It’s estimated that there will be 1.92 digital buyers this year. With an estimated 7.7 billion people on the planet today, that means a quarter of the world’s population will be buying online.

The world is becoming more connected and as more people are lifted out of poverty and into the middle class, online buyers are only set to increase in the coming decades. This explosion in online buying activities is providing huge opportunities for e-commerce merchants that will only increase over time.

The e-commerce industry has flattened over the years. That means you don’t have to be a large big box store to be selling products online. In fact, the number of online merchants is in the millions, and a vast majority of them are small businesses.

Starting an e-commerce business isn’t complicated. You have to source your product, find a way to store and fulfill them, manage inventory, and provide customer service.

One of the most critical functions of e-commerce is marketing. Here are the 4 most common ways of marketing your products online.

List on Online Marketplaces

Arguably, the best way to market your products is by listing them on a major marketplace. These online marketplaces allow third-party sellers to list and sell their products on their platform.

The big online marketplaces include Amazon, eBay, Newegg, and Etsy. These platforms will allow you to list your products on their website and will take a commission when your product sells.

There are literally dozens of marketplaces you can list your products on. If you have hundreds or thousands of products in your inventory, listing them and managing them one by one to each marketplace will be impossible.

The good news is that there are software subscriptions you can buy that will allow you to automate the listing and inventory management process. It will also give you reports with valuable data so you know which products are selling well, which products that are giving you the most profit margin and which ones you should get rid of.

One of the more popular one over the years has been Magento Enterprise. It was one of the first of these types of platforms to enter the e-commerce industry.

The biggest downside to Magento is that it requires a lot of customization. Some of the tailoring needs may be so complex that you may need to hire a developer that has experience with this platform.

Some newer¬†alternatives to Magento Enterprise¬†include Shopify, Big Commerce, and Channel Advisor. Platforms like Shopify are streamlined and easy to use. It can even connect to your physical point of sale if you have a brick and mortar retail store or if you’re selling at a booth at a festival.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization is making your website or webpage easy to find on search engines, particularly with Google. Google has the vast majority of search engine usage with roughly 95% of searches happening on their platform. That means when most people say ‘SEO’, they are invariably referring to catering it toward Google and their search algorithm.

When the internet first came out, search engines mostly relied on keywords on a webpage to tag it and bring it up as results for searches. If someone typed in the keyword “banana”, the search engine would find all of the webpages with the word “banana” in it. Typically, they would rank the page based on how many types that keyword showed up on that page.

Once webmasters began to catch on, they began to stuff their pages with the keyword. Some webmasters got so clever that they would put the target keyword on a webpage hundreds of times, but would make the color match the background so it would blend in and not be visible to the visitor. The keyword would still be picked up by search engines and would rank the page high due to the repetition of the keyword on the page.

Search engine algorithms are no longer that easy to game. Some of Google’s updates to their algorithms have, at times, destroyed the entire livelihood of many digital marketers virtually overnight.

These days, if you can keep the SEO straightforward and honest, you have a chance at getting ranked. The most important factors for good SEO is making sure the page has the keywords in the title tag and body of the page.

Another important factor is how many links you get from other reputable websites. When a major website like NBC or New York Times links to your website, it makes Google trust it more and gives it more authority. Those things ultimately lead to high rankings.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Search engine marketing, or SEM, is also known as Pay-per-click advertising, or PPC. SEM is similar to SEO in that you must target the right keywords.

With SEM, you are paying for the traffic you get. Google’s PPC is called Google Ads. This is where you can display ads for your products and pay Google only when someone clicks on that ad.

With both SEM and SEO, you have to make sure the page converts the visitor into a buyer once they’re on your website.

There are many other ways to market your products online. Listing on Marketplaces, SEO and SEM are the top ways to get your products sold.