Lesson 2: Ecommerce Training – What to Sell online

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Now that you have understood the basics of an e-Commerce store from our Lesson – 1, let’s get into the real questions – which products can I sell online, how should I categorize them and how should I price them.

What can I sell online?

Identifying the product to be sold online is quite tricky both for those who are already selling products offline
(such as through a physical store, or from your home) as well for those who have never ventured into selling.
Here are a few aspects that need to be considered while choosing a product to be sold online.

 

Product demand and competition


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First and foremost aspect to be verified is whether there is a demand for the product you are planning to sell online.  Google Trends is one platform which can be of help. It gives you a brief analysis regarding the searching trends related to a term (such as name of the product). Just enter the name of the product and it will give you details such as – percentage of people searching for the product over the years, regions where the search was the highest and the most commonly used search terms for these products.

For example, a search on Google Trends for the terms ‘washing machine’ and ‘Kodak Film’ revealed the trend as shown in the  image below.New Bitmap Image
Google trends
Google trends

As you can see, while the interest for washing machines (represented by blue line on the graph) has increased over time, that for film roll has decreased (red line). In this scenario, it would be a good idea to sell washing machine and a bad one to sell film roles (as the number of people looking for it is decreasing).

[Note: Google Trends may not be of much help in case your product is a unique one or if it is not being searched for frequently. Nevertheless, it is always better to search the name of the product or the related keywords before deciding.]

So, if there is an increasing trend towards the product you have chosen to sell online, then you have cleared the first hurdle.

Next, you need to know whether there is already someone who is offering your product online. CompetitionA simple Google search will tell you this! Just type in your product name with ‘online’ at the end (for example: washing machine online) and you will get a list of online stores which are selling them already.

If there is none, then you have an upper hand (but you should expect competition in future) and if there are many already, then you need to think whether you can compete against the stores already selling it. In either of the cases, you need to market your product well, provide quality products at a competitive price and ship the product promptly.

In the next article we will cover the next aspect to be considered before selling a product online.

Meanwhile, if you have any questions or would like me to cover a particlar topic in the upcoming lessons, then please let me know by leaving a comment.

 

Next Lesson 3: – Why do Customers buy online? >

< Previous Lesson 1: Ecommerce Training – Introduction

The author, Dr. Lirish Chinnappa, is the founder of CoorgShoppe.com, an online store that sells cool stuff from Coorg. He also moonlights as a dentist and writes for various technical papers around the world.

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