Who doesn’t want to get an additional income with his/her own ecommerce website? With the rapidly increasing rate of online retail sales, it’s absolutely possible and there’re lots of new Shopify stores opening every month. Starting an online store may sound like an uphill task but it’s not that difficult. All you need to have is dedication, persistence and of course, willingness to learn. Here, in this post we’ve put together a wonderful step-by-step guide that would help you find a product to sell online.
How to Get a Product Idea
Unless you’ve got some excellent ideas right from the inception of your business, finding profitable products to sell online can seem like a daunting task. You can find thousands of probable choices and each of them may seem like a profitable option. But among all these, how would you select products that’ll bring some extra cash your way? The answer is to identify the different opportunities that would help you to find out some great products.
Google Trends is an excellent tool to identify the viability of a certain product that you want to sell. Conduct a search for the product and then go through the directional search demand for the keyword over the last few years. With this free tool, you can quickly explore the search volume trends over a certain period of time and see whether it’s on the rise or not. It also empowers you to see search volume depending on geographic locations. For instance, if you want to sell a soy protein supplement, simply type in ‘soy protein supplement’ in Google Trends and go through the search volume. If you find an upward trajectory, it means a positive indicator for your product. And in case you find a downhill slope in the search volume, you should look for some other product.
Studying social media is an extremely useful way to understand the amount of mentions and conversations around your product and its niche. By examining all social media channels, you can understand how prospective customers converse about your product as well as the industry. This will help you have a solid grasp of their language, which you can leverage later through product descriptions, various promotions and blog posts, among others. First, you need to look into the hashtags. Similar to Google Trends, you can use the search tool of Instagram. Hashtag and type in the product to explore how many people are utilizing that hashtag, associated hashtags as well as popular images.
Other Shopping Sites
Apart from getting an overall indication of your product’s trend popularity, you should also check out other existing online shopping websites to identify the top selling products. Though you would need to sort through a lot of information, this will finally help you to have a good understanding of the products that are actually high in-demand within your niche. When browsing other stores, thoroughly go through their best selling lists, their offerings and promotional products. Check out sites like Amazon and eBay to quickly identify the products, which are their best-sellers.
Study Influencers from Same Niche
Influencers can also be your great sources to get an idea about top-selling products at the early stage. Follow the thought leaders and influencers within your niche to identify the products they advocate and stand behind through their social media endeavors. As they’ve a huge social pull and following, they often become the ones setting trends and shifts that lead to high conversions. Apart from this, you should focus on finding out the brands they admire. This will let you identify the secret key, which you can leverage to find a suitable product to sell.
Things to Consider Before Product Selection
The price plays a crucial role when it comes to selecting a profitable product. Remember that if the product cost is significantly low, it’ll become difficult to attain a positive ROI. On the other hand, if the price is too high, prospective customers would most likely prefer to talk to one of your customer support executives before making the purchase, which would require additional money and time investment though the ROI will be much more in this case. Ideally, at the inception stage, you should look for selling products within $15-200 range because most of the people can comfortably place an order within this range.
Though many products sold online come with a profit margin of approximately 30-35%, this can change dramatically based on your industry and the source. For instance, phone accessories typically have larger margins while electronic products often come with lower margins. If you want to have the highest profit margins, then you should look for sourcing products from Asia. Nowadays, you’ll often find that majority of things are made as well as sourced from Asia. However, this can be a daunting task to import products to your home country. Yet, if you can manage the process, you will have unbeatable profit margins.
Local availability of the product that you intend to sell is also a huge deciding factor when you are trying to find the right product. Usually, it’s always easier to sell a product through an online store that isn’t available in the local stores. Because if there’s market demand of your product and potential customers can’t buy it locally, then they would have no option left except buying it from your online store. Hence, you should try to sell the products that aren’t available in the brick and mortar stores in your vicinity.
Heavier and larger products usually come with high shipping costs that can be detrimental for your sales. That’s because a majority of customers expect free shipping these days. To combat this, many online retailers incorporate the shipping costs into the product’s price tag and offer ‘free shipping’. However, this increases the price and lowers sales. Ideally, you should look for smaller products to avoid higher shipping costs. In addition, your product must not be fragile because that way, it could be shipped through mail and you won’t have those extra headaches of a product’s damage or breakage during shipment.
Avoid Seasonal GoodsSometimes, you can find news related to unexpected and record-breaking sales during a particular season. This may sound enticing to the consumers but may not be all positive for you as an online store owner. Demand for a majority of the retail products depends on seasonal fluctuations. The reason behind this may be the customs and culture in some cases e.g. religious festivals.
At the inception stage, you shouldn’t select products that can be only sold during a certain time of the year. Instead, look for products that enjoy a steady demand throughout the year.
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