The e-commerce industry is developing very dynamically. Thanks to solutions such as dedicated e-commerce platformsSetting up an online shop is extremely easy even for people with no IT background, and it doesn't require large financial outlays. If you are curious how easy it is to set up a WooCommerce shop, take a look at the article How to set up an online shop. Selling online is still an abstract way for many people to own their own business, which can soon become their main source of income.
However, we must remember that setting up an online shop is extremely easy, selling is a little more difficult. Is there a way to prepare for the start in the e-commerce industry in order not to fail? If we have an interesting product, a functional tool for online sales (shop software), a well-chosen target group and we adapt a well-thought-out marketing strategy to it, our chances of having a profitable online shop increase. Today we will consider what to think about when choosing the assortment that we want to sell?
When thinking of opening an online shop, we have to be aware that our offer has to be attractive in comparison with the competition, which is not small, as almost everything has already been or is. When examining the competition, we should take into account not only domestic online shops but also services such as Allegro, Amazon, E-bay or Aliexpress. Competing only on price is unlikely to make you a lot of money because the drop in margin may not cover the costs of shop maintenance or may result in lower quality of customer service, which does not bode well for our success.
What should I consider when choosing a range for my online shop?
Digital or physical product?
If you value your independence and want to run your e-business from anywhere in the world, it will be much easier if you choose a digital product or a dropshipping sales model. Then your shop won't tie you down to where you shop your products, but selling a range that customers can't see or touch is more difficult at first and you need to spend more time building your brand.
Know your competitors
If you are just starting your adventure in e-commerce, it is worth considering choosing a product from an industry where competition is relatively low. So books, clothes, underwear are out, unless you have an idea that will solve the problems of people looking for a specific solution - clothes for allergy sufferers, for animals, menstrual underwear? If you have a product that is not yet on the market and it is not so niche that the group of people looking for such a solution is so narrow that it will not be able to bring you income, you have a good chance of success. If you are just looking for inspiration for your product, remember that an idea for an interesting assortment may come to you in the least expected moment, so it is worth keeping an open mind because inspiration is everywhere.
Sometimes the best idea comes when you least expect it. Maybe it will pop into your head while you're standing in line at a coffee shop. Or maybe you'll see something during your commute that sparks your creativity. Keep an open mind and always be prepared to jot down any (potentially profitable) ideas.
Identify gaps in the market
Every day people rely on products that only exist because someone once identified a need and came up with a new way to solve it. Throughout your day, pay attention to things, situations that frustrate you or those around you. If it seems like there must be a better way to do something, there probably is - and you may be the person to discover it.
Watch the trends
Many retailers find success by analysing the latest trends - in fashion or pop culture, for example - and developing a product that relates to those trends in some way. Brainstorm potential products that can help you capitalise on what's currently in vogue, or think about how trends might change so that you can be one of the first to market when the next big thing comes along.
Do what you love and get paid for it
It's the perfect combination of passion and business. Perhaps you have been interested in yoga or another sport for years and you are already an expert in this field? You can develop guides on how to start practising yoga or prepare a workout available on a VOD platform. Or maybe you are a handyman and can make something out of nothing? Create a DIY channel and a shop where you can sell your products. Additionally, if you keep a blog where you share valuable content you will attract organic traffic to your shop.
Find out what is in demand
Search engines, such as Google, enable millions of people around the world to search the Internet to find almost anything. Consider using a tool such as Answer The Public, which analyses the phrase you have typed in and provides you with a graph listing the questions that have been typed in by internet users on the Google search engine. This way you can diagnose what internet users are looking for and offer it to them.
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