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How To Sell Candles Online As An Online Business

When it comes to generating online business ideas, selling candles might not be something you would think of right away. But, with the current popularity of candles made from materials such as soy wax and beeswax candles, there is definitely a market for them.

The main problem you instantly face in this situation would be knowing how to get started and what steps to follow.

If you've never sold anything online before or don’t know much about candles, it can be daunting to start your own candle-selling business. But, don't worry. This post will show you how to start selling candles online in just a few simple steps.

Let's get right to it.

How To Start An Online Candle Business

The following are the steps you need to take to start selling candles online.

1. Choose Your Candles

Before doing anything else, you need to choose the candles you want to sell. Do some research if you're not sure what type of candles are popular right now. Look for trending scents or unique styles that will set your own candles apart from the rest.

Candle

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However, to get you started, the following are some types of candles that are popular among buyers:

  • Soy candles
  • Beeswax candles
  • Floral scented candles
  • Citrus scented candles
  • Vanilla scented candles
  • Paraffin wax
  • Vegan candles
  • Decorative candles
  • Aromatherapy candles

Knowing the differences between these types of candles will help you decide which ones are right for your candle-making business. For example, soy candles are popular because they are environmentally friendly and have a long burn time. If you're looking to appeal to eco-conscious customers, soy candles might be the way to go.

On the other hand, beeswax candles are known for their natural honey scent and beautiful golden color. They also tend to be a bit more expensive than soy candles, so beeswax candles might be the right choice if you target a luxury market.

Once you've selected the type of candle you want to sell, it's time to move on to the next step: your target market.

2. Define Your Target Market

As with any other type of business, having a target market in mind when selling candles is essential. Who are you trying to sell your candles to? Consider age, gender, location, and interests when defining your target market.

For example, if you're selling soy candles, your target market might be women ages 25-40 who live in urban areas and are interested in health and wellness.

If you don't want to get into a niche market, you could always go with a broader market. The benefit of this is that it allows you to test out different types of candles and see which ones are the most popular among your target market.

I would advise you to choose one market and go with it. Trying to serve too many needs at once can be overwhelming, and you might not be able to appeal to anyone.

3. Make Some Candles

After selecting your target market, it's time to start making some candles. If you're not sure how to make homemade candles, plenty of online tutorials and resources can help you.

The typical steps involved in this process are as follows.

Source Your Materials

In this initial step, you will need to gather all your supplies to make your candles. This includes things like wax, wicks, molds, and fragrance oils.

You can find all of these materials either online or at your local craft store. I would recommend buying in bulk if you plan on making a lot of candles, as it will be cheaper in the long run.

wax candle

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Measure And Prep Your Wax

Once you have all of your materials, it's time to start measuring out the wax. The amount of wax you need will depend on the size and type of candle you're making.

Once you have the correct amount of wax, it's time to melt it down. You can do this either in a double boiler or in the microwave. If you're using the microwave, be sure to do it in short bursts and stir often to avoid scorching the wax.

Customize The Mixture

Now that your wax is melted, it's time to customize the mixture. This is where you will add things like fragrance oils and colorants. The amount of fragrance oil you add will depend on the strength of the scent you want. A good rule of thumb is to start with 1 ounce per pound of wax. You can always add more later if you want a more aromatic scent.

As for colorants, you can either use liquid candle dyes or powder pigments. Again, start with a small amount and add more until you get the desired color.

Finish Your Candle

The final step is to pour the wax into your mold and let it cool. Once it's cooled, you can add a wick and trim it to the desired length.

And that's it. You've now learned how to make candles and are ready to start selling them online. So don't be afraid to experiment with different scents, colors, and styles. Obviously, the more you practice, the better you'll become at making candles.

4. Outsourcing The Candle Making Process

Instead of going through the process of making candles yourself, another option is to outsource the production to a candle-making company. Many companies specialize in private label candle manufacturing, which means they will produce candles according to your specifications and even put on your company’s branding.

The pros of outsourcing the candle-making process are that it's less time-consuming, and you can sell a larger quantity of candles. The cons are that it's more expensive and you have less control over the quality of the candles.

