So you’re convinced that online retail is the place for you. There’s just one problem: what are you going to sell? It’s step one in the process, but entrepreneurs don’t always consider fully the weight of that question. In some cases, they have a high-level idea of what they want to sell—sporting goods, for instance. In other cases, they may make the decision to start a business with low overhead without knowing exactly what to sell.
Whichever boat you’re in, we’ve put together some tips for choosing exactly what you’re going to sell online. Follow the guidelines below and you’ll be on the right track to picking the perfect market for your online store.
Where do your knowledge, experience and passions lie?
If you want to create a truly trustworthy brand for your audience, it helps to be a member of the community. The more you know about your products, the better you can speak to them—and that’s a crucial part of convincing shoppers to buy them.
How can you narrow the focus?
Do you want to go toe-to-toe with PetSmart? Didn’t think so. Try to conquer a smaller portion of the market (like cat or fish products). That way, you can make a name for yourself and scale your store up as you gain more customers.
What items do you want to specialize in?
If your plan is to sell household décor, what products will you supply? From mirrors to candleholders, your niche holds a world of different products. It might be a good idea to narrow the focus and choose your products once you’ve gotten to this point in the planning process.
What brands do you want to represent?
Some stores may be manufacturing and selling their goods—but for the majority of us, we’ll be working with wholesalers to supply our products. Research brands and find the most reliable, high-quality goods. Evaluate price. Find out how your audience perceives certain brands by researching online or launching surveys.