Five eCommerce Methods to Consider When Getting into the Online Selling Game

With a growth of 66% in the South African e-commerce sector in 2020 onlye-commerce has become a ubiquitous feature on many business websites.

It is a feature It is:

  • simple to use
  • easy to configure
  • affordable to install
  • easily accessible to consumers, and
  • creates a 24/7 availability of products of a brand.

With all of this in mind, it’s no wonder more and more South African entrepreneurs are evaluating their e-commerce options. And among the many things they need to consider while setting up an online store, one of the first things is which e-commerce method they would like to pursue.

So if you’re thinking about what to do when entering this space, don’t worry – media update Lara Smit is here to help lead the way.

Curious about your options? Then put them in our cart and check them:

1. Purchase until exhaustion with dropshipping

Drop shipping is one of the easiest ways for an entrepreneur to get into the e-commerce game. The way it works is that a person can create an e-commerce storefront where they can list products that online users can purchase using their payment method of choice.

This storefront is connected to a dropshipping supplier and when an order is placed on your store, it is communicated directly to the supplier. This is where the supplier processes the order and ships the product to the consumer who ordered it through your website. It’s so simple.

The supplier will, of course, receive payment for the product and you will receive the markup you placed on the product on your website.

So, as with any decision, we must weigh advantages and disadvantages.


  • You don’t have to pay or manage storage.
  • It saves you weather and work because you do not have to pack or deliver products.
  • Your product range is not limited because your website can sell a wide variety of products.
  • You can run your business from any up because you do not have to manage a warehouse.

The inconvenients:

  • You have to rely on suppliers.
  • Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of inventory.
  • You have little control over quality. Therefore, if a product is lost, damaged, of poor quality or there are shipping problems, it becomes your responsibility.
  • There is a lot of competition.

2. Settling in a market

Marketplaces are established e-commerce websites that allow entrepreneurs to list and sell their products using these platforms. With this method of e-commerce, entrepreneurs can either store their goods in warehouses belonging to the marketplace or store them in their own facilities.

Popular types of eCommerce marketplaces are take a lot, Bidorbuy, Amazon and Price verification.


  • Marketplaces receive a lot of traffic and therefore reach a wider audience.
  • Marketplaces are reputable and consumers are more likely to trust brands that sell their products on these platforms.
  • It is affordable to market on these platforms.
  • It creates healthy competition to have similar products sold alongside yours where prices and specifications are comparable.

The inconvenients:

  • Marketplaces charge for their services, which means they can charge a commission for each sale. These fees can be a challenge for small businesses with fewer products than larger businesses.
  • Marketplaces can be restrictive because you must respect their terms and conditions.
  • You will not have access to any Data on customers using this platform as you would with your own website.
  • There may be a delay in receiving profits from your products sold on the platform.

3. Become an online wholesaler/retailer

This practical approach to electronic commerce is much more challenging for entrepreneurs and businesses, because it requires more involvement from them.

This method requires store owners to buy products from a supplier and store them in a warehouse. Therefore, when a customer orders the product online, the store owner has to ship the product from their warehouse.


  • You have better quality control because you are involved in inventory, packaging and shipping.
  • You have direct interaction with customers.
  • You have no additional costs.

The inconvenients:

  • This requires store owners to invest a lot of money at the beginning.
  • He is very time-consuming and laborious.
  • Buying stock in advance means you may have leftover product.

4. Create your own private label

When creating your own brand of products, you can use a company to manufacture products for you according to your own designs. From there, you can either use the services of a market to sell your products or sell them directly to consumers through your own ecommerce website.


  • When you hire the services of a manufacturing company, the costs of producing your products can be surprisingly affordable.
  • There is less competition for unique products.
  • You have more quality control over manufactured products.
  • Your products can be tailored to consumer needs and specifications.
  • You are in direct contact with customers.

The inconvenients:

  • It is demanding and time-consuming to manufacture your own products.
  • If you use external manufacturers, you must rely on their capabilities.
  • Manufacturers require a minimum number of orders.
  • You need to create brand awareness from scratch.

5. Name an unnamed brand

The white labeling refers to when a brand purchases made products that have a white label option where you can rename, redesign and re-label the packaging of these products.

The owner of an online store orders white label products from a supplier and has the product validated. They then store these products and ship them to customers who order from their e-commerce sites.


  • Products are established and do not need to be sourced or made from scratch.
  • The packaging is customizable to the image of the brand.
  • It is more affordable to procure goods than to manufacture them.
  • It takes less time.

The inconvenients:

  • Manufacturing companies require a minimum amount of orders.
  • Although you can customize your label, it can still be influenced by manufacturer specifications.
  • You have less control about how goods are produced when created by a manufacturer.

Do you have any advice for people entering the e-commerce space? Be sure to let us know in the comments.

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For more tips on how to adapt to the space e-commerce in South Africa, do not forget to read our article, How the South African companies must adapt to the space e-commerce: A Q & A with Jake Rubinstein.

* Courtesy of Cloth

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