If you're looking at companies that can help with the candle creation process, you might want to ask them about their experience with creating specific types of candles, including:

  • Container candles
  • Pillar and taper candles
  • Votive and tea light candles

Ask them about their process, what’s involved, what support they can offer if things don’t live up to expectations, etc. Based on their answers, you should be able to get a good idea of whether or not they're a good fit for your needs.

5. Build Your Online Store

This is a crucial part of selling candles online, as your store will be the first thing potential customers see.

There are a few key things to keep in mind when building your store. The first is the platform. The easiest way to go about this is to use Shopify, as this platform has been built from the ground up for eCommerce stores.

You also need to make sure your store website is optimized for search engine ranking. This means using the right keywords and having high-quality content.  Using Shopify, various SEO features and plugins are available to help with this.

Also, consider the various product categories you’ll need to include in your store. For example, you might want to create separate sections for pillar candles, tealight candles, etc. The goal is to make the shopping experience as easy and enjoyable as possible for your customers.

The great news is that as a platform, Shopify offers a fourteen-day trial period so you can test out the features on offer and see if it's the right solution for you.
Build Your Online Store

6. Populate Your Store

Once you've built your store, it's time to populate it with products. The best way to do this is by writing high-quality product descriptions. This is your chance to really sell the candles and convince potential customers to buy them.

Make sure to include things like:

  • The benefits of using the candle
  • The unique selling points
  • Any special features
  • Detailed descriptions of the scent, color, and so on

It's also good to include multiple images of the candles from different angles. This will give potential customers a good idea of what they're buying. If you can include testimonials or reviews from happy customers, that's even better. This social proof will help increase conversion rates.

7. Promote Your Candles

Now that you have a store full of products, it's time to promote your candles and drive traffic to your website.

There are several ways to do this, but some of the most effective are:

  • Content marketing: This involves creating blog posts, infographics, and other types of content that are relevant to your target audience. The goal is to drive traffic to your website through these pieces of content.  Having a blog as part of your web store will allow you to educate potential customers about your products and help with search engine ranking.
  • Email marketing: This involves building up a database of email addresses and then sending out newsletters, special offers, and other types of promotions to these people.
  • Facebook ads: Facebook ads are a great way to reach many people with your promotions. Being a social network, Facebook already has a lot of information on its users, which you can use to target your ads.
  • Google ads: Google ads are another great way to reach a large audience. These work by placing your ads on Google's search engine results pages (SERPs).  By targeting specific keywords that people are searching for, you can make sure your ads are being seen by people already interested in what you're selling.
  • Etsy: Etsy is a marketplace specifically for selling handmade and vintage items. This is an excellent platform for selling candles as it's already full of people interested in these types of products.
  • Other people’s websites: If you can find people that have a website that compliments yours (i.e., they sell products such as homemade furniture, decorations, etc.), their target audience might also be interested in buying your candles.
  • Pinterest: Pinterest is a visual platform perfect for promoting products like candles. You can create pins with images of your candles and include links back to your website.
  • Instagram: Instagram is another great visual platform that one can use to promote your candles. By posting photos and videos of your candles, you can get people interested in your products.
  • Giveaways and contests: giveaways and contests are a great way to get people talking about your candles. You can also work with influencers in the candle industry to promote your candles. These are people with a large following on social media who can help to get the word out about your brand.

These are just some of the most effective ways to promote your candles online. By using a combination of these methods, you should be able to drive traffic to your store and start making sales.

8. Fulfill Your Orders

Once you start getting orders, it's time to fulfill them. This involves packing up the candles and shipping them off to the customer. If you're just starting out, it's good to use a fulfillment service like Shipstation or Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). These services will take care of packing and shipping your orders for you.

Fulfill Your Orders

This is an excellent option if you're just starting out, as it means you don't have to worry about the logistics of fulfillment. As your own candle business grows, you can always move to fulfill orders yourself. This can be more cost-effective, but it does require more work on your part.

9. Offer Great Customer Service

Once you start getting orders, it's also essential to offer excellent customer service. This means being responsive to any questions or concerns your customers might have. It's also necessary to make sure that you're shipping your orders on time and keeping your customers updated on the status of their orders.

By offering excellent customer service, you'll be able to build a good reputation with your customers. This will help encourage them to buy from you again in the future.

10. Upsell And Cross-sell

Once you've made a single sale, it's good to try and upsell or cross-sell to your customers. Upselling is when you try to sell a more expensive version of the product that the customer has already bought.

