FINDING THE PERFECT PRODUCT TO SELL
One of the most important factors in creating a successful ecommerce business is knowing what to sell online.
Finding the perfect product to sell is often the most important step in creating a profitable and growing company.
How can you find the perfect product? Think about...
1. Potential Market Size
Choose a product and niche with a small but sufficient market size.
A product that caters to pregnant women between 20-40 years old is a decent sized niche, but a product that caters to pregnant women between 20-40 years old who like Persian cats and drink tea is too specific.
It will be hard to find customers, more expensive to acquire them and growth will be limited.
Are there no competitors, a few competitors or lots of competitors?
If there are a lot of players in your niche, it can be a signal that the market has been validated. In order to break through, though, you will have to do something different to attract customer attention and build market share.
3. Trend, Fad, or Growing?
Trends and Fads are fine, how just make sure you are aware that they may go out of style any minute. You need to find yourself something else that is going to last a lot longer, something with potential to grow.
I started Waist Trainer (www.waisttrainer.co.nz) knowing it was a trend/fad product, and that's ok. I pushed it as far as I could. I let it run it's course, but before things started to die down, I started a fitness and supplement business called Luxe Fitness (www.luxefitness.com) knowing that fitness and health products were becoming more and more popular.
4. Easy To Find?
If your product is already readily available and easy to get, why would someone buy from you?
You need to think about how are you going to differentiate yourself. Can you offer a better selection? Higher quality? Better price?
5. Who Is Your Target Customer?
Who are you selling to?
Once you have your product, do you know how to reach them? There is no point picking a product that you have no idea how to sell. Keep that in mind.
I personally tend to sell products that I am interested in myself. If I am my own target audience, then I know how to target other people like me. I know how my target audience thinks, where my target audience looks etc.
6. How Much to Sell For?
It's important that you know how much you are going to sell your product for from the start, and compare that to how much you can get it for. Ensure that you have enough margin and enough of a mark up to cover costs like marketing, staff, running costs etc.
A price point between $75-$150 is generally recommended as it minimizes the need to find a large number of customers to turn a decent profit, but gives you enough room to cover your running costs, such as marketing.
Products that cost more than $150 tend to be harder for customers to be able to justify, creating a longer sales cycle - unless your brand is well known/well established.
It’s much easier and less expensive to sell to an existing customer, than to find new customers. A subscription-based business allows you to sell to the same customers over and over again automatically.
8. Product Size & Weight?
Did you know that shipping costs are the number 1 reason for shopping cart abandonment?
Product size and weight can have a big impact on your sales and bottom line. More and more customers expect free shipping these days. If your product is oversized, it may pay to get some quotations for shipping costs first to see if it is feasible.
When I started Luxe Fitness, selling 1.2KG tubs of Protein Powder, I didn't think about shipping costs. The majority of our customers were international, and shipping a 1.2kg box was more expensive than I expected. The only option was a slow delivery option, the express just wasn't do-able, so make sure you think about this before starting.
There's only so much in shipping costs that a customer is willing to pay.
9. Returns & Exchanges?
What is the quality of your product like? Low quality products may end up costing you more, with more customer returns and exchanges.
Businesses with seasonal products may be harder to operate. Ideally, you want to find a product that will show even demand year round, or at least be aware of seasonal demand fluctuations so you can plan accordingly.
11. Consumable or Disposable?
Having consumable or disposable products makes selling products to the same customers easier by putting a time limit on the products life. For example, Protein Powder, each tub only lasts one month or so, meaning next month your customer has to buy it again.
12. Restrictions & Regulations?
Make sure you check the rules and regulations surrounding your product. Certain chemical products, food products, and cosmetics can carry restrictions by not only the country you are importing your goods into but also the countries you are shipping your product into. Some things like helium or batteries for example, generally can't be shipped/flown by air.
Many people don’t think about scalability and growth when they first start out, but it's important to think about this. For example, if your product is man made or contains hard to source materials, think about how you will scale if your business takes off.
Will you have enough supply for demand?
Although the perfect product may or may not exist, there are definitely ways to minimize risk by choosing a product and niche that have more going for it, than against it.
If you want more information about how to 'Start, Run and Grow your own business' click here to learn more with our online course.