Lesson 5: Ecommerce Training – How to Identify the Right Product?
Coming to the last aspect of identifying the right product, let us now evaluate some characteristics of an ideal product. Before you finalize the product you want to sell online, there are a few more important things you need to consider.
Consumable or disposable?
How soon will the buyer use up the product bought on your store? If it is a consumable product such as a soap or a disposable product such as use and throw razor, then you can expect the same buyer to buy the product multiple times. On the other hand products such as a watch can be used by the buyer for a long duration of time.
It is easier to get consumers to repeat their orders than finding new buyers every time.
Products that are dependent on other products may have a limited market life. For eg, a case/cover for a particular brand/type of phone/tablet/laptop can be sold only until it is widely available in the market. Once the particular brand/model is outdated people will no longer buy its case/cover. So it may be less risky to choose products that can be sold over a longer period of time to multiple buyers. If you still choose to sell products that are dependent on other brands, then you need to keep in mind the market fluctuations before stocking up.
Another thing to consider is whether your product is sought after only during certain seasons. Gifts or consumables which are used only during certain festivals (such as Rakhi, Diwali, Christmas, etc) are bought only during those festivals. It would hence be wiser to have products that are not seasonal along with the seasonal products
Some products have restrictions related to its sales and shipping. Products that contain alcohol or that are considered dangerous have restrictions on sales as well as shipping. Many shipping companies do not accept liquid products. So before you get into selling, identify a shipper who is ready to ship such products. Also know the local, national and international (in case you are planning to send your products outside India) regulations related to your product before selling it online.
Online stores need to be active on a continuous basis and need to run for atleast an year to start making profits. Hence it is important to choose products that can be sold continuously and in large quantities. For example, art and craft products which are dependent on artisans may be a bad idea if you are buying/acquiring it only from a single person as it requires time to be made. So it would be better to have multiple products from different artisans so that you can sell larger quantities.
Last but not the least, it is good to sell a product you know well. Buyers often have numerous queries about the product ranging from its manufacturing process to the best way of using it. If you are already selling it offline, then it is easier; if not, know everything about the product you are planning to sell.
Do you know what is the single most important thing to focus in your online store? Read our article on The one thing to focus on in your Online store to find out
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.