Finding the Right Products to Sell Online
“You should learn from your competitor, but never copy. Copy, and you die.”- Jack Ma, Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group
Are you an entrepreneur looking to start an online business? Are you perhaps interested in sourcing goods from suppliers, or are you interested in manufacturing the products yourself?
The good news is that eCommerce or selling products online has become more popular as it has grown simpler and more cost-effective to sell products online. Therefore, the question that begs is not whether you should open an eCommerce store or not, it is how to determine the correct products to sell online.
Tips to help you choose products that will sell
It is pointless offering goods for sale that no one will buy. Essentially, opening an online store that contains products that no one wants to buy is an exercise in futility. Therefore, here are a few tips to help you define your goals, find your target market, and use the latest trends to sell your products:
Identify your target audience
Part of determining the right products to sell is to identify your target audience. The best way to do this is to build a buyer persona for each consumer type that you hope to attract.
The following questions are just a few of the questions that need to be asked and answered when constructing each buyer persona: What are the personal demographics of each persona? What are their likes and dislikes? And, what are their shopping habits?
Commodity versus niche products
The first question to ask and answer is what type of products you should sell. There are essentially two general categories that merchandise fall into:
- Commodity products are made up of general products that everyone needs such as food, clothing, and toiletries.
- Unique products, on the other hand, consist of handmade, one-of-a-kind products like handcrafted jewellery, soaps, and works of art.
Commodity products attract a greater target audience and can be less risky than niche products as they are goods that everyone needs and buy on a regular basis. However, there is also be more competition in the industry, especially from global corporations such as Amazon and Alibaba.
Alternatively, selling unique, handcrafted items will have a smaller, more focused target market. There is less competition but also a smaller audience.
There are two options when it comes to warehousing and shipping the products that you have for sale in your eCommerce store. You either purchase your products from a supplier and store them in your own warehouse, or you just sell the goods, and then they are dropshipped directly to your customers.
What is dropshipping?
Simply stated, dropshipping is a “supply chain management method… [where] the retailer does not keep goods in stock but instead transfers customer orders and shipment details to… [the supplier] who then ships the goods directly to the customer.”
There are definite cost advantages to drop shipping as global warehousing is not cheap. The other benefit to drop shipping is that you can live in one country and do business all over the world. All you need to do is arrange with suppliers in your target audience’s geographical location to ship the products straight from their warehouses to your customers.