The ease of setting up an online shop and selling right away is exciting as it is disarming. You may have everything lined up except for the actual products. That’s quite a big problem because what’s a seller without their wares?
There are many things to consider when deciding what goes to your virtual shelves or racks. Competition can be fierce and cutthroat with sellers or manufacturers coming up with their promotions, discounts, and related fanfare to pump up sales. You also have to think market saturation, which you can overcome if you have a new product or outdo the competition, among other factors.
Products are a crucial piece in a successful business. And you have plenty of avenues to seek out the ones that will make your jump into entrepreneurship worth it.
Look Into People’s Problems
Necessity is a cause for invention, and every product aims to solve a problem even if it seems small or silly. You are probably aware of a desktop heater to keep your coffee hot or a water bottle to store keys, cards, and cash, but these products exist.
The point is to identify real-world problems and address them. Your product doesn’t have to be a novelty, but one that works more efficiently than others so that it becomes a must-have and not just a nice thing to have.
Pay Attention to Your Passion
Sometimes, inspiration is closer than you think. What hobbies or interests do you have? Surely, you have come across complications or difficulties while scrapbooking or knitting. For example, a tennis enthusiast who wants to keep tabs on their scores has come up with a tennis racket that puts the score at hand.
On a broader note, your business would have aligned with your passion because you love what you do and would encourage you to find answers to new or existing problems.
GIYF (“Google is your friend”) is a common-day slang that speaks volumes about the power of the search engine. Google itself is proof that there is room in a highly competitive market if you have a better product.
You can use Google’s search engine results through its keyword planner to discover or research keywords. The purpose of the exercise is to find phrases and related terms with high volumes but have low to medium competition. Another relevant tool to see the suggested terms is Google Images.
Indeed, today’s start-ups don’t worry as much over the capital. They can source or have others fund their projects through platforms like Kickstarter. The website features products that promise creative and innovative solutions.
If you are thinking of something novel, check existing projects that may have similar ideas or better ideas than yours. For example, you can read up on headphones that can be converted into a portable speaker. You can use the projects as inspiration to tweak your original idea or see the progress of the funding as an indicator of public interest.
Size Up Your Market
You have an idea for baby clothes, born out of talks with fellow parents. But if you were to sell these products, will you have enough buyers to sustain a business? How broad is the demographic for your merchandise? This sizing up is part of overall market research, which should be accurate, objective, and reliable.
It’s one thing to develop products and brand them, but it’s another matter to sell them online. Your expectations and the market must be aligned so that you can proceed accordingly.
Do a Test Run
Testing a prototype of a product helps you feel the public’s pulse or response. You can send out the product to a targeted base or the wider community. You can start with your friends and family. For an unbiased opinion, ask a blogger or a known authority in the field to review your product.
You don’t have to wait to complete an actual model for testing because you can get input on your idea on the initial stages and use this for modifications.
Check Out the Best-Selling Items on E-commerce Sites
Amazon, Ali Baba, Shopify, and Rakuten are some of the biggest names in the e-commerce industry by revenue. These companies can be classified as B2C (business to consumer), B2B (business to business), C2C (consumer to consumer), and C2B (consumer-to-business).
For example, you want to sell clothes. Head to their “Best Sellers,” and select “Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry” category. You will see the best-selling items along with new releases, the biggest gainers within 24 hours, and most-wished-for products.
The results sum up what appeals to people’s tastes and preferences. The top-selling lists from the largest e-commerce websites are always a good starting point to pick things to sell online.
Know Your Items for Sale
Whatever products you may develop or source from other vendors, they should be unique, useful, and durable. Know them firsthand so that you can answer queries and build the trust of your customers.