Selling online is not as easy as it looks. If you are thinking of selling food items online, like cookies, you should consider a few important things.
This article will help you learn the steps you need to know to extend your business and make money by selling cookies online.
But first, let’s look at the most googled question about cookies.
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Can I Sell Cookies Online?
The simple and short answer to this is Yes. But selling cookies online isn’t the same as selling a t-shirt or other product. You need a few additional documents to run this business smoothly and successfully.
Cookies are a perfect product to offer online because they are also customizable and mainly shelf-stable. There is minimal to no risk of melting, splitting or breaking them when shipping them to any place.
When you understand what food business owners require, selling cookies online becomes simple.
So let’s dive in and see how you can start selling cookies online.
How to Start Selling Cookies Online?
The following are a few things that you should consider while starting to sell cookies online.
1. Create a Business Plan
Before taking any steps, the first thing to consider is whether selling cookies online can be a viable business opportunity for you. To help answer this, I would create a business plan, which will include the following:
- The market size.
- SWOT analysis
- Competitors analysis.
- Costs and pricing strategy- Pricing your products is very important for any business to be successful. Especially if you sell food items like cookies, you need to consider a few extra things like ingredients, shipping and packaging cost, marketplace transaction fees, and electricity used to make cookies to price your cookies effectively.
Both underpricing and overpricing will risk your business’s viability.
- Financial forecasts
You can download a business plan template here: https://templates.office.com/en-gb/business-plans
Once you’ve considered all the above, you just need to ensure you have a good profit margin to allow you to build your business sustainably and sell more cookies online.
2. Register Your Business and Other Legal Documents
You should focus on registering your business, following the cottage food laws, and completing the required paperwork.
To start selling cookies online, you need a license and other legal permits for shipping. It’s best to talk to a professional in your area about this since it will depend on your country and state.
You will need a business license, food safety certificate, insurance, and other documents, but these can vary depending on your state and country.
You might want to set up an LLC for your business to protect your assets if a customer or another company sues you. You might also need an employer identification number (EIN), an EEI, a certificate of origin, or other proof of ownership.
3. Create a Website
After tackling the legal things, you need a platform to sell your cookies online. I recommend having your website control your distribution and own your customer data.
To learn more about creating your website, check out our guide on Launching an eCommerce Store with WooCommerce.
Once you have set up your store, you will need a plugin to manage your orders. Any of these WooCommerce Order Management plugins will do the job.
Explore Online Marketplaces
In addition to selling on your site, you should consider listing your cookies on other online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy.
These are already getting tons of traffic; you just need to focus on ranking your product on top, and you are good to go. You can focus on your site side by side.
This will help you in the long run and get you more revenue because instead of having one platform to sell, you’ll have two or three.
I recommend having at least two or three of them. Because initially, nobody will find your website until you focus on SEO and advertisements. It can take a while, and in that time, you may end up losing your money.
4. Kitchen Equipment
If you are a small business and only want to sell cookies to the local area and use your home kitchen to make cookies, then you need to ensure that you have all the required equipment.
You need to have cookie scoops, baking mats, cookie cutters & carriers, etc.
But in case you are planning to scale your business, you need to have a commercial kitchen. Because of health and safety regulations, you can’t make baked products like cookies for sale out of your home kitchen.
You need to check your business plan with the cottage food laws to be within the home business limit. Otherwise, you will need a commercial kitchen. When multiple companies share a single kitchen for food preparation, it is called a commercial kitchen.
To bake at your convenience, you can rent a commercial kitchen. Set aside some time to process all orders. Consider taking orders for the week ahead and baking them all at once so that your customers can always enjoy delicious, freshly baked cookies.
These kitchens have the legal clearance and the necessary kitchen equipment to bake cookies. It might save you a lot of time and money to rent a kitchen rather than construct your own kitchen and tackling with legal inspection and paperwork.
5. Consider Selling Wholesale
Selling to B2B customers can be lucrative, but it’s not for everyone. To help you decide whether this is for you, we’ve created this guide comparing the b2b vs. b2c business model.
If you decide it’s for you, you can approach local stores to stock your cookies, leading to a larger order volume. Just ensure you have enough margin in your pricing. We have created this wholesale vs. retail price to help you structure your pricing when catering to wholesalers.
You can sell wholesale and retail simultaneously to help you expand faster than limiting yourself to retail customers only. You can also sell to both customers from your site.
WooCommerce Wholesale Suite can help you with this. I have a guide on creating a B2B and B2C store in a few simple steps.
I hope this article helped you learn the important things to start selling cookies online. You can follow the Tips to Get More Sales tutorial to improve your site’s sales.