First and foremost, every online store owner should think about which products are in demand. A book about the history of a small town may be interesting to those who live in the area, but is it worth it selling the book to the entire nation? What about the book would people other than locals find fascinating?
In both online stores and brick-and-mortar stores the biggest issue is figuring out the demand. That is why not everyone will succeed. If the store has a strong concept, it will be more memorable to customers, and sales may be easier. In some cases, demand and need can also be created.
The Benefits of the Product Are Key
Here’s the optimal situation: the product being sold in an online store is unique and it solves a problem. The store owner may make the make the product her/himself, or s/he may order it from a manufacturer according to his/her plans and measurements.
The most important question is: What are the benefits of the product to the buyer? If the customer thinks the product is unnecessary – such as a coffee mug, if the cupboards are already filled with them – s/he probably won’t make the purchase. But if the product will clean the floors, take out the trash, and make a pot of coffee at the end – something that hasn’t been seen before – the customer should be interested right away.
Think about how your products benefit the customer. The bigger the benefits are, the bigger the demand will be.
You should also take into consideration, from the customer’s point of view:
- the materials of the product
- how eco-friendly, easy-to-use, and durable the products are
- the brand of the product
- whether spare parts will be needed
Availability and Shipping
When you’re picking the products for your online store, you also need to think about things that aren’t readily visible to the customer. If you as the store owner don’t make your own products, is your manufacturer reliable? If the availability of the products is uncertain, you may want to consider other manufacturers or keeping your own stock.
You should at least take into consideration:
- the size of the products
- the costs of storage and shipment
- the reliability of the manufacturer(s)
If possible, you may also want to consider the dropshipping method. In dropshipping, the online store owner is never personally in touch with the products. Instead, they are sent to the customer directly from the importer or manufacturer.
Remember Sales Margin
It is also vital to keep in mind the most important thing when it comes to the success of an online store: money. How many products do you need to sell, before you’re making a profit? If you need to sell large amounts of products to cover fixed costs, handling and shipping them will take a lot more time – and the costs will keep growing.
It is also worth it to consider what else you could sell to the same customer. The people who are already interested in your products – what else do they need?
Picking the right products is not a one-time process, but the products may vary over time and the store may grow. The number of products in your store may also vary.