ENTREPRENEURSHIP / AUG. 27, 2014
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How to Choose the Right Products for an Ecommerce Store

Nowadays, online shopping has become increasingly popular with many people. As a result, many businesses have opened ecommerce stores to tap into this growing market. Unlike a brick-and-mortar store, an online store allows you to reach more consumers in different locations worldwide. You can also sell a wider range of items than would be possible in a physical store. With the click of a button, a customer can easily make an order from the comfort of their home.

However, with the thousands of products out there, choosing what to sell can be a very daunting task. Here are some guidelines for selecting the right products for your online store.

1. Don’t sell everything

Even though you might have the capacity to offer unlimited products in your store, you don’t have to. Offering too many products will only clutter your site and make it difficult for shoppers to find what they are looking for. In addition, updating your product pages will be a time-consuming exercise. Therefore, it would be advisable to focus on a small, unique product niche. This will allow you to build credibility with online shoppers as an expert in that specific niche.

2. Consider shipping

Shipping is a very important consideration when selecting items to sell in your store. For instance, it would not be advisable to ship cheap items since the cost of shipping may exceed the product cost. On the other hand, delicate and heavy products are usually expensive to ship. Besides shipping fees, you are also likely to incur other costs such as taxes and customs fees. In addition, different countries have different regulations when it comes to shipping. Take time to think through all these factors before choosing items to sell in your online store.  

3. Uniqueness

The uniqueness of your product will play a major role in the success of your online store. Go for items which cannot be readily found anywhere. For example, you could request your vendor to give you exclusive rights for selling a limited-edition product. This is likely to direct lots of traffic to your store thus enhancing your sales.    

4. Competition

Online shoppers usually visit several stores to compare options before making a buying decision. Therefore, before adding any item to your portfolio, find out who else is selling the same product. If there are several established stores selling the same product you have in mind, it might not be advisable to add it to your site.

5. Giftability

Every day, people are sending gifts to their friends and relatives via online stores. You should therefore consider selling items which can be easily packaged and sent as gifts. This could be anything from accessories and jewelry to mobile phones and books.

6. Drop shipping

Find out if the items you are considering can be drop shipped. Drop shipping is a business model where items are shipped directly from the manufacturer or wholesaler to the customer. This saves you the cost of buying and storing physical products. In addition, it eliminates the problem of being stuck with unsold items.      

The products selected for your ecommerce store can both make or break your business. Therefore, take time to consider all the factors above before making a decision.

Image: Flickr, Keith Williamson

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