|Update 26/10/2017: This article was originally posted in August 2013. It still gets an fair amount of visits, so we updated some broken links and included the image, which had fallen off.|
Thinking about building an online store? Not sure if you have the right products to sell online? Well, it’s not always black and white but today I’ll go over the six crucial considerations you must reflect on before investing in a specific product for your online business. We’ll cover everything that matters including the demand, competition, profits, marketing and legal issues you should think about to make sure you choose the right product.
1. What's the demand for the product?
This is the first and most important question that you should consider before even considering start your business. Ask yourself these questions, if you still feel confident then you are on the right track!
- Do people really want this product? Need this product? - Who is your target market? What is the size of the market? - Is this product affordable? - Does it make sense to sell your product online?
Take a look at Google Trends and explore the search volume of your product. For the sake of an example, let’s pretend you want to start selling scarves online, let’s take a look at the interest in the keyword “scarf” in the last 12 months. I’ll let you analyze the results.
2. Research your competition
You need to know absolutely everything about your products industry and that includes your competition. Know your competition inside out by doing the following
- Sign up for their newsletters - Analyze their website – What works? What could be better? - Make sure to check Amazon, eBay and price comparison sites
Are you confident that you can beat out the competition? Then do some extra research on Google Keyword Tool and analyze the SEO competition for your product. Are you going to be able to rank as high as them on search engine results? Remember, with PrestaShop, it’s very likely!
3. Is this a money making business?
Is your product going to be affordable enough to sell? Are you going to profit once you consider all of the costs involved in selling the product? I’ve compiled a list of general costs to help you realize your profitability:
- Manufacturing Costs - Packaging Costs - Shipping Costs - Credit Card Processing Fees - Mark Up Percentage - Advertising/Marketing Costs
4. What kind of marketing can be done for your product?
Think about all the different ways that you can market your product. Devise a plan for how you’re going to get the word out there and build customer loyalty. How will you market product/brand on social media? Will you send out newsletters? Offer loyalty rewards? PrestaShop has plenty of powerful marketing features built-in the ecommerce software but you can also browse Marketing Addons on PrestaShop’s Official Marketplace for inspiration.
5. Will your product last?
When you’re selling online you really need to think whether or not your product will survive the shipping process. Can it break, melt or expire? Also, is your product a once in a life time purchase? Or will they need to buy more at some point? These are points to consider when it comes to the profitability of your business.
6. Do any laws get in your way?
Last but certainly not least, is your product compliant with the law? Are there any restrictions on your products to ship internationally? Think about regulatory organizations such as the FDA if you’re planning to sell a food or supplement product. Also, keep in mind that there are different regulations for different states. I suggest reviewing government sites of the countries or states you intend on selling products in.
How'd it go?
Now it's time to write your business plan to make sure these are the right products to sell online. Check out this article on How to Create an Online Store: 10 Steps to Write your Business Plan. Still feel confident about your product? If so, let’s get to work! Download PrestaShop today and take advantage of our free and open-source software designed to make you a successful online merchant. Best of luck to you!