You've pulled together a collection of images, and have started working on the beginning stages of your business plan. To put the finishing touches on that plan, you'll need to gain a better understanding of the tools and services you need in order to successfully sell photos online in your own web store. Selling your images independently can come with all the same convenience you'd find through a microstock site, without the rejections or restrictions. All you need is the right system in place from the very first day you launch.
Using eCommerce Platforms to Sell Photos Online
When it comes to online sales, the needs of merchants are almost universal. No matter what type of content you sell, you'll need roughly the same capabilities.
- Payment Processing – In order to make money, you must be able to collect payment from your customers. Working with trusted names like PayPal and Google Wallet gives you access to systems both you and your customers can trust. Since you're not manually processing credit cards directly, you also don't have to worry about inadvertently exposing your clients' sensitive financial information.
- File Hosting – Secure file hosting protects your photos until the moment of sale, helping you stem the tide of piracy.
- Automated Content Delivery – Manually monitoring sales alerts isn't feasible. The wide margin of error means you will eventually miss at least one delivery, which can damage your reputation for customer service. By automating download delivery through a reliable service, you're able to take the focus off your sales alerts and spend more time doing what you do best: taking and editing photos to expand your product catalog.
- Marketing – You know affiliate networks are a more financially sound choice, especially for new merchants just beginning to build their brand. What you may not know, though, is that these systems are built in to high-quality eCommerce platforms.
Dedicated eCommerce systems streamline your business by combining everything you need under a single virtual umbrella. You're able to access everything from affiliate marketing to payment processing, all of which can be easily embedded into your low-cost template site or free blog site with simple, cut-and-paste HTML code.
Start working on a do-it-yourself template site, or exploring the options for customizing a free blog site. Build your sales portal, and take your time tweaking things until you have a clean, easy-to-navigate interface with aesthetic appeal. When you're ready to go live, all you'll need to do is copy and paste the HTML code provided by your eCommerce platform to turn your site into a fully independent retail space to sell photos online.