In the run-up to Black Friday and the weeks after there are plenty of eager consumers ready to part ways with their cash for a bargain. If you’re a business owner hit by coronavirus restrictions you may be looking at ways to diversify your business and sell products online.

For some areas in the UK, coronavirus restrictions look to be relaxed in time for Christmas. This comes as welcome news to many. However, as we all live in the shadow of further lockdown restrictions, many business owners are asking themselves the same question; How do I adapt my business?

If you’re a bit of a technophobe you might think that setting up an online store takes time and significant investment. This is not always true. There are lots of marketplaces which offer an easy selling solution, as well as off-the-rack solutions raring to go. It’s a cheap and easy way of dipping your toes in before taking the plunge.

With Black Friday here and Christmas just around the corner, online sales are set to rocket this year. If you’d like to sell online here are some things to consider:

Online Marketplaces

Marketplaces are typically lower risk and open you up to an audience of customers that shop on their sites. The benefit of using a marketplace is they will take care of payment fulfilment and offer an easy selling dashboard. Some even take care of marketing costs for you.


eBay charge seller fees for items that you sell on their platform, but what they offer is an easy system. They have millions of small businesses on there, along with individuals selling items.

Facebook Shop

Facebook Shop was rolled out earlier than planned due to Covid-19 to help small businesses weather the storm. They are a clear choice for those who already have an active following on Facebook & Instagram.


If you sell handmade goods then this is the place for you. Bear in mind they do charge a listing fee (which is active for four months) a transaction fee and a small commission. They even have an optional Offsite Ads fee where you can opt to have them take care of the advertising and only pay the fee when you make a sale from one of those ads.


Amazon has a huge customer base. They offer a variety of different plans linked above. It’s not for everyone but if you think you could do well in a price-driven and competitive market then it could be worth looking in to.

Online Stores

By setting up your own store you can retain more of the profits. However, the downside is that it can sometimes be more tricky to reach your audience. We’d suggest looking at our blog on marketing for tips on getting started with marketing.

Chances are you already have a site in which case we’d advise you get some further assistance before migrating to ensure you keep your SEO rankings. There are lots of people who can advise on this; we have several contacts if you don’t have someone springing to mind.


With Shopify, you can get started from £30 per-month. They even have a free 14-day trial with no credit card required. A good solution for starters but some criticise its SEO performance.

Depending on which plan you go for will determine your fees so be sure to check these beforehand.

Basic plan features:

  • unlimited products
  • unlimited bandwidth and online storage
  • Shopify point of sale
  • online sales channels
  • manual order creation
  • 2 staff accounts
  • selling dashboard
  • 24/7 customer support

Find out more


BigCommerce allows you to get started from $29.95, though It can get expensive for high volume sales.

Depending on which plan you go for will determine your fees so be sure to check these beforehand.

Standard plan features:

  • no transaction fees
  • unlimited products
  • unlimited bandwidth and file storage
  • unlimited staff accounts
  • selling dashboard
  • responsive website
  • 24/7 live agent support

Find out more

Other providers

There are lots more providers for setting up online stores of your own. We’d suggest doing your own research before committing to a provider. Here are just a few which may be worth exploring.

  • WooCommerce
  • Wix
  • Squarespace
  • 3dcart

Adapting your business to compete online is not always simple but with plenty of shoppers looking for ways to support small businesses, there has never been a better time to try.

You may be better off diversifying your business by creating your own online store, but also selling through the existing online marketplaces. You can determine what is the right fit for you.

Don’t forget your insurance

As your business changes, so too do your risks. Get in touch with your insurer and notify them of your diversification changes.

If you could benefit from a free review of any existing business insurance then get in touch. Call our friendly team here at Jukes Insurance Brokers on 01527 874092 and our team will get your insurance working for you instead of against you.

Published On: November 27th, 2020 / Last Updated: March 10th, 2021 /

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