Selling products online is becoming more and more popular as a business, both for people who are trying to start a full-time business and those who are just looking for a side-hustle and a bit of extra income. It’s a great way to start a business if you don’t have a lot of capital and want flexibility in your working hours. One of the biggest decisions when starting out is what you will sell via your website. Making the wrong decision will make your business a non-starter from the beginning and many people fail multiple times before they get it right. So how do you ensure you’ve chosen the best product?
Here are some key questions to ask when choosing your products for an online business.
What do Consumers Need?
Selling products which consumers need and are likely to need for a long time to come are often the safest bet in terms of longevity. This can mean that you will be up against more competition and will need to identify a new commercial strategy or a niche product range.
What do Consumers Want?
There are lots of market research and social listening tools which will show you what consumers are interested in and talking about at the moment, but you need to treat these products with caution. Trends and fads by their very nature will not last for long, so investing in them too heavily could mean you end up with a lot of stock which consumers will only be interested in for a limited time. Make sure what you sell is of high quality and offers genuine value to consumers.
How big is the marketplace?
The internet is an international marketplace, so to maximize your sales potential it makes sense to sell products that will have global appeal and are not seasonal in their appeal. You can make a profit from more niche products but you are likely to need a wider product range. You may be able to find a product which is produced in high quantities but with very little demand in one region and is needed in another area.
It’s also important to look at potential competitors to weigh up whether or not you can bring something new to the marketplace or if you will be up against the insurmountable competition. You may want to use a reverse image search tool to locate similar products to yours on the internet and find out who you’re up against.
What are you interested in?
Often the most successful entrepreneurs are those who sell products which they believe in and are passionate about. When you are invested in a product, you are more likely to sell it with enthusiasm and can write/speak in more detail about its benefits and unique selling points. You may also find market research and sourcing new products to be easier than entering an alien marketplace. If you have expert knowledge or skills you should try to find products which enable you to use them so you can provide the best possible service and advice to your customers.