers coming back for more.
Selling your own inventions online can be a learning curve, but there are many tools out there that will help you automate and streamline the whole process. Make the effort to market your invention effectively and you can reap the benefits of online selling to turn your invention into a huge success.