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How to find products to sell online

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The competition for online consumer traffic and sales has never been tougher.

92% of online SMEs claimed to have significant growth in their online channels by 2021.

If you are planning to start an e-commerce store this year, you will need a strategic sales and marketing plan to help you stand out. In addition, you need to get the best products if you do not manufacture them yourself.

Let’s explore how to find products to sell online and ensure they fit your overall business strategy and budget.

INDEX:

  1. Identify a vertical you are passionate about
  2. Find product-market matching
  3. Get products to sell online

1. Identify a vertical that you are passionate about

Do you like books, fashion, food, jewelry or technology?

Do you have a hobby, such as buying art or collecting dolls? Starting with your passions is often a great place to find product ideas.

More than 65% of participants in a customer thermometer study said that “being emotionally connected to a brand made them feel that the company or business cares about people like them.”

So the more you are able to align and communicate your passion for your digital or physical products through your online business, the better you will attract like-minded, loyal buyers. It is also critical to think about what the products you want to acquire and sell will say about your business and brand.

For example, if you decide to sell organic, fair-trade coffee beans, you promise to deliver a product that is healthier for your customers, while showing that you care about the people who grow and package that product. If your potential customers also care about those values, they will be more receptive to buying from a site like yours.

Align those passions with a niche product market fit

But only because you like a specific type of product, does not mean that there is a market for it.

Business News Daily defines a product niche as “a specialized or focused area of ​​a broader market that serves your business specifically.”

Taking the time to properly identify your niche helps you outperform your competitors in a crowded online marketplace.

For example, if you love jewelry that was inspired by or from the 1920s and 1930s fashions, but can not find it all in one place online, you can build a small business that caters to that niche. Or maybe you want to sell trendy costume jewelry for young women to wear to work. It all comes back to your passions and what customers you want to target online.

Profiling your niche clients

Be as specific as possible when defining your niche target customers.

Create a document and identify everything from demographics such as age group, occupation and household income to psychographic characteristics such as their personality traits, lifestyle, special interests and values.

Using the costume jewelry example, your target client can be a single woman in her 20s and 30s who works in advertising or PR and earns $ 30,000 to $ 75,000 a year. She likes to go out to work with her friends, belongs to a book club, is a foodie who watches baking programs and cares about climate change and product sustainability.

Once you’ve completed your customer profile, research how likely they are to buy your products online. Small business owners can start by reading blogs and consumer studies published on sites like eMarketer, Econsultancy and MarketingCharts.com. You can also get lots of free information from news sites like Retail Dive, Digital Commerce 360 ​​and the National Retail Federation.

Look for trends that reveal where your potential customers spend most of their time online and try to figure out how they discover new products.

For example, are they more likely to research vintage jewelry through search or fashion and celebrity websites?

Are there specific subreddits and Facebook groups Follow their influencers on social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest? If so, what and what do those influencers say about those products and styles? You can also send an online survey to friends and family that matches your niche client profile using Survey Monkey or Google Forms. You can ask them specific questions such as:

  • What do they like about that product niche?
  • What niche product trends are they looking for now?
  • What products in that niche are they likely to research or buy online?
  • What is missing in that niche market that they would like to see filled?
  • How much would they be prepared to spend on a specific niche product?
  • Where do they usually learn online about new niche products?
  • What competitor sites are they currently buying from, and what do they like or dislike about those e-commerce sites?
  • Do they buy their niche products from local, national or global competitors?
  • Would they prefer products to be shipped to them if they buy locally, or would they like to buy products online and pick them up in the store?
  • If they buy products nationally or globally, how much will they be willing to pay for shipping?

Giving them specific answers to choose from, rather than asking them open-ended questions, will make it easier for them to complete your survey. Although, a combination of the two is often necessary. It is also helpful to provide an incentive to get them to complete your survey, such as gift certificates and discounts when shopping with your online store.

Once you have all your answers, it’s time to look for the right products that meet all of their needs.

3. Find products to sell online

As you prepare to acquire your physical products, think about the type of e-commerce business you want to create.

For example, many small business owners start with a dropshipping business model where you do not have to make or store any stock yourself. Instead, you would obtain and compile the niche products on your website, while your suppliers would store, package and ship the items for you.

With a dropshipping business model, suppliers take a larger share of the profits.

