Launching an online business has never been more difficult. The online landscape in 2020 has changed drastically. Competition is fierce, product markets are saturated, and consumers are expecting a seamless and convenient experience more than ever before.
Before beginning to brainstorm the design and experience of an online store or even your company’s name, it is crucial to first identify what products to sell. While each of those components is essential to a successful online strategy, they are worthless without a great product to support them.
No matter how you look at it or which industry you decide to operate in, there will be two kinds of products;
1) Commoditized products - which are essential, high demand, or popular goods or services that can be physical or digital products. These are products that everybody needs.
2) Niche products - which are goods or services that serve a specific customer base and product category.
Commoditized vs Niche: WHICH ONE SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?
Commoditized products are what make up the majority of online sales such as food, clothes, kids toys, etc. Commoditized products allow consumers to make purchasing decisions based solely on the price-tags of the item in question. Companies compete to sell commoditized goods by offering customers perks such as ancillary holiday-themed sales, free shipping, and extended warranties. However, offering only commoditized items, especially if they are popular products sold on major online marketplaces like Amazon, will make it extremely difficult to become successful. Since larger online retailers and marketplaces can buy items in large quantities, which makes for more profitable products, it makes it much more difficult to remain profitable and competitive.
Niche products allow you to target a product or service at a niche segment allowing you to target particular customers with a clear focus and build up specialist skills and knowledge which can lead to market expertise with less competition. However, you will also run the risk of being highly dependent on a single or limited range of products and will be extremely vulnerable to the vagaries of the market as a sudden shift can cause severe detrimental effects in the success of your business.
Since both types of products have their clear cut benefits and limitations, it can be challenging for entrepreneurs to decide which type of product will yield the most success for long term profitability.
A general recommendation would be to offer a mixture of both commoditized and niche products to customers while delivering an on-brand experience to set your online shop up for success.
Fine Tuning your list of products and services
Young entrepreneurs have big aspirations to become the next big company in 2020 similar to some of the top, most popular B2C brands today. But, the truth is, in today’s saturated product market, it’s difficult to generate product ideas.
Here are a few tips to consider when fine-tuning your ideas for products and services;
- Identify or create products that solve a problem - When brainstorming for ideas for a product or service, it’s essential you reflect on problems in your own life and those of your family and friends. Why, because pinpointing a problem and conveniently solving it is how you generate your product or service. Remember, your product or service doesn’t necessarily need to be a huge, complicated endeavor — it can be quite simple, yet exceptionally effective.
- Finding products you and other people are passionate about - Being passionate about what you do will not only help you carry on through hard times, but it will also aid you in crafting a brand message that speaks to people in a way that is meaningful, authentic, and engaging. By emotionally investing in your product, you can better deliver its value and mission into the market. Plus, an emotional story will help you stand out to competitors.
- Search for emerging trends - it’s pivotal that you stay up-to-date on recent, trending products and services –– and then launch an eCommerce site to capitalize on them before they hit peak popularity. Identifying trends early on can give your business a huge competitive advantage. You’ll have the opportunity to own SEO keywords and establish yourself as a leader within the market you serve early on.
- Identify and serve niche segments - Serving a niche segment is a great business proposition because you create a product that solves an issue for a very passionate audience segment. Serving a passionate niche audience will help build brand awareness, online traffic and, ultimately, new and returning converting customers.
- Branding - Crafting a recognizable and memorable brand means you’ll need to put in the time to research and truly understand your target audience. Your brand should speak to your potential customers in a way that both resonates and compels them to come back thereby increasing loyalty for your existing product. This also makes it much easier to introduce newer products/services in the future as your customer will be assured of your brand.
How to begin selling online?
Launching an eCommerce store can be a very challenging process. But, with the right tools and an organized pre-launch and post-launch plan, you’ll be on the right track toward success.
By using ShoponCloud you will be able to create your online store (eCommerce website) in a matter of minutes through a secure, reliable, and amazingly affordable online ordering platform guaranteed to reach out to a vast audience.
A Shop On Cloud not only drives their revenue with successful penetration of new markets online but also makes internal operations and management much smoother. The online platform offers a highly customizable backend for all its users' needs while ensuring all basic requirements are provided to users to build their very own online store with ease.
Shop On Cloud is well poised to revolutionize the eCommerce industry in Sri Lanka with a seamless and simplistic solution to enable aspiring online entrepreneurs to reach their goals and start selling online.