When starting an online business one of the first things you need to determine is what exactly you want sell. The key to having a successful online business is finding products that are easy to sell online and that people want to buy. This requires understanding what people like to buy online versus in person.
Keep in mind that not all products can be sold online. Some products are better suited for face-to-face purchases. If you study online shopping trends and the performance of popular auction sites, you will notice that DVDs and books are probably the biggest sellers. However, trying to earn a living selling these types of products is virtually impossible due to the discount prices available through larger online retailers.
Needs, Wants and Expectations
When choosing products to sell online look for products where there is a growing need and little competition. This requires that you understand the wants, needs and expectations of your target market.
- “Needs” are the reason that people are interested in purchasing a product
- “Wants” include the emotional element of choosing to purchase
- “Expectations” are what the customer believes the outcome will be if they purchase your product
Meeting your customer’s expectations means that you ensure that the product you sell will deliver on its promise. Before choosing a product to sell, spend some time doing research online. You can even check for best selling items on Ebay and Amazon to get an idea of popular items.
As you are deciding on what products to sell, look for those that are easy to ship, non-perishable, light weight and sturdy. Consider niche products that are developed and marketed for specialized uses. Rather than trying to compete with extremely common and popular items, find a category that doesn’t have a huge amount of competition.
Sell Other Companies’ Products
Affiliate marketing is another great way to sell products online. With this method your website acts as a publisher and promotes the products and services of other companies through links on your site in exchange for a commission. The commission can be a percentage of a sale or a fixed payment per conversion. In this situation, you need to join a company’s affiliate program and insert their code on your website that enables them to track where conversions are coming from so that you can be properly compensated.
Products that need to be continually replaced on an ongoing basis can allow you to establish long term sales. Establishing a following of loyal customers who will return for additional purchases can help you develop a solid revenue stream. In addition, repeat, satisfied customers are more likely to make recommendations and refer you to their friends and family.
The most important thing to remember when choosing products to sell online is to believe in what you are selling. If you yourself do not believe in the products, why would your customers want to purchase them? Continue to brainstorm until you have found a product that meets the needs of your target market and one that you can realistically sell online.
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