Cross-selling happens when you try to sell a related product to the one that the customer has already bought. For example, if someone buys a candle from you, you could upsell them by selling them a candle holder. Or you could cross-sell them by selling them a diffuser. You could also have essential oils that go with the diffuser.

By upselling and cross-selling while still providing valuable products, you can increase the average order value of your customers. This will help make candle-making profitable and grow your business further.

11. Analyze Your Data

This is a step that many people are reluctant to do, but it's so important. You can see what's working and what's not by analyzing your data. This will help you make better decisions about running your business moving forward. It will also help you to save time and money by avoiding mistakes.

There are several different software programs that you can use to track your data. Google Analytics is an excellent option as it's free and easy to use.
 Analyze Your Data

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Once you start tracking your data, you should begin to see patterns emerge. This will give you a good idea of where to focus your efforts moving forward.

Some key data points to consistently look at include:

  • Your website traffic
  • Your conversion rate
  • The average order value of your customers
  • Your customer lifetime value

By analyzing your data, you can make better decisions about how to grow your business. This will help you avoid making mistakes and increase your chances of success.

12. Never Stop Growing

The final step is never to stop growing. This doesn't mean that you need to be expanding your business constantly. But it does mean that you should always look for ways to improve. This could involve adding new products, improving customer service, or finding new marketing channels to promote your products.

It's essential to always be moving forward and growing as a business. If you're not, you're likely to stagnate and eventually fail.

Additional Candle Business Success Tip

Here are a few more tips that will help you to succeed with your candle business:

  • Use high-quality images: People are visual creatures, and they're more likely to buy something if they can see what it looks like. Make sure to use high-quality images on your product listings.
  • Use social media: Social media is a great way to reach new customers and connect with existing ones. Make sure to create profiles on all major social media platforms and post regularly, providing ideas on how people could use your candles, decorate their homes, etc.
  • Push holiday sales: Holiday sales are a great way to boost your income. Make sure to start promoting your holiday products well in advance.
  • Stay on top of consumer trends: It's essential to stay up-to-date with the latest consumer trends. This will help you know what products are in demand and how to market to your target audience.
  • Expand your product line: Adding new products is a great way to keep your customers interested in your brand and business. It's also an excellent way to attract new customers who might be interested in the items you sell.
  • Create more selling opportunities: There are many different ways to sell your candles. In addition to selling online, you could also sell at craft fairs, farmers' markets, and other events.
  • Consider various pricing points: Not everyone is willing to spend the same amount on candles. That's why it's essential to offer a range of prices and offers. This way, you can cater to different budgets and maximize your sales.
  • Legal requirements in your state: Every state has different laws regarding the sale of candles. Make sure to research the legal requirements in your state to stay compliant.
  • Package your candles well: When you're selling candles, it's important to package them well. This will help prevent breakage and ensure that they arrive safely at their destination.

You can set your candle business up for success by following these tips. Just remember to constantly be growing and improving to stay ahead of the competition.

Having A Physical Storefront

A great thing about having a candle business is that you can start small and scale as your business grows. One way to do this is to start by selling your candles online with a very low barrier to entry. Once you've built up a customer base, you can consider opening up a physical storefront.

Having A Physical Storefront

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Having a physical storefront has several advantages. First, it allows you to reach a new group of potential customers. People who are out shopping are more likely to stop in and purchase something if they see it in person. 

Second, it gives you a place to showcase all of your products. This can help promote new items or seasonal collections. Third, it can help to build brand awareness in your community.  When people see your candles in stores, they'll start to associate your brand with local quality and luxury.

Opening up a physical storefront can be a great way to take your candle business to the next level. Just do your research and plan carefully before making the jump, as it obviously also has its own disadvantages.

Final Thoughts

Selling candles online can be a great way to make extra money or even start a full-fledged business. The key is to have a well-thought-out plan and to execute it flawlessly. If you want to start a candle business, use the above material as a reference to help you get started.

Finally, consider that any business has its ups and downs, and a homemade candle business is no different. You have to put time and effort into this business to see results.

About the author 

Mike Vestil

Mike Vestil is an author, investor, and speaker known for building a business from zero to $1.5 million in 12 months while traveling the world.

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