However, dropshipping is a flexible and scalable way for a small online business to get off the ground quickly and affordably, with lower overhead costs.

As your business grows, you can add your own manufactured products to sell on your website to make a bigger profit.

Identify products you can sell at no cost

Where you get dropshipping products depends on your chosen product.

According to SixAds.net, the top dropshipping niche categories last year were:

  • Home decorating and home improvement
  • Jewelry
  • Health and beauty
  • Fitness
  • Pet products
  • Boho clothing and accessories
  • Phone accessories

SixAds recommends looking at the most popular niche products right now to find the most popular niche products:

  1. The top Amazon top sellers for your niche product category.
  2. eBay Watch Count to see what the top eBay buyers are adding by keyword to their “watch list”.
  3. SaleHoo Market Research Lab uses data from Amazon and eBay to help you find highly profitable dropshipping products to acquire and sell.
  4. Google Trends: Since most people start their shopping journey with a search, over time you can look at growth trends for specific product keywords.
  5. AliExpress Dropshipping Center to discover the top niche products to acquire and sell online via AliExpress.

Obtaining those products through dropshipping providers

You have many options to choose from when purchasing dropshipping products.

Access to a network of sellers via e-commerce marketplaces

One of the most common places to start acquiring your products is through an e-commerce marketplace that connects you to a large network of manufacturers and sellers. As mentioned earlier, the AliExpress Dropshipping Center is a great place to start.

In addition, you can research and contact niche dropshipping marketplaces such as BrandsGateway for luxury brands, Buy2Bee for clothing and footwear, UniqBe for IT and electronic products, Gold-N-Diamonds for jewelry, and Wholesale interiors for furniture.

Choose high quality niche products via wholesale supplier guides

Guides like InventorySource.com give you access to thousands of high quality niche product categories wholesalers and suppliers.

However, keep in mind that they charge a monthly subscription fee to integrate and automate the SKU data on your website. However, some let you watch the content for free to decide whether you want to invest in a subscription or not.

Go straight to the source with brand manufacturers

You can also go directly to your favorite niche brand manufacturers to negotiate a partnership.

Make sure you ask about their revenue share model (e.g. how much of the sales revenue they will keep from storing and shipping the physical product to your customers), and compare prices between a myriad of your favorite niche brands. You will need to include that number in your price, along with the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) to make a profit. Refer to our product pricing post for assistance in developing the right e-commerce sales strategy for your small business.

Enable manufacturers and sellers to come to you

You can also enable niche product creators to post and sell their wares through your website.

Society6, for example, has created a platform for artists to upload affordable photos and sell their designs (e.g. prints on mugs, t-shirts and socks) to the world. This way, artists can reach out to them and place their products on the e-commerce site.

Society6 - Example of how to find products to sell online

Obtaining products for your general online store

If you already own a retail store and plan to start an e-commerce site, or you are an online retailer that buys commoditized physical products (eg high demand, essential items) and / or niche products to store in a warehouse save, then have additional options to consider.

In addition to the resources listed above, you can buy your niche products at markets like Alibaba.com and Amazon Wholesale. You can also buy stock from wholesale partners like Costco.

To reduce your overhead costs as you rent a physical warehouse and cover your shipping costs, look for discounts when purchasing large quantities of products in bulk.

Also keep in mind that suppliers are currently dependent on manufacturing capabilities during the Covid pandemic. Check with your suppliers regularly to make sure you do not sell out items regularly and keep customers waiting for long periods.

For help with your shipping strategy and setup, read: “Top-of-the-line shipping tips for your online store.”

Your online customers are out there

Once you have found the right digital or physical products to sell online and launch your e-commerce site, it’s time to build your brand and promote your online business.

From search engine optimization (SEO) to email, social media marketing and online advertising, the GoDaddy blog can teach you how to introduce, market and advertise your small business e-commerce site to potential customers.

We also cover case studies on how businesses like yours succeed online and provide insights into consumer behavior, seasonal strategies and more.

If you do not have a large budget, start with one or two marketing strategies that you know are likely to reach your potential customers and convert sales based on your consumer research. Test and then improve what works. As your business grows, your budget can also grow to attract more traffic and sales to your website.

For more tips and steps to succeed in e-commerce, see: How to Start an Online Store